Paul Durand-Ruel finally recognised as ‘inventor’ of impressionism

As well as taking their paintings around the globe in an attempt to convince the world they were the next big thing, Durand-Ruel personally supported artists financially, even paying their rent and offering them studio space when times were hard.

So important was he to the impressionist movement, at a time when now-famous artists were ridiculed and ignored, that Monet is reported to have said: “Without him, we wouldn’t have survived.”

His descendants have now visited the National Gallery to view the first major exhibition in the world dedicated to his legacy, as they lend items and expertise from the family archive.

Claire Durand-Ruel, the great-great-granddaughter and art expert in her own right, hailed the show, which shows her dealer ancestor vindicated in the face of contemporary critics.

“It was horrible; the public were totally against this kind of art,” she said of the early

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