Association du Musée d’Art Gustave Fayet à Fontfroide
Gustave Fayet’s impressionist collection
Gustave Fayet, born in 1875 in Béziers and died in 1925 in Carcassonne, was an important and rich Languedoc vineyard owner as well as a talented businessman. He was also a painter, ceramist, illustrator and decorator. Recent retrospectives have endeavored to rehabilitate the artist. However he remains best known in art history as a collector of Gauguin and a friend of Redon, to whom he commissioned portraits and the great decorations of the library of the Abbey of Fontfroide. But when Fayet began collecting in 1900, he was first interested in the Impressionists. In five years, he gathered, alongside his first Gauguin and Van Gogh, an important collection of pastels by Degas, oils and watercolors by Cézanne, works by Renoir, as well as a few pieces by Monet, Pissarro or Morisot. In all, more than forty works, some of which belonged to first generation collectors. He sometimes buys at public auctions, at the sale of Abbé Gaugain for example. But when he is in Paris, he prefers to go, accompanied by his friend and collector, Maurice Fabre, to Durand-Ruel, Bernheim-Jeunes or Vollard to look at, discuss, select and negotiate the works. To acquire these paintings, Fayet often offered dealers in exchange money works from Armand Cabrol's collection, 40 oils, pastels and drawings by Carrière, Degas, Manet, Monet, Monticelli, Pissarro, Renoir or Sisley that he bought in December 1899 or works inherited from his father. With the exception of seven Renoir works that would remain in the collection until his death in 1925, Fayet exchanged or resold the works acquired from 1905 onwards, sometimes making good deals, as when he sold together to Charles Pacquement for 100,000 francs eight Cézanne in June 1910.