Ambroise Vollard, the pioneer French art dealer, patron and publisher, can be said to
be the first of the ‘modern’ art dealers. Malcolm Gee calls Vollard the “most
notable contemporary art dealer of his generation in France.” Born 1867 in
Réunion, he moved to Paris to study law in 1890 and soon began buying and
selling prints and drawings. After working at L'Union Artistique for Alphonse
Dumas, Vollard set up his own business and in 1894 opened a gallery near the
Opéra on the Rue Laffitte, then the center of the Paris art business.