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Anne Distel (born Anne Dayez on 19 February 1947) is a French honorary general curator of heritage at the Musée d'Orsay and specialist in Impressionist paintings.[1]

Anne Distel
Anne Dayez

(1947-02-19) 19 February 1947 (age 72)
OccupationMuseum curator, art critic


Anne Distel is professor of art history at Paris-Sorbonne University. She is the author of numerous books on nineteenth-century paintings. She is particularly interested in Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and was the curator of the monographic exhibition of Renoir which was presented at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1985. She organised a lecture, "Renoir and the Woman of Paris", at The Frick Collection art museum in 2012.[2]

She has authored Renoir : « Il faut embellir » (1993), a heavily illustrated pocket book for the collection "Découvertes Gallimard", which has been translated into six languages, including English; and Renoir, a 400-page book packaged in a boxed set, published in English in 2010.[3]

During an interview with Gallimard, Distel pointed out that collectors—for example, Albert C. Barnes—played a very important role in Renoir's life, and were the cause of evolution of his style. Barnes built a foundation to house his eclectic private collection in 1922. The foundation had a goal of education consistent with Barnes' very democratic ideas about the spread of culture.[4]

Distel was nominated Commandeur of L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2008.[5]

Selected publicationsEdit

  • Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1974
  • Impressionism: The First Collectors, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1990
  • Renoir : « Il faut embellir », collection « Découvertes Gallimard » (nº 177), série Arts. Éditions Gallimard, 1993, new edition in 2009[6]
    • UK edition – Renoir: A Sensuous Vision, 'New Horizons' series. Thames & Hudson, 1995
    • US edition – Renoir: A Sensuous Vision, "Abrams Discoveries" series. Harry N. Abrams, 1995
  • Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist, Abbeville Press, 1995
  • Signac, au temps d'harmonie, collection « Découvertes Gallimard » (nº 404), série Arts. Éditions Gallimard, 2001
  • Renoir, Abbeville Press, 2010
In collaboration
  • With John House and Lawrence Gowing, Renoir (Renoir Exhibition Catalogue), Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1985
  • With Claire Frèches-Thory, Geniève Lacambre and Sylvie Gache-Patin, Musee d'Orsay: Impressionism and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces, Thames & Hudson, 1993
  • With Susan Alyson Stein, Cézanne to Van Gogh: The Collection of Doctor Gachet, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999


  1. ^ "Anne Distel". France Culture (in French). 2004. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  2. ^ "Anne Distel: "Renoir and the Woman of Paris"". The Frick Collection. 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  3. ^ "Renoir By Anne Distel". Abbeville Press. 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  4. ^ "Rencontre avec Anne Distel, à l'occasion de la parution de Renoir (1994)". Éditions Gallimard (in French). 2004. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  5. ^ "Nomination ou promotion dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres janvier 2008". Ministry of Culture (in French). 2008. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  6. ^ "Renoir : " Il faut embellir ", collection Découvertes Gallimard (n° 177)". Éditions Gallimard. Retrieved 2018-02-10.