The differences between an ideological art dealer and an entrepreneurial dealer in Fin-de-Siecle Europe

In Marketing Modernism in Fin-de-Siecle Europe, Robert Jenson writes, “Whereas the Entrepreneurial dealer marketed artists through their contemporary reputations won through public exhibitions, the ideological dealer marketed his artists vis-à-vis a supposed historical position.” The ideological dealer’s practice was centered on the historical significance artist he handled. In Critical Readings in Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Nicholas Green writes, “To sum up: it has been argued that a dealer system rooted in expanding capitalism was able to rework the economic relations of the artistic field insofar as it drew on and exploited constructions of individualism ultimately validated by the Third Republic ideology of citizenship.” The entrepreneurial dealer was ultimately more successful in the late 19th c. because the market in modern art was about buying and selling the individual painters. An Ideological dealer was rooted in the history of a work and selling work based on that history, a very limited approach to art at the emerging modernist era. Entrepreneurial dealers sold based on the marketable position of the artist, a more powerful approach to buying and selling art to the audiences of modernist paintings.

The essential artistic institutions of the French world were:

  • Academie de Peinture et Sculpture established in 1816
  • École des Beaux-Arts/ the Salon
  • École de Barbizon/ École de 1830
  • Association des Peintres d’histoire et de genre
  • Salon des Refusés
  • Exposition Universelle
  • “Avant-guarde”/ “juste milieu”
  • Union des femmes peintres et sculpteurs
  • École Libres

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