- Bénédicte Martin
French art dealer. Blondel became active as an art dealer in Paris in the late 1960s, and his high-profile gallery in the Marais district closed in December 2014. Blondel is best remembered for restoring attention, in the market and in the scholar community, to figurative painters from between the two world wars such as Tamara de Lempicka, Aleksandr Yakovlev, and Bernard Boutet de Monvel (1881–1949). Blondel was also interested in the applied arts, dealing for instance in Jean-Jacques Ruhlmann furniture and Gallé glass, when few collectors were interested in these objects. After studying architecture, Blondel became keenly interested in art, developing a special fascination with Hector Guimard, the Art Nouveau architect and furniture designer who famously created the iconic Parisian Métro entrances. In 1966 Blondel’s passion inspired him to open his first gallery, the Galerie des quatre vents (Gallery of Four Winds), in the sixth arrondissement of Paris. His intention at the time was to re-value forgotten artists from the first half of the 20th century. Due to public indifference, many paintings and objects from this period were very accessibly priced. Demand for such objects was very low, and a functioning market for this niche hardly existed. At the same time, Blondel and Laurent Sully Jaulmes began an urban photography project, which they pursued between ...