ATELIER GLEYRE - GLEYRE'S STUDIO
If the name of Gleyre, a painter of Swiss origin ( 1808-1874), is remembered at all, it is because he opened a studio to which Monet, Bazille, Sisley and Renoir used to come in 1862. Four young men, all under twenty-five and all destined to become famous, met here and struck up a friendship that was to endure: Monet hailing from Le Havre, Bazille from Montpellier, Renoir a Parisian, and Sisley an Englishman. According to Renoir, who considered him an admirable person, Gleyre used to give his pupils a certain freedom. All the same, he one day asked Renoir, 'Do you paint to amuse yourself?' To which Renoir replied, 'Not for any other reason'. Rebellious by nature and realizing that there was nothing to be learned here, the our artists left this studio after a year, and migrated in the spring of 1863 to the Forest of Fontainebleau, and next summer to Normandy. It is significant that Monet, boldest of the group and leader-to-be, was already recognized as their moving spirit, and actively promoted contacts between the Gleyre studio and the "Suisse" Academy on the one hand, and the Honfleur group on the other.
The Atelier Gleyre was a complement to the École dcs Beaux-Arts, where the instruction was not yet as important as it was soon to become. The academic advice of the Swiss master had little influence on the Impressionists, who did not submit to it for long -- in all, about one year, just long enough to save his name from oblivion.