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- Alfred Flechtheim
Art dealer of the Avantgarde

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

25.02.1841 Limoges - 03.12.1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer
Alfred Flechtheim and Pierre-Auguste Renoir

After working as a commercial painter of crafted items Pierre-Auguste Renoir launched his career as an artist in 1862. In close contact with other French avant-garde artists he exhibited paintings at the Salon des Refusés in 1867 and 1872, both important exhibitions for the Impressionists in Paris. He only came to terms with the public’s initial disapproval of his work with considerable effort. He was assisted by the continued support of the Parisian art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel (1831–1922) from 1873 onwards. Nevertheless he failed to make a breakthrough with his everyday motifs, still lifes and painting 'en plein air'. At the beginning of the 1880s he moved further and further away from his favourite subject, the landscape. His focus was taken up by painting the nude and the figure, femininity and beauty, and he became increasingly more successful from picture to picture. Most notably, he painted portraits of unknown models. Parisian ladies, however, also wanted to be painted by Renoir. The artist remained choosy and talked of a particular type of woman he especially liked painting. He also declined to paint women he did not like.

The first art dealer to sell works by Renoir in Germany was Paul Cassirer (1871–1926). “Should any masterpieces by […] Renoir be found in Germany, then that is thanks to Cassier,” Alfred Flechtheim wrote in February 1926 in ‘Querschnitt’. Flechtheim himself had in fact represented Renoir since founding his gallery in 1913, but he only really came into fashion towards the end of the 1920s. The first solo exhibition in 1927 was soon followed by a second in 1928. In each case there were almost 100 works by Renoir shown – an impressive number bearing in mind the prices which were already high at that time. It is presumed that the sale of artist’s works, who died in 1919, was handled by his sons Pierre and Jean Renoir. Whatever the case, Flechtheim was a friend of Renoir’s family that included members other than just the artist. In 1936, Pierre Renoir (1885–1952) wrote a letter to the French Prefecture to support Flechtheim’s application for citizenship.

Individual exhibitons at the Galerie Flechtheim

November–Dezember 1927

Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Oktober–November 1928

Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Group exhibitions at the Galerie Flechtheim

Dezember 1913

Beiträge zur Kunst des XIX. Jahrhunderts und unserer Zeit. Zusammengestellt von Dr.Paul Mahlberg. Herausgegeben anläßlich ihrer Eröffnung von der Galerie Alfred Flechtheim, GmbH
Düsseldorf, Alleestraße 7

Mai–Oktober 1914

Deutsche Werkbundausstellung. Leihgaben der Galerie Alfred Flechtheim
Köln / Düsseldorf, Alleestraße 7

Juni 1917

Galerie Alfred Flechtheim. Moderne Gemälde. Auktion durch Paul Cassirer und Hugo Helbing in den Versteigerungsräumen
Berlin, Kurfürstendamm 208-209

Oktober 1921

Eröffnungsausstellung: Deutsche und französische Kunst aus des XX. Jahrhunderts Beginn
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

März–April 1922

Französische Impressionisten von Cézanne, Cordey, Pissarro, Renoir und anderen
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

April–Mai 1924

Französische Impressionisten
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Mai–Juni 1924

Französische Impressionisten
Frankfurt am Main, Schillerstraße 15

Dezember 1924

Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

September–Oktober 1928

Lebende ausländische Kunst. Aus rheinischem Privatbesitz
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Sommer 1929

Sommer 1929: Rudolf Grossmann und andere
Berlin, Düsseldorf, (Lützowufer, Königsallee)

November–Dezember 1929

Seit Cézanne in Paris
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

März–April 1930

Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Sommer 1930

Sommer 1930: Renoir und lebende Meister
Berlin, Düsseldorf, (Lützowufer, Königsallee)

Mai–Juni 1932

111 Porträts zeitgenössischer Künstler. Selbstbildnisse. Bildnisse von Malern, Dichtern, Schauspielern, Musikern, Boxern usw.
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

November 1932

Auktion Gemälde alter und neuer Meister aus dem Nachlass geheimer Kommerzienrat M. Leiffmann Düsseldorf und aus deutschem Museums- und Privatbesitz
Düsseldorf, Palasthotel Breidenbacher Hof