art collectors and art dealers

The Doctors
Dr. Georges de Bellio (10)
For painters like Monet, Renoir and Pissarro, Georges de Bellio was a friend an protector. In their times of need, they could rely upon him for help. From time to time, for instance, he paid Monet in advance for unfinished paintings or even for works that hadn’t even been started.
Buying and selling works, de Bellio compiled one of the most important collections of (then) modern french art, comparable in number and quality with those of the most important museums.
He pledged to Monet that he would never sell his most important works. And he didn’t.

Nicolae Grigorescu, Portrait de (of) Georges de Bellio, 1876. Oil on canvas, 71 x 54 cm. Musée Marmottan Monet

The Hoschedés
In 1876, the wealthy businessman Ernest Hoschedé commissioned Monet to paint decorative panels for his residence in Montgeron, the Château de Rottembourg. We do not know if Monet’s liaison with Hoschedé’s wife started before that or not. Some say it started in 1875. Anyway, it was in the same period when Camille Monet so frequently appears in Monet’s paintings.
Alice Raingo-Hoschedé would eventually become Monet’s second wife.  I wonder who can be seen here at the edge of the pond in the garden of the Château. My bet is on Alice.

Claude Monet, Etang à Montgeron (The Pond at Montgeron), 1876. Oil on canvas, 174 x 194 cm. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.


The Doctors
Dr. Paul Gachet (4)
In 1873, Cézanne worked in Auvers-sur-Oise and painted his famous Modern Olympia at the home of Dr. Gachet. The doctor was one of Cézanne’s first admirers and bought this work immediately. He lent it to the first Impressionists’ exhibition in 1874, where the press and the public were appalled by it.

Some time later, Dr. Gachet made copies of the Modern Olympia, one in pen-and-ink and this one in oil. He signed the copies with his artist name: Paul Van Ryssel. (Ryssel was the Flemish name for Lille, his town of birth in the north of France).

Paul Cézanne, Une moderne Olympia (A modern Olympia), 1873-74. Oil on canvas, 46 x 55 cm. Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Gift of Paul Gachet.
Paul Van Ryssel, Une moderne Olympia, une copie d'après Cézanne (A modern Olympia, Copy after Cézanne), unknown date. Oil on canvas, 45.5 x 55 cm. Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Gift of Paul Gachet.

Joint household in Vétheuil
This is where Monet lived during the darkest years of his life. He was selling virtually nothing and had to rely on whatever support he could get from his main patron Durand-Ruel and a few friends. In August 1878 Monet and Camille had left Paris with their two sons and settled in a much cheaper housing on Rue de Mantes in Vétheuil, a small village around 45 kilometers northwest of Paris and on the Seine. In those days, it took nearly a whole day to travel from there to Paris, but Monet could maintain a pied-à-terre in Paris until 1882 that he used for business appointments, and also as a studio and exhibition space.
Meanwhile, another important patron and good friend of his, Ernest Hoschedé and his wife Alice had been declared bankrupt. They couldn’t afford their luxurious Paris apartment at 64 Rue de Lisbonne and Alice’s Château de Rottembourg in Montgeron anymore. At Monet’s suggestion, they joined the Monets in their first home in Vétheuil, bringing along their six children.
The joint household, 12 in total, not including the cook, a tutor and another servant, were soon forced to move to the larger house shown in the picture above. Larger and more comfortable, but still, imagine 15 people living crammed in a house with only around 100 sq meter living space. The lease was signed on 18 December 1878.
The new house was on the road from Vétheuil to La Roche-Guyon. (If you want to use Google Streetview and have a look at it: its current address is Vétheuil, 16 Avenue Claude Monet).


The Doctors
Dr. Paul Gachet (5)
Dr. Gachet’s son, Paul Gachet Junior kept alive the memory of his father and (with his sister) took care of his vast art collection. In 1949 they donated part of the collection to the French state.
In 1903, Paul Gachet Junior made this portrait of his father. He signed it as Louis Van Ryssel, after his father, who used Paul Van Ryssel for artist name. 

Louis Van Ryssel, Portrait du docteur Gachet écrivant (Dr. Paul Gachet in Medical Garb), 1903. Watercolor and colored pencil, 64 x 48.4 cm, arched at top. Musée du Louvre, Paris

The Doctors
Dr. Georges de Bellio (1)
Meet the man who was the second owner of the iconic “Impression, soleil levant”.
De Bellio never finished his medical studies and officially couldn’t practice medecine in France. Nevertheless, his befriended painters and writers appreciated his help as a homeopathic doctor. As Octave Mirbeau put it: “He’s not a doctor, but he does miracles with pills”.
Starting in 1876, he was regularly consulted by Monet, Renoir and Pissarro, prescribed them homeopathic treatments and from time to time even supplied medication.