Paul Guillaume

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Amedeo Modigliani, Paul Guillaume – Novo Pilota, 1915

Paul Guillaume (1891 in Paris – 1934 in Paris) was a French art dealer.[1][2][3] Dealer of Chaim Soutine and Amedeo Modigliani, he was one of the first to organize African art exhibitions.[2] He also bought and sold many works from cutting edge artists of the time, such as Henri Matisse, Constantin Brâncuși, Pablo Picasso, and Giorgio de Chirico.


Being from modest origins, Paul Guillaume worked in a garage. He found African sculptures which he displayed. This aroused the attention of Guillaume Apollinaire, who in turn introduced him to many of the artists of the beginning of the century in France.[4] He soon organized important exhibitions, such as the Première Exposition d’Art Nègre et d’Art Océanien, on 13–19 May 1919, with a catalogue by Henri Clouzot and additional text by Apollinaire. Apollinaire, who died the previous year, had also collaborated with Paul Guillaume on the pioneering study Sculptures Nègres in 1917.[5] This exhibition – drawn from Guillaume's private collection – placed African art at the heart of Modernism.

After his death, his wife Domenica married architect Jean Walter and continued Guillaume's collection, selling his most "extreme" paintings and acquiring impressionist paintings. After her own death, this collection of 20th-century paintings became part of the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris.[6]

Domenica was once accused of the murder of Paul Guillaume, who died early and suspiciously. Some speculate that she was cleared of all charges in exchange for giving the collection to the French state after her death.[4][7][8]


  1. ^ "Who was Paul Guillaume?". Musée de l'Orangerie. Retrieved 2010-02-10. From humble beginnings, Paul Guillaume (1891–1934) rose to become one of the leading cultural players and art dealer-collectors of Paris in the early 20th century. Guillaume died at the age of forty-two, by which time he had amassed an outstanding private collection of works by leading modernists 
  2. ^ a b "De Claude Monet à Paul Guillaume". Musée de l'Orangerie. Retrieved 2010-02-10. Un second événement achève de façonner l’identité du musée : l’acquisition (1959 et 1963) de la Collection Jean Walter et Paul Guillaume, aboutissement longtemps différé d’un projet formé dans les années 20 par un jeune marchand de tableaux, Paul Guillaume, qui, devant l’incompétence des pouvoirs publics en matière d’art moderne, s’était promis de doter Paris d’un musée "donnant la mesure authentique de l’art vivant dans le monde" 
  3. ^ "Marie Laurencin". Musée de l'Orangerie. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  4. ^ a b "Orangerie—Paul Guillaume, Paris". Retrieved 2010-02-10. The story of the collection is equally fascinating. Paul Guillaume was a young man of modest means working in an auto garage when he found some African sculptures in a delivery of rubber. His display of them brought him to the attention of the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who in turn introduced him to many of the artists of the day—Pablo Picasso, Marie Laurencin and others. 
  5. ^ Lemke, Primitive Modernism, 1998, pp.35–41: Paul Guillaume. 'A New Aesthetic', 1919.
  6. ^ "Who was Paul Guillaume?". Musée de l'Orangerie. Retrieved 2010-02-10. After his death Domenica, his widow and heir, remarried and modified the existing collection, selling some of the more extreme avant-garde works (and later his collection of African art and modern sculpture) and acquiring works of a more conservative character 
  7. ^ "Domenica ou la diabolique de l'art". France 5. Retrieved 2010-02-10. Paul Guillaume strangely died of an ulcer badly treated by his wife...Unscrupulous and without any maternal feelings, Domenica appoints his brother, Jean Lacaze and her lover, Dr. Lacour, to hire a hit man to murder his adopted son. The hired killer, Major Ray, turns out to be a paratrooper, as the victim was, and he denounced the ploy. The scandal is inevitable!...André Malraux, Minister of Culture would have proposed a deal: impunity and no prison if she "bequeathed" all his art collection to the State 
  8. ^ Noce, Vincent (11 February 2010). "Domenica dans ses basses œuvres". Libération. Domenica Walter William (1898–1977) avidly collected lovers and master paintings. Story of a life marked by the mysterious death of her two husbands and an attempted murder against her adopted son 

External links[edit]

Paul Guillaume at Find a Grave