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The forgotten ones: Stanislas Henri Rouart

The first exhibition of painters from the Société Anonyme Coopérative des Peintres, Sculpteurs et Graveurs took place from April 15 to May 15, 1874 in the former Nadar atelier at 35, boulevard des Capucines.

Among the exhibitors, everyone (or almost) can refer to Claude Monet, Eugène Boudin, Paul Cézanne, Félix Bracquemond, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley or even Berthe Morisot, But next to these heads of he poster, 21 other artists more or less fallen into oblivion presented often masterful works.

This first article inaugurates with Stanislas Henri Rouart a series which will make you discover these painters, who were familiar with the greatest and who are far from having been unworthy!

Henri Rouart, La Terrasse au bord de la Seine à Melun, huile sur toile ©Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
Henri Rouart, La Terrasse au bord de la Seine à Melun, huile sur toile ©Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

Industrial, polytechnician, talented painter, Henri Rouart (1833-1912) faithfully supported the Impressionist exhibitions. It was his friend Edgar Degas who persuaded him to participate in the first of them, where he sent three watercolors and two etchings. He will be present at all the following exhibitions (except at the seventh, in 1882).

Henri Rouart. Le Pont de Melun. 1880. Collection particulière
Henri Rouart. Le Pont de Melun. 1880. Collection particulière

Influenced by Jean-Baptiste Corot and Jean-François Millet, Henri Rouart was very discreet, to the point that Paul Valéry wrote about him: "His modesty has meant that his curiously precise personal work has remained almost unknown and the good of his sole children."

Until his death, every Friday, a dinner brought together at Henri Rouart his polytechnician friends and painters among whom, of course, Edgar Degas of whom Paul Valéry (again him) said that he "spread the spirit, the terror, the gaiety".

Henri Rouart. Femme à la robe verte. 1890. Collection particulière
Henri Rouart. Femme à la robe verte. 1890. Collection particulière

A great collector, Henri Rouart brought together an absolutely exceptional series until his death in 1912, including no less than 47 Corot and paintings by his Impressionist friends, including Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Berthe Morisot.

Like Gustave Caillebotte, he encouraged painters both by his purchases and by his efforts to make them known and promote the sale of their paintings.

This collection of more than 200 paintings in total was dispersed by his children through two sales, one the year of his death and the other a year later in April 1913.

Le jour de leur mariage, debouts, Ernest Rouart et Paul Valéry. Assises, Julie Manet et Jeannie Gobillard.
Le jour de leur mariage, debouts, Ernest Rouart et Paul Valéry. Assises, Julie Manet et Jeannie Gobillard.

Henri Rouart will marry Hélène Jacob-Desmalter and the couple will have four sons: Alexis, Eugène, Ernest and Louis.

On May 31, 1900, Ernest Rouart, born in 1874, married Julie Manet, daughter of Berthe Morisot. The same day, Paul Valéry marries Jeannie Gobillard, cousin of Julie Manet.

And then that we remain in family, Paul Rouart, son of Henri's brother Alexis, will marry in 1927 Agathe, daughter of Paul Valéry and Jeannie Gobillard,


In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...



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