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Jean Cocteau’s 1939 self-portrait drawing, inscribed to Erich Chlomovitch, in the 1981 Drouot catalogue
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by David D’Arcy

"Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of The Avant-Garde," which premiered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Sept. 14, 2006-Jan. 7, 2007) and is soon to open at the Art Institute of Chicago (Feb. 17-May 12, 2007), is an unprecedented exhibition. Galleries filled with paintings -- 100 in all -- by Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Pablo Picasso bear witness to the wide reach of the pioneering dealer who showcased the modernist avant-garde and modernized the business of selling art in the 1890s and early 1900s.