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JoLynn Edwards

(b Paris, 1694; d Paris, March 24, 1750).

French marchand-mercier, picture dealer, publisher, and pioneer of the Parisian auction business. In 1718 his marriage to Marie-Louise Sirois (1698–1725), daughter of the master glazier, Pierre Sirois, brought him into the circle of Antoine Watteau’s intimate friends and determined the future course of his activities. His father-in-law frequently exhibited pictures and occasionally worked in association with the painter Antoine Dieu, a picture dealer, whose stock and business Gersaint had bought before his marriage. He took possession of Dieu’s shop, Au Grand Monarque, on the Petit Pont, on 15 April 1718, but it was destroyed by fire only a few days later. Gersaint rebounded to set up his business on the Pont Notre-Dame where he remained throughout his life. Sirois was also an early patron and friend of Watteau, who recorded his features in Sous un habit de Mezzetin (c. 1716–18; London, Wallace), and published ten prints after his work. Gersaint maintained this connection: after Watteau returned from London in ...


Malcolm Gee

(b St-Denis, Réunion, c. 1867; d Paris, Feb 19, 1939)

French art dealer and publisher. He was the most notable contemporary art dealer of his generation in France, as well as an innovative publisher of prints and illustrated books. Brought up in Réunion, he arrived in Paris c. 1890 as a law student and soon started buying and selling prints and drawings for his own pleasure. After a period working at L’Union Artistique for Alphonse Dumas, an established dealer, he set up on his own and in 1894 opened a small gallery near the Opéra on the Rue Laffitte, then the centre of the Paris art trade.

Vollard made his first major impact as a dealer in 1895 when he organized Cézanne’s first one-man exhibition. Over the next ten years he built up, at relatively low cost, a large stock of paintings by Cézanne, which eventually provided him with enormous profits. Concurrently he acquired work by van Gogh, Gauguin, Bonnard, ...