Paul Durand-Ruel's memoirs, first published in French in 1939, now translated into English and supplemented with contemporary and historical information, track his career as a patron and promoter of poverty-stricken and struggling impressionist artists of the fin-de-siecle period. The young collector and gallery owner supported them emotionally and financially, and relentlessly promoted works by the likes of Degas, Manet, and Milletworks now considered invaluable. His meticulous and detailed memoirs recount key events, from his grandparents desperate flight from the Terror in 1793, to his fathers early days collecting paintings to sell in his mothers stationery shop, to his own extensive records of purchases. Among Durand-Ruel's notable acquisitions were modern paintings bought from Prince Napoleon at the Palais-Royal in 1867 and Rembrandts David and Saul, purchased for just 12,500 francs in 1869. The memoirs delve into the records of his momentous career, using detailed accounts of auctions to reflect society's changing opinion and increasing adoration of the impressionist artists that Durand-Ruel had championed.
Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel is the great-great-grandson and Flavie Durand-Ruel is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Paul Durand-Ruel.