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Rouart, Henri

French, 1833 - 1912


Henri Rouart was the director-engineer of a large metalurgical establishment in Paris, as well as a collector and artist. He was intimately involved with the Impressionist painters, especially Degas, whose Dancers at the Bar, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was once owned by Rouart. Of relatively modest beginnings, his father was a lacemaker who prospered enough to send his son to the Lycée Louis-le-Grand and the École Polytechnique. Henri embarked on a a career as a civil engineer with a special interest in military equipment and refridgeration apparatus. Henri spent the Siege of Paris as a captain in a voluntary cannon company, and reestablished in the capital his ties with a school friend, Edgar Degas. Henri, an ardent admirer and collector of Corot and other Barbizon painters, was introduced by his friend to the Impressionists. Henri himself was an artist as well, and exhibited in all the official Salons between 1868-1872 as well as with the Impressionists from 1876-1996 (except 1882). Rouart was a loyal patron of the Hôtel Drouot, where he acquired much of his collection. Following his death on 2 January 1912, his five children, Hèléne (mme Eugène Martin), Alexis, Eugène, Ernest (who married Julie Manet, daughter of Berthe Morisot), and Louis, retained some family portraits and dispersed the remainder of Rouart's collection at auction on 9 December 1912 in Paris.


Boime, Albert. "Entrepreneurial Patronage in Nineteenth Century France" in Enterprise and Entrepreneurs in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century France. ed. by Edward C. Carter II et al. Johns Hopkins, 1976:154
Gordon, Dillian. Edgar Degas, Hélène Rouart in her Father's Study Exh. Cat. London, National Gallery, 1984
Distel, Anne. Les collectionneurs des impressionists: Amateurs et marchands. Paris, 1989:177-185
Grammont, Claudine. "Le legs Rouart: reunion de famille." Beaus-Arts Magazine 161 (October 1997): 100-105.
Lefranc, Celine. "Les tribulations d'une collection." Connaissance des Art 544 (November 1997): 110-115.

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