Charles Sedelmeyer (1837 – 1925) was an Austrian and French art dealer, collector, and publisher active in Paris from 1866, with premises at 6 rue de la Rochefoucauld.
He is credited with popularising the Dutch artist Jan van Goyen in France. Sedelmeyer assessed the American market as important enough to send his Rubens Atalanta and Meleager from the Marlborough collection for exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the winter of 1886.
Though specialized in old masters, Sedemeyer became friends with the artist Mihály Munkácsy, who lived in Paris from 1872 onwards. Sedelmeyer bought and sold Mihaly Munkácsy's 1878 The Blind Milton Dictating Paradise Lost to his Daughters, and after doing so offered Munkácsy a ten-year contract, making that painter a wealthy man and a really established member of the Paris art world. Sedelmeyer wanted him to paint large-scale pictures which could be exhibited on their own. They decided that a subject taken from the Bible would be most suitable. In 1882 Munkácsy painted Christ before Pilate which was followed by Golgotha in 1884. The trilogy was completed by Ecce Homo in 1896. These huge paintings were taken on a tour and exhibited in many European cities and also in the US. All three were bought by American millionaire John Wanamaker.
A public dispute with Dr. Abraham Bredius over the attribution to Rembrandt of the Woman Taken in Adultery sold by Sedelmeyer to the Weber collection resulted in Sedelmeyer's justificatory pamphlet, 1912. The painting was shown in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the attribution was confirmed by Wilhelm Valentiner. The Rembrandt attribution was again confirmed by Hofstede de Groot in 1914, who noted that it was purchased from Sedelmeyer by T. B. Walker. The painting was deaccessioned by the Walker Art Center in 2011.
A small Hals sketch of a man from his "wet on wet" traveller series is dated 1643 and surprised Hals expert Seymour Slive for having a date, as most of these small portrait sketches were lacking them. He noticed that it had been in the possession of Sedelmeyer and Munkácsy and remarked that though Hals was very popular among the late 19th-century artists, this was the only painting that had been actually owned by one, as far as he knew. He speculated that he would not be surprised if it came to pass that copies by Munkácsy were discovered of Dutch 17th-century realists, since he seemed to acquire so much inspiration from them. Slive also noted that Sedelmeyer sold "dozens of paintings rightly and wrongly attributed to Hals".
He had five daughters. Emilie married the sculptor and art historian Stanislas Lami and Hermina married the Czech painter Václav Brožík. Sedelmeyer's collection was dispersed at a series of sales in Paris.