Astruc, Zacharie (1833-1907). Sculptor, painter and art critic, he participated in the first Impressionist exhibition and also in the Exposition Universelle of 1900. His defense of living art was consistent and whole-hearted; he had been a defender of Courbet, and was one of the first to recognize the talent of Pissarro and Manet.
Portrait of Zacharie Astruc
by Edouart Manet; 1866; Oil on canvas, 90 x 116 cm; Kunsthalle, Bremen
To celebrate the Salon des Refusés, he brought out a daily
paper for its duration, in which he lauded the participating
artists, describing Manet as
one of the greatest artistic
characters of this time. In 1865 he hailed the genius of
and was responsible for introducing him to Manet.
He wrote the introduction of the catalogue of the one-man
exhibition that Manet arranged in a pavilion outside the
Exposition Universelle of 1867. He appears seated beside Manet in
A Studio in the Batignolles Quarter
(1879; Musée d'Orsay), and was painted by
(c. 1869; Collection Frédéric Bazille, Montpellier) and
by Manet (1866; Kunsthalle, Bremen).
Astruc himself executed a bust of Manet and by the 1880s
was receiving recognition as a sculptor, his most popular
work being the
(1883) in the Luxembourg Gardens.
The Chinese Gifts (Les Présents chinois)
Watercolor; Private collection, New York
1874; aquarelle, papier vélin, 36.4 x 28.4 cm; Musée de l'Ancien Evêché, Evreux, France
In an Paris appartment, a woman in an armchair looks towards the spectator. Many paintings cover the walls; a mirror is located above the piano. The painting above the flower vase could be a reduced version of a painting from Esteban Murillo (1618-1682) representing a Spanish portrait during the golden century.
This Zacharie Astruc watercolor was presented at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, in the office space left vacant by the photographer Nadar, 35 boulevard des Capucines in Paris. This work was number 3 in the notice, which listed six watercolors among which only two are currently located, this one and The Chinese Gifts (London), now belonging to a private collection in New York.