The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Léonce Bénédite, 1859-1925

Nationality: French
Date of Birth: 1859
Place of Birth: Nimes
Date of Death: 1925
Place of Death: Paris


Léonce Bénédite was a French museum curator and writer.


Bénédite became director of the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris in 1895, having been initially appointed assistant to Etienne Arago in 1886. He received criticism both from the conservative Institut de Paris and the progressive Impressionist group over his partial acceptance of the Gustave Caillebotte bequest. He was friends with Auguste Rodin and played a significant part in the establishment of the Musée Rodin in Paris.

Bénédite was in correspondence with JW from 1901 to 1903. In 1902-3 he was attempting to persuade JW to hold a major exhibition of his work at the Luxembourg but this was not possible due to JW's ill health. He eventually held a memorial exhibition in 1905. JW's letters at the Luxembourg were also published in part by Bénédite in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts in 1905. In the same year Bénédite also published a monograph of JW.


Bénédite, Léonce, Le Musée National du Luxembourg: Catalogue raisonné et illustré des peintures, sculptures et dessins, Paris, 1895; Bénédite, Léonce, L'Art au XIXe siècle, 1800-1900, Paris, 1905; Bénédite, Léonce, 'Artistes Contemporains: Whistler', Gazette des Beaux-Arts, vol. 33, 1905, pp. 403-10, 496-511; vol. 34, 1905, pp. 142-58, 231-46; Bénédite, Léonce, L'Oeuvre de James McNeill Whistler, Paris, 1905; Bénédite, Léonce, La Peinture au XIXième siècle d'après les chefs-d'oeuvre des maîtres et les meilleurs tableaux des principaux artistes, Paris, 1909, English translation 1910; Monneret, S., L'Impressionisme et son époque, Paris, 1978-79; 'Léonce Bénédite', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 12 April 2002).