Ambroise Vollard

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Ambroise Vollard in front of a painting by Picasso, before 1910

Ambroise Vollard (born July 3, 1865 in Saint-Denis on the island of Réunion , † July 22, 1939 in Versailles ) was a French art dealer, gallery owner and publisher. He is one of the most important personalities in the art of the twentieth century.


Vollard opened Paul Cézanne's first solo exhibition in November 1895 . In his gallery he showed a selection of 50 out of around 150 works that Cézanne had sent him as a package. In 1901 he held the first exhibition of Pablo Picasso's works , and in 1904 the first Matisse exhibition.

Maurice Denis : Hommage à Cézanne , 1900. The scene shows Vollard's gallery.

The artists whose works he represented included the artists Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne, as well as Maurice de Vlaminck , who were still very controversial at the time . His exhibition rooms were points of contact for numerous artists. With him, for example, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Émile Zola . Paula Modersohn-Becker and Clara Westhoff saw works by Cézanne and Paul Gauguin for the first time in his art dealership , which had a decisive influence on their art development.

His clients included the Russian art collector Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin .

Ambroise Vollard also worked as an author and publisher. Due to his diverse relationships with the avant-garde of French art, he succeeded in winning the best painters of his time as book illustrators. The works published by him are among the most important achievements in the field of bibliophile book design.

Ambroise Vollard died in 1939 at the age of 74 in the Clinique des Franciscains in Versailles of the consequences of a car accident that had occurred the day before. The funeral ceremony took place on July 28th of that year in the Parisian church of Sainte Clothilde. The art dealer rests in the cemetery in Bagneux near Paris.

In 2010, the part of his collection that had been kept in a vault of a Paris bank since 1939 was auctioned in London and Paris. This part of the legacy could only be secured by Vollard's heirs through years of legal disputes against Vollard's young friend, Erich Slomovic, and his heirs as their heir.

Representations (selection)

Paul Cézanne : Portrait of Ambroise Vollard , 1899
Pierre Bonnard ; Portrait of Ambroise Vollard , 1904
Pierre-Auguste Renoir : Portrait of Ambroise Vollard , 1908

It is worth mentioning the large number of portraits depicting the art dealer, the comparison of which allows conclusions to be drawn about the relationship between the respective artist and the dealer and the light in which he saw him or wanted to make him appear. The work by Cézanne from 1899 is demonstrably a commissioned work. Under what circumstances the other portraits were made has not yet been clarified.



  • Paul Cezanne . Galerie Vollard, 6, Rue Laffitte, Paris 1914
  • Tableaux, Pastels et Dessins de Pierre-Auguste Renoir . Chez Ambroise Vollard, 28, Rue de Gramont, Paris 1918
  • La Vie et L'Œuvre de Pierre-Auguste Renoir . Chez Ambroise Vollard, 28, Rue de Gramont, Paris 1919
  • Le Pére Ubu a la Guerre . Ambroise Vollard, Éditeur, 28, Rue de Martignac, Paris 1923
  • Degas / Ambroise Vollard . B. Cassirer, Berlin 1925
  • La Vie de Sainte Monique . Ambroise Vollard, Éditeur, 28, Rue de Martignac, Paris 1930
  • Le Réincarnation de Pére Ubu . Ambroise Vollard, Éditeur, 28, Rue de Martignac, Paris 1932
  • Souvenirs d'un marchand de tableaux . Albin Michel, Paris 1937; German: Memories of an art dealer , Ullstein, Frankfurt a. M. 1957 and Diogenes Verlag, Zurich 1957; exp. New edition: Diogenes Verlag, Zurich (5th edition) 1989, ISBN 978-3-257-21749-0


  • Rudolf Koella / Rudolf Velhagen (eds.): Renoir Cézanne Picasso and her gallery owner Ambroise Vollard , Edition Braus at Wachter Verlag, Heidelberg 2006, ISBN 3-89904-203-4
  • Jean-Paul Morel: C'était Ambroise Vollard , Fayard, Paris 2007, ISBN 978-2-2136-2472-3

Web links

Commons : Ambroise Vollard  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Arte ( Memento of the original from December 23, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Sergei Schtschukin - Passionate Art Collector, October 30, 2016, 5:30 p.m., 53 min. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /