Until 1913 the Devambez Gallery became “the dreamed-of, fixed, regular, sufficiently large, well lit and assiduously frequented home” for the annual exhibitions and retrospectives of the French Society of Painters and Engravers.
A corporative organization active for over a century, the Society relaunched itself in 1905 under the aegis of two honorary presidents of indubitable prestige: Georges Bracquemond and Auguste Rodin.
On 2 December 1909, the Society’s ninth exhibition opened its doors in the salons of the gallery on the Boulevard Malesherbes. It featured about a hundred works by some of the leading artists of the day: Pierre Brissaud, André Dauchez, Jacques Villon – and Auguste Rodin, who showed a drypoint portrait of Henry Becque. Léonce Bénédite, the Society’s president, celebrated the growing success of “that austere yet expressive instrument: the pencil” in the introduction to the catalogue.
It was at the Devambez Gallery that Rodin, the master of “nature in motion”, had presented his first major exhibition of nudes painted from nature.
Exposition de la Société des peintres-graveurs français, 1908-1909-1910-1911-1912-1913, Paris, Devambez, 1913