Rene Gimpel, no fool, a canny art dealer of prominence during the decades between wars, kept voluminous notebooks (originally inspired by Casanova's Memoirs) and they are stippled with famous names on every cultural level, brightened with a little persiflage and anecdotage, and vary from longer pieces to an incisive one line entry (the war--""On a bench: five soldiers with seven wooden legs""). While for the most part the diary deals with exhibitions, sales, price tags, collectors, clients or both, and of course paintings- paintings- paintings (""It's harder to sell a genuine one""), there are occasional social, political and family notes (Duveen was his brother-in-law). All his great contemporaries are there: particularly Matisse, Monet, Renoir (""my landscapes are nothing but accessories""), Picasso (""a blood pudding, a bleached blood pudding"") along with Marie Laurencin, a very good friend--""(Yes I am (eccentric), it's one way to make life livable"") and Proust. The ubiquituous Berenson is around a good deal as are the famous buyers of the age, Bache, Ford, Altman, Rockefeller, et al. Definitely a collectors' item.