Correspondence includes seven autograph letters signed, one typed letter signed (1903-1918), three Renoir account ledgers and one warehouse receipt. Letters include discussions about various aspects of Durand-Ruel's (and other dealers) pricing and sales of Renoirs' and other artists' pictures and actual payments to the artists-which reveal questionable business practices. (1) Autograph letter signed ("Durand-Ruel"), two pages [one sheet folded, two pages blank], dated March 1903, located Paris; (2) Autograph letter signed ("Durand- Ruel"), three pages [one sheet folded one page blank], written on Durand-Ruel letterhead, dated December 22 1908, located Paris; I don't understand Monet but don't reproach him. He was certainly fooled... Don't repeat anything to anyone... Pissaro, things turned out poorly for him. After selling several paintings for a high sum, they let the rest go for prices too cheap and Pissaro almost became unmarketable. They're business people without any conscience. Monet will see this for himself very soon... (3) autograph letter signed ("Joseph Durand-Ruel"), four pages [one sheet folded], written on Durand- Ruel letterhead, dated 2 February, 1912, located New York; (4) autograph letter signed ("Durand-Ruel"), one page [one sheet folded, three pages blank] written on Durand-Ruel letterhead, dated 6 January 1915, located Paris, I did not have the pleasure of seeing you like my son, but I had you good news and the confirmation of your inalterable courage in tolerating your suffering. What I can wish you the most for this New Year is that all these suffering diminish and you might get back to you favorite work with great earnestness. Please give my best wishes to Madame Renoir and your sons and believe in my devoted affection. Durand-Ruel; (5) autograph letter signed ("Durand-Ruel"), three pages [one sheet folded, one page blank], dated 28 December 1913, located New York; (6) autograph letter signed ("Joseph Durand-Ruel"), three pages [one sheet folded, one page blank], written on Durand- Ruel letterhead, dated 27 May 1912, located Paris, I've found four small canvases of yours - unsigned sketches. They come from a transaction made with you a year or two ago. I'm going to send them to you. If you could, please oblige me by signing them although they are of lesser importance...Here we are very busy. The Dollfus sale took place Saturday. We are going to push the prices on your canvases higher, in accordance with those of other colleagues. The Corot (paintings) are going to reach very high figures. From Munich we've sent your works to Berlin where they are being exhibited at this time. My brother is also doing an exhibition of your works in New York. You see that we are not staying still with our arms folded"...(7) Autograph letter signed ("Joseph Durand-Ruel"), two pages [one sheet folded, two pages blank], written on Durand-Ruel letterhead, dated 6 June 1914, located Paris, Yesterday morning I received your letter on the subject of your paintings and will follow your advice in their regard. One of my clients who owns a floral painting of yours (15 in height) asked me to ask you if sometime you could make him a matching one. He would especially like some red and darker red carnations in a white or blue porcelain vase. I warned him that his wish was unlikely to be realized, but he insists that I make it known to you. I do so without great hopes. Be assured, my dear Monsieur Renoir, with all my wishes for a prompt cure for you and good health all the others, of my devoted sentiments. Joseph Durand-Ruel; (8) Typed letter signed ("Joseph Durand-Ruel"), one page, written on Durand-Ruel letterhead, dated 19 April 1918, located Paris. Also included are documents relating to Renoir's Durand-Ruel accounts, including three autograph documents signed (1) dated 28 December 1915, an accounting of transactions from July - December 1915; (2) dated 9 August 1916, an accounting of transactions from July - August 1916; (3) dated 25 April 1916, an accounting from December 1915 - July 1916.; (4) one typed document signed, Receipt for Renoir's Works in Warehouse- Without guarantee, as of 14 December 1914, dated 1 September 1914, (5) Tableaux ledger, dated 1882-1885, no location, ledger of works sold between 1882-1885, hardbound, with nine pages of transaction entries, 6 3/4" x 4 1/2".

    Monet introduced Paul Durand-Ruel to Renoir in 1872 and at that time, Durand-Ruel had galleries in London and Paris. Paul Durand-Ruel was the first dealer to enter Renoir's life and give him a one-man show. A dealer for the Impressionists (founding members: Renoir, Sisley, Bazille and Monet), Durand-Ruel, also acted as a patron and exhibition and auction coordinator for the Impressionist painters. In the 1870's a new dealer-critic system emerged to compete with the old academic Salon system and independent dealers and journal critics. "While the academic system was geared to evaluate individual canvases, award prizes, exhibit and purchase works for the state, the dealer-critic system was based on the notion that the career of an artist should be handled by a benevolent dealer, who would provide visibility publicity, purchases, loans, advances and social support." Barbara Erlich White. Renoir His Life Art and Letters. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1984, p. 51 and 45, and White and White, Canvases and Careers, p. 124, 150-51, 155-61. One of Paul Durand-Ruel's son, Georges, was Jean Renoir's godfather.

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