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Bernheim-Jeune, when at 25 Boulevard de la Madeleine, Paris, 1910

Bernheim-Jeune gallery is one of the oldest art galleries in Paris.

Opened on Rue Laffitte in 1863 by Alexandre Bernheim (1839-1915), friend of Delacroix, Corot and Courbet, it changed location a few times before settling on Avenue Matignon. It is still managed by members of the same family. The gallery promoted realists, Barbizon school paintings and, in 1874, the first impressionist and later post-impressionist painters.


In 1901, Alexandre Bernheim, with his sons, Josse (1870-1941), and Gaston (1870-1953), organized the first important exhibition of Vincent van Gogh paintings in Paris with the help of art critic Julien Leclercq.[1]

In 1906, Bernheim-Jeune frères started presenting works by Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Paul Cézanne, Henri-Edmond Cross, Kees van Dongen, Henri Matisse, Le Douanier Rousseau, Raoul Dufy, Maurice de Vlaminck, Amedeo Modigliani, Maurice Utrillo and Georges Dufrénoy.

From 1906 to 1925, art critic Félix Fénéon was the director of the gallery and was instrumental in bringing in the art of Georges Seurat and Umberto Boccioni.[2] The gallery became one of the centers of the artistic avant-garde. In 1906, the gallery also began publishing monographs; its first release was devoted to the paintings of Eugène Carrière. In 1919 it also launched a bimonthly bulletin about artistic life.

In 1922, an exhibition brought together works by Alice Halicka, Auguste Herbin, Pierre Hodé, Moïse Kisling, Marie Laurencin, Henri Lebasque, Fernand Léger and Henri Matisse.[3][4]

During the German occupation, its property was seized by the Reichsleiter Rosenberg Taskforce or ERR. In 1941 their gallery was sequestered, paintings confiscated and their buildings sold.[5] Like other art dealers such as Paul Rosenberg, Bernheim had to labor for several decades to recover some of the paintings, the task made more difficult as two record ledgers had disappeared from the gallery during the looting.[6] In 1940 sensing that they, of Jewish background, would be targeted by the Nazis, the Bernheim-Jeune family had sent 30 or so impressionist and post-impressionist paintings to the Château de Rastignac in Dordogne for safekeeping. On March 30, 1944 fleeing Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) forces set fire to the château,[7] after five truckloads of items were removed;[8] the paintings may have been destroyed.[9]

After the death in 2012 of Michel Dauberville, descendant of Bernheim, his cousin Guy-Patrice Dauberville, also an expert in modern paintings and a Bonnard and Renoir specialist, started heading Bernheim-Jeune.

The gallery now exhibits painters and sculptors in the tradition of the École de Paris and artists such as Jean Carzou, Shelomo Selinger or Pollès.



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