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13 May 2020CANCELLED: Paul Durand Ruel, the madman who ‘made’ the impressionists
03 June 2020CANCELLED: ‘The most perfect painter of his age’: Understanding Bruegel’s Enyclopaedic Pictures

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CANCELLED: Paul Durand Ruel, the madman who ‘made’ the impressionists Simon Whitehouse Wednesday 13 May 2020

Simon Whitehouse is an actor, presenter, lecturer and award-winning London Blue Badge Guide. 

He has a passion for storytelling with an especial love of art history, literature and the performing arts. He has worked extensively for a number of arts organisations including BBC, the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and is a lecturer and guide at the National Gallery as well as being a guide for a variety of groups including the Arts Society, the Royal Academy of Arts and Yale University Drama Board.

This lecture tells the extraordinary story of one man who changed the art world forever. For years, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Sisley and Pisarro had been getting nowhere - derided and rejected by the French Academy they had become dejected, disillusioned and destitute. But in 1870, Monet met Paul Durand Ruel in London. Ruel was a brilliant, bold art collector with great vision. He decided to buy the work of the Impressionists (including 23 Manets in a single day!), seeing something in their work that no-one else had seen and realising that the public wanted a new kind of art.  


Despite being attacked and ridiculed by the critics, the press and the cognoscenti of the Parisian art world, Ruel spent his whole life supporting, defending and promoting this radical and revolutionary group of painters.  His legacy is the birth of the modern art world and the establishment of a commercial art market that thrives to this day. 


Monet would later say of Ruel ‘We owe him everything’