At the beginning of 2019, the legendary Parisian gallery Bernheim-Jeune closed its doors forever. In the years 1900 to 1914 in particular, it was considered a magnet - alongside the Durand-Ruel, Vollard and Kahnweiler galleries. The amateurs and actors of the art world met at the brothers Josse and Gaston Bernheim-Jeune. The plot had bet on Van Gogh, Matisse or Bonnard early on; later she surprised with an exhibition of Italian futurists. In 2019, however, it was not yet clear what would happen to the gallery rooms and, above all, to the business books, photographs and correspondence, i.e. the company archive, which reflects connections to artists and international customers.
Sotheby's has now taken over the business premises of the gallery that was last located on the corner of Avenue Matignon and 83, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, while Guy-Patrice Dauberville and his daughter Floriane Dauberville, descendants of the Bernheim-Jeune brothers, took over the archive on Avenue de Friedland had moved.
From there, a new publication from the in-house publisher is reported, which is based on materials from the company archive.
The extensive publication "Paul Cézanne chez Bernheim-Jeune" joins the previous catalog raisonnés or documentations that apply to artists such as Bonnard, Matisse, Modigliani or Renoir.
The painter as a misanthrope
The two large-format volumes recapitulate the connections established at the beginning of the 20th century between Josse and Gaston Bernheim-Jeune as well as Paul Cézanne and his son, Paul Cézanne junior. When the two gallery owners contacted Cézanne, they had already acquired some of his works from his filius. They were just thirty years old and, as young people, were confident that they would be able to win over the painter, who was considered a misanthropist, at least suspicious and harsh, and do business with him. After many years that he had spent in Paris and waited in vain for recognition, he had been living in his hometown for a while now. There, in Aix-en-Provence, in 1901/02 he had a small studio house built on Chemin des Lauves, a path that leads out of the city to a height.
There Cézanne welcomed the young visitors from Paris in 1902 with courtesy and allowed them to escort him tidily into the surrounding area - to places from which he painted the Montagne Sainte-Victoire, for example - and to take pictures during a lively conversation. He was flattered by the interest that the two young gallery owners showed in him; The prospect of commercial and artistic success, which they must have made palatable to him, was also attractive. But in the end the painter resisted her charm offensive, because he would have annoyed his art dealer Ambroise Vollard, with whom he felt he was in good hands. Immediately after the visitors' departure, Cézanne informed his son that it was not in his interest that he had established business relationships with the Bernheim-Jeunes.He described this in a similar way in a letter to the young painter Charles Camoin, expressing himself in the highest tones about Vollard.Keywords: