Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939)
The art dealer and gallery owner, Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939), had a decisive influence on contemporary art at the turn of the 20th century. He was born on Reunion Island and arrived in Paris in 1887 where he first entered into contact with the artists of the Impressionist movement. He was passionate, inquiring and intuitive and set out to discover new talents, developing the independent art business at a time when the official Salon art exhibition was in decline. He notably organised the first monographic exhibition of the works of Cézanne in 1895. He was a great collector, sponsor of exhibitions and patron of the arts and played a vital role in the career of artists such as Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse. He was also an author, critic and editor and was responsible for the publication of monographs dedicated to individual artists, illustrated books and lithographic albums. He remains one of the art world's iconic figures during this decisive and pivotal period.