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Dreyfus, Gustave

French, 1837 - 1914


In the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, on 29 November 1872, Gustave Dreyfus, then thirty-four years of age, purchased some important pieces from the collection of the French art critic Charles Timbal (1821-1880). This formed the nucleus of a growing collection, the quality of which Dreyfus worked persistently to improve. He added to the collection with purchases from the collections of Oscar Hainauer, Rodolphe Kann, Chabrières-Arles, Benson and others. It became a center of attraction to art connoisseurs for the fifty years that it remained in his private apartment in Paris. The Dreyfus collection consisted almost exclusively of Italian Renaissance objects, but one supposed Renaissance bronze was later determined to be ancient Roman. The collection remained with Dreyfus' widow after his death in 1914, and only after her death in 1929 was Duveen Brothers able to purchase the entire collection from the Dreyfus heirs (four daughters and a son). The sale was finalized on 9 July 1930, and was soon discussed at length in the art press.


Vaudoyer, Jean-Louis. "La Collection Dreyfus." L'Amour de l'art 6 (1925):245-264.
Migeon, Gaston. "Gustave Dreyfus...Notice lue a l'assemblée générale annuelle de la Sociéte des Amis du Louvre, le 5 Février 1929." Paris, 1929.
Migeon, Gaston. "Gustave Dreyfus." Notice lue a l'Assemblée Générale Annuelle de la Sociéte des Amis du Louvre, le 5 Février 1929. Paris, 1929: 3-16.
"Duveen Buys Dreyfus Italian Renaissance Art." Art News 28 (12 July 1930): 3, 19.
Landau, D. "Notes from Abroad." International Studio 96 (August 1930): 65.
Rutter, Frank. "Notes from Abroad. The Dreyfus Collection - Other Notes." International Studio 96 (September 1930): 60-62.
Mayer, August L. "Die Sammlung Gustave Dreyfus." Pantheon (January 1931): 11-19.
Pope-Hennessy, Sir John W. Renaissance Bronzes from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Reliefs, Plaquettes, Statuettes, Utensils and Mortars. London, 1965: vii.
Fowles, Edward. Memories of Duveen Brothers. London, 1976: 187-190.
Luchs, Alison. "Duveen, the Dreyfus Collection, and the treatment of Italian Renaissance sculpture: Examples from the National Gallery of Art." Studies in the History of Art 24 (1990): 31-38.

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