UHDE Wilhelm
UHDE Wilhelm ( 1874-1947). Uhde was the type of collector who not only is never concerned with the commercial value of a picture but also is prepared to sacrifice everything to acquire the object of his desire. Of German origin, he established himself permanently in Paris in 1904, after having studied in Munich and Florence. When Picasso and Braque were still unknown to most, he bought their canvases: in 1905 his first Picasso, a picture of the Blue Period, for ten francs, and two years later five Fauvist pictures of Braque, also at a very modest price. He was one of the first to discover -as early as 1906 -- the genius of the Douanier Rousseau. many of whose canvases he bought. In 1908 he organized a large exhibition of Impressionists in Basel and Zürich, and in the following years several shows of contemporary French painters in Berlin and New York. In 1912, shortly after having published a work on Rousseau, he organized the first great retrospective exhibition of the Douanier. During a stay in Senlis, in 1913, he discovered the astonishing Séraphine (*) and became her generous supporter. The author of numerous works, notably on Picasso and Van Gogh, his name remains linked to those whom he called 'primitive masters' -Rousseau, Vivin, Seraphine, Bauchant and Bornbois, artists whom he backed and defended, devoting all his energies to making their names known to collectors and public alike. In homage to the memory of this German who contributed so much to the renown of contemporary French painting, relatives and friends have given a collection of 'Primitives of the Twentieth Century' to the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, and the room in which the works are exhibited bears Uhde's name. Thanks to the disinterested help of such people as Uhde, Dr Gachet, and a few dealers, French painting has been able to develop so fruitfully over the last hundred years.
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