Impressionism Timeline  
  Impressionism * Neo-Impressionism * Post-Impressionism  

  1870 1880 1890
  1871 1881 1891
  1872 1882 1892
1863 1873 1883 1893
1864 1874 1884 1894
1865 1875 1885 1895
1866 1876 1886 1896
1867 1877 1887 1897
1868 1878 1888 1898
1869 1879 1889 1899
Impressionism Timeline
Impressionism * Neo-Impressionism * Post-Impressionism
Camille Pissarro
Edouard Manet (1832-83) Edgar Degas (1834-1917) Alfred Sisley (1839-99)

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)
Claude Monet (1840-1826) Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Frederic Bazille (1841-70)

Armand Guillaumin

Berthe Morisot (1841-95)

Federico Zandomeneghi (1841-1917)

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) Giuseppe de Nittis
Max Liebermann
Gustave Caillebotte (1848-94) Peder Severin Kroyer (1851-1909) Vincent van Gogh
Charles Angrand
Henri-Edmond Cross (1856-1910)

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
Childe Hassam 

Georges Seurat (1859-91)
Louis Anquetin
(1861- 1932)
Theo van Rysselberghe (1862-1926) Paul Signac (1863-1935) Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) Emile Bernard (1868-1941)
The Rise of Durand-RueI
Buying in bulk gives the dealer Durand-Ruel the opportunity to purchase works by Degas, Manet, Renoir and Sisley relatively cheaply. This year he also mounts the first exhibitions of Impressionist work to be held in London, though these are not a commercial success.
Sisley stays with Monet at Argenteuil.

Durand-Ruel buys three works from Degas, his first purchase of the artist's work. He also buys twenty-four paintings from Manet for 35,000 francs.

The Square at Argenteuil

This is one of four works that Sisley painted while staying with Monet. The artist uses perspective to lead the eye into the composition, in the background of which appears the tower of the church of Notre-Dame.

4th Cezanne has an illegitimate son, Paul, by Hortense Fiquet and conceals the fact from his father.


12th Durand-Ruel buys his first painting by Sisley. Two days later he also buys his first painting by Renoir, The Pont des Arts, for 200 francs.


12th Renoir's former model Lise Trehot marries the architect George Briere de I'Isle.

29th The singer and collector Jean-Bap tiste Faure sells forty-two Impressionist paintings at auction. Prices are very low, Manet's Pulcinello attracting the highest bid at 2000 francs. Many of the paintings are withdrawn, since they fail to reach their reserves.


1st Opening of the Salon.

Renoir's Parisian Women in Algerian Dress is rejected. Manet's The Battle of the 'Kearsage' and the 'Alabama', on loan from Durand-Ruel (who had bought it in January for 3000 francs), is hung. Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt each have two works accepted. Degas, Monet, Pissarro and Sisley do not submit.


4th The fourth exhibition of Durand-Ruel's Society of French Artists opens in London, including work by Degas, Monet, Pissarro and Sisley.

18th Cezanne, Manet, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley and others sign a petition demanding another Salon des Refuses.

25th During one of his regular visits to Holland, Manet visits the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, where he is greatly impressed by the Vermeers.

Berthe Morisot visits Spain, then stays with her married sister Edma in Maurecourt.

Berthe Morisot

In 1872 Manet painted a portrait of Morisot which was highly praised by Mallarme. Subsequently he produced two lithographs and an etching of her. In this lithograph Manet has emphasized the tonal contrast between Morisot's skin and clothes.

Sisley working in Villeneuve-la-Garonne.
Pissarro moves to the rue de l'Hermitage in Pontoise, where he is joined by Cezanne.


12th Degas and his brother set sail for America on the Scotia. They arrive in New York on October 24th, then go on to New Orleans.


2nd The fifth exhibition of Durand-Ruel's Society of French Artists opens in London. It includes work by Degas, Manet, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley.

19th In a letter to Tissot from New Orleans, Degas relates the pleasures of family life and the problems of painting family portraits.

26th Sisley gives Pissarro one of his pictures.
He also suggests organizing a dinner for Durand-Ruel (there is, however, no record of the dinner taking place).

The Seine bursts its banks. Sisley paints his first series of 'flood paintings' at Marly.
Paul Durand-Ruel
Paul Durand-Ruel (31 October 1831, Paris – 5 February 1922, Paris) was a French art dealer who is associated with the Impressionists. He was one of the first modern art dealers who provided support to his painters with stipends and solo exhibitions.

Early life

Born Paul-Marie-Joseph Durand-Ruel in Paris, his father was a picture dealer. In 1865 young Paul took over the family business, which represented artists such as Corot and the Barbizon school of French landscape painting. In 1867 he moved his gallery from 1 rue de la Paix, Paris, to 16 rue Laffitte, with a branch at 111 rue Le Peletier. During the 1860s and early 1870s Paul Durand-Ruel was an important advocate and successful art dealer of the Barbizon School. However Durand-Ruel soon established a relationship with a group of painters who would become known as the Impressionists.

During the Franco-Prussian War, of 1870–71, Paul Durand-Ruel left Paris and escaped to London, where he met up with a number of French artists including Charles-François Daubigny, Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro.[2] In December 1870 he opened the first of ten Annual Exhibitions of the Society of French Artists at his new London gallery at 168 New Bond Street, under the management of Charles Deschamps.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Paul Durand-Ruel

He recognized the artistic and fashionable potential of Impressionism as early as 1870, and his first major exhibition of their work took place at his London gallery in 1872. Eventually Durand-Ruel had exhibitions of Impressionism and other works (including the expatriate American painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler who lived in London), at his Paris and London galleries. He also brought their work to New York, doing much to establish the popularity of Impressionist art in the United States.

During the final three decades of the 19th century Paul Durand-Ruel became the best known art dealer and most important commercial advocate of French Impressionism in the world. He succeeded in establishing the market for Impressionism in the United States as well as in Europe. Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, are among the important Impressionist artists that Durand-Ruel helped to establish. He represented many lesser known artists including Maxime Dethomas or Hugues Merle amongst others.

Regarding the Americans’ open-mindedness towards impressionism, Durand-Ruel once said, "The American public does not laugh. It buys!"

Durand-Ruel had an intense rivalry with Parisian art dealer Georges Petit (1856–1920).



What do you say to the heading? It is the firm's note paper. Here one speaks of nothing but cotton and exchange. Why do you not speak to me of other things? You do not write to me. What impression did my dance picture [exhibited by Durand-Ruel in London] make on you and the others? Were you able to help in selling it? And the one of the family at the races, what is happening to that? Oh, how far from everything one is.

Excellent journey. Mew York has some charming spots. We spent scarcely two days there. What a degree of civilization! Steamers coming from Europe arrive like omnibuses at a station. We pass carnages, even trains on the water. It's like England in her best mood.

After four days on the train, we arrived in New Orleans. You cannot imagine a wagon-lit 'sliping car' [sic]. A real dormitory. Behind curtains one can undress down to one's vest, if one wants to, and then climb into a proper, well-made bed. Everything is done simply and, except for some details of taste, one says to oneself. 'It's true, just what I needed.'

Children on a Doorstep
(New Orleans)

Degas began this work three weeks after his arrival in New Orleans, and in a letter to Tissot a (right) mentioned the difficulties he found in persuading the children to pose. The painting went virtually unnoticed when shown at the second Impressionist exhibition.

Villas with columns in different styles, painted white, in gardens of magnolias, orange trees, banana trees, negroes in old clothes like the junk from La Jardiniere [a junk shop in Paris] or Marseilles, rosy white children in black arms, charabancs or omnibuses drawn by mules, the tall funnels of the steamboats towering at the end of the main street, that is a bit of local colour, with a brilliant light at which my eyes complain.

Everything is beautiful in this world of the people, but one Paris laundry girl with bare arms is worth it all for such a confirmed Parisian as I am. The right way is to concentrate, and one can only do that by seeing little. I am doing some family portraits, but the big thing will be when I come back.

Rene [the artist's brother] has superb children, an excellent wife, she scarcely seems blind, though her case is almost hopeless, and he has a good position in business. He is happy, and it is his country, even more perhaps than France.
You with your fantastic energy would be able to extract money from this crowd of stockbrokers and cotton dealers. I shall make no attempt to earn money here.

Madame Rene de Gas

Degas painted several portraits of his family while staying in New Orleans. His brother Rene had married his cousin, the young, blind widow Estelle Balfour. When this work was painted she was heavily pregnant with her fourth child, Jeanne, to whom Degas became godfather.

I hope this letter crosses one from you. Did you get my photographs? Here I have acquired the taste for money, and once back I shall know how to earn some, I promise you.

If you see Millais, tell him I'm very sorry to have missed him, and tell him how much I appreciate him. Remember me to young Deschamps, to Legros, to Whistler, who has really struck a truly personal note in that finely balanced power of expression, a mysterious mingling of land and water.

I have not yet written to Manet, and naturally, he has not sent me a line. The arrival of the mail in the morning really excites me. Nothing is more difficult than doing family portraits. To make a cousin sit for you when she is nursing a brat of two months is quite hard work. To get young children to pose on the steps is another job of work which doubles the fatigues of the first. It is the art of giving pleasure, and one must look the part.
A good family! It really is a good thing to be married, to have fine children, to be free of the necessity of always being gallant. I must say it's time one thought about it.
Good-bye. Write to me. I shall not leave the country before the middle of January.

LETTER TO TISSOT, November 19th, 1872
In the early 1870s. thanks to Durand-Ruel, whose gallery showed works by Monet and Pissarro and later by Degas, Renoir and Sisley, Londoners had an opportunity to see Impressionist works before Impressionism was recognizable as a movement. But at first Durand-Ruel appears to have made no sales to British buyers - who seem to have felt little sympathy for the Impressionists' paintings, despite the fact that these owed a great deal to the landscape traditions of Turner and Constable. Nor were collectors willing to offer much for them, even though they were prepared to pay huge sums for paintings by living British artists (Alma-Tadema's Roman Picture Gallery, for example, fetched -£10,000 and Holman-Hunt's The Shadow of the Cross sold for -£11,000).

Probably the first British collector to purchase works by the Impressionists was Henry Hill of Marine Parade, Brighton, to whom Durand-Ruel sold 'five or six very fine pictures' by Degas before he closed his New Bond Street Gallery in 1875. After Hill's death these paintings were auctioned at Christie's in 1889 and 1892 ('pour rien', as Durand-Rucl ruefully remarked), which constituted the first appearance of the Impressionists in the London salerooms.
In 1881 the Greek-born stockbroker Constantine Alexander Ionides bought Degas' The Ballet from 'Robert le
, which had been commissioned by Faure and is now in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. But in the following years only a few individuals ventured to buy these 'dangerous' new paintings, and even then only on a small scale.

The Ballet from 'Robert le Diable'

This, the second version of Robert к Diable, was commissioned by Faure in 1874. The subject, the most famous scene from an opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer, was close to the singer's heart as the composer was Faurc's mentor and friend. Those portrayed include: Desire Dihau, musician (third from the left); Albert Hecht, collector and close friend of Degas (far left with opera glasses): and Ludovic Lepic, painter and engraver (the bearded figure in profile, second from the right).

Sickert bought four or five works by Degas at the Hill sale, but had to sell them on his divorce; Arthur Kay, who had studied art in Paris, bought one of Monet's Haystacks in 1892 for £200; and in the same year an otherwise unknown Mr Burke of London bought two pictures by Pissarro, followed by two Sisleys in 1893 and a Degas in 1898.

The writer George Moore assembled a small collection of relatively minor works by Manet, Monet and Berthc Morisot, and also persuaded his friend Lord Grimthorpe to buy several Impressionist works. Grimthorpe's collection was sold at Christie's on May 12th, 1906, achieving the following amounts: Degas' Dancer with a Tambourine, 35 guineas; Sisley's View on the Seine, 160 guineas; Monet's The Hospice Lighthouse, 195 guineas; Manet's Young Girl with a White Cravat, 245 guineas; and a pastel by Manet, Lady with a Fan, 17 guineas. It is interesting to note that only twelve years later, when the pictures of another of Moore's friends, Sir William Eden, were sold at the same auction rooms, Degas' pastel Tfie Dancer fetched 2000 guineas and The Laundresses 2300 guineas.

Up to the time of Durand-Ruel's magnificent exhibition at the Grafton Galleries in 1905, British collectors had bought only fifty Impressionist paintings - whereas their American counterparts had amassed about 200. Sales at the exhibition itself were disappointing: of the 312 paintings on show. Durand-Ruel only sold about ten. However, one of the buyers was Mr (later Sir) Hugh Lane, who was anxious to acquire a collection of modern French pictures in order to found a gallery of modern art in Dublin; and either then or shortly afterwards he bought a remarkable group of Impressionist paintings, including Manet's Music in the Tuileries Gardens and Portrait of Eva Goniales, Monet's Vetheuil, Renoir's Umbrellas and Pissarro's Spring in Louveciennes. When Lane perished in the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, his pictures were on loan to the National Gallery in London but had been relegated to the cellars. There they remained until 1917, when they became the subject of prolonged litigation between the national galleries of England and Ireland due to the ambiguous wording of Lane's will.