Théodore Duret

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Édouard Manet:
Portrait of Théodore Duret
Portrait of Theodore Duret by James McNeill Whistler (1883)

Théodore Duret (20 January 1838, Saintes – 16 January 1927, Paris) was a French journalist, author and art critic. He was one of the first advocates of Courbet, Manet, and the Impressionists. One of his best known works is Critique d'Avant Garde (Paris, 1885)[1] which was written in support of the Impressionist movement. He also served as collecting advisor and buying agent for American art collector Louisine Havemeyer.[2]


Theodore Duret was heir to a firm of Cognac dealers, was a collector, orientalist, and art critic.[3]

Whistler painting[edit]

He was introduced to Whistler by Manet and posed for a portrait by Whistler in 1883 at Whistler's London studio at 13 Tite Street. At Duret's request, Whistler painted him in full evening dress, but Whistler suggested that he hold a pink domino, an addition necessary to the decorative arrangement of the composition. Whistler worked on the portrait over a long period of time, even though the finished work ultimately looks like a rapid sketch. Acclaimed when exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1885, it was ranked by many as the best portrait of Duret painted by any of the great Realist artists of the period.[3]


  • Duret, Théodore (1867). Les peintres français en 1867 (in French). Dentu.
  • Duret, Théodore (1874). Voyage en Asie : le Japon, la Chine, la Mongolie, Java, Ceylan, l'Inde (in French). Michel Lévy frères.
  • Duret, Théodore (1906). Histoire des peintres impressionnistes: Pissarro, Claude Monet, Sisley, Renoir, Berthe Morisot, Cézanne, Guillaumin (in French). H. Floury.
  • Duret, Théodore. Histoire de d'Édouard Manet et de son œuvre. Charpentier et Fasquelle.



  • Shigemi Inaga: Théodore Duret (1838–1927). Paris 1988
  • Jean Selz: Lexikon des Impressionismus Cologne 1977 ISBN 3-7701-0860-4
  • John Rewald: Die Geschichte des Impressionismus Cologne 1979 ISBN 3-7701-5561-0

External links[edit]