Food for the Soul: Women Who Gave Us van Gogh – Women & Art Series 16

Johanna Bonger in April 1899 studio photo by Woodbury & Page. Photo: National Library of the Netherlands via Wikimedia Commons

By Nina Heyn — Your Culture Scout

Paris at the end of the 19th century was packed with sophisticated men who loved art. They were making it, discussing it, and selling it. There were those who created new styles—like Monet, Gauguin, or Cézanne. Others excelled as art dealers, like marchand Paul Durand-Ruel, who handled sales of over 1000 Monets, 1500 Renoirs, and 800 Pissarros. There were also art journalists and connoisseurs whose writings could make or break a career, like Émile Zola or Louis Leroy, who was the first to use the term “Impressionism” when he disparaged the new style. It is, therefore, most ironic that in the case of Vincent van Gogh, his greatest early recognition and support came from three women mostly ignored by art history.

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