DURET Théodore
( 1838-1827). French writer and art critic, a contemporary of the Impressionists and one of their first supporters. However, in his The French Painters, published in 1867, Duret, not being sufficiently informed, strongly criticized Manet, who had already painted The Fifer and Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe. The matter was evidently soon straightened out, as Manet painted his portrait (now in the Petit Palais, Paris) the following year. After having generously assisted Renoir, Duret became his friend and one of his most ardent supporters. Meanwhile, in 1873, he went to Japan and came back full of enthusiasm for Japanese art. 'The Japanese', he wrote, 'were the first and most perfect Impressionists.' In 1878 he published his Impressionist Painters, this time praising them unreservedly. The book included monographs on Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, Renoir and Berthe Morisot. Manet was presented as the initiator of the movement. In a revised edition which appeared in 1906 the author added studies of Cézanne and Guillaumin. His catalogue Manet and His Work was not published until 1912. In 1894 Duret was obliged to sell his collection, comprising six Manets, six Monets, four Pissarros, three Renoirs, three Sisleys, three Cézannes and eight Degas.
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