Antonin Proust was a French journalist, critic, collector and government official, and uncle to the writer Marcel Proust.
During the Franco-German War Proust worked for the paper Le Temps as a war correspondent. He later became the founding editor of the influential newspaper, La République. His career in politics began in 1876 when he became a député for Niort in the Deux-Sèvres département. From 1881-1882 he was Minister of the Fine Arts in the Gambetta government, and went on to hold other influential cultural posts. A life-long friend of Manet (who painted his portrait in 1880), he used his position at the Ministry to promote the work of Manet, Pisarro, Monet and others. He was a major collector, especially of French and Japanese graphic art. He published his memoirs of Manet Édouard Manet: souvenirs in 1913.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911, online edtn, http://54.1911encyclopedia.org (accessed September 2004); WorldCat, http://newfirstsearch.uk.oclc.org/ (accessed September 2004).