The history of American taste is a fascinating subject which is only now receiving the attention it properly deserves: added stimulus to unraveling the skeins comes from the realization that in many respects American collectors and patrons were pioneers in their appreciation of modern art. Some indication of this rapid response to contemporary movements is provided by the experiences in Paris of the American painters John Trumbull and John Vanderlyn, both of whom knew Jacques-Louis David.

Good Bostonians, when they die, go to Paris, said one wag, T. G. Appleton, and this was certainly the belief of many of those who went in for art.

The American relationship with France has been a long and fruitful one and, as barely requires mentioning, increased during the war with England when the young Republic was allied with France. This is an alliance symbolized by...

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