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Salon de Paris, 1667-1890 | Art History


Hubert Robert🎨 | The Grande Galerie of the Louvre, 1801

The Salon de Paris beginning in 1667 was the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
For almost 150 years (c.1740-1890), the Salon was the most prestigious annual or biannual art event in the world.
As a result, its influence on French painting - in particular artistic style, painterly conventions and the reputation of artists - was enormous.
At the 1761 Salon, thirty-three painters, nine sculptors, and eleven engravers contributed.
From 1881 onward, it has been managed by the Société des Artistes Français.

Alexandre Brun | View of the Salon Carré at the Louvre, 1880

Origins

In 1667, the royally sanctioned French institution of art patronage, the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture (a division of the Académie des beaux-arts), held its first semi-public art exhibit at the Salon Carré.
The Salon's original focus was the display of the work of recent graduates of the École des Beaux-Arts, which was created by Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister of France, in 1648.
Exhibition at the Salon de Paris was essential for any artist to achieve success in France for at least the next 200 years.
Exhibition in the Salon marked a sign of royal favor.
In 1725, the Salon was held in the Palace of the Louvre, when it became known as Salon or Salon de Paris.
In 1737, the exhibitions, held from 18 August 1737 to 5 September 1737 at the Grand Salon of the Louvre, became public.
They were held, at first, annually, and then biennially, in odd-numbered years.
They would start on the feast day of St. Louis (25 August) and run for some weeks. Once made regular and public, the Salon's status was "never seriously in doubt" (Crow, 1987).
In 1748 a jury of awarded artists was introduced.
From this time forward, the influence of the Salon was undisputed.

This portrait by John Singer Sargent🎨 of Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau depicting her cleavage caused considerable controversy when it was displayed at the 1884 Salon.

Prominence (1748-1890)

The Salon exhibited paintings floor-to-ceiling and on every available inch of space.
The jostling of artwork became the subject of many other paintings, including Pietro Antonio Martini's Salon of 1785.
Printed catalogues of the Salons are primary documents for art historians.
Critical descriptions of the exhibitions published in the gazettes mark the beginning of the modern occupation of art critic.
The French revolution opened the exhibition to foreign artists. In the 19th century the idea of a public Salon extended to an annual government-sponsored juried exhibition of new painting and sculpture, held in large commercial halls, to which the ticket-bearing public was invited.
The vernissage (varnishing) of opening night was a grand social occasion, and a crush that gave subject matter to newspaper caricaturists like Honoré Daumier. Charles Baudelaire, Denis Diderot and others wrote reviews of the Salons.
The 1848 revolution liberalized the Salon.
The amount of refused works was greatly reduced.
In 1849 medals were introduced.

From exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1874"
Anatole Vely | Lucie de Lammermoor, 1874 | Musée de Narbonne
Léon Augustin Lhermitte | La Moisson Beaux, 1874 | Beaux-Arts de Carcassonne

From exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1875"
Jean-Paul Laurens | The Excommunication of Robert the Pious, 1875 | Musée d'Orsay
Edouard Manet | Argenteuil, 1874 | Musée des Beaux Arts de Tournai

From exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1877"
Léon Belly | Femmes fellahs au bord du Nil, 1856
Laurent-Honoré Marqueste | Velleda, 1877 | Musée des Augustins
William-Adolphe Bouguereau | Virgin of Consolation, 1875

From exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1878"
Emile Auguste Hublin | Le Chemin du Marché, Finistère | Salon, 1878
August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck | Anguish, 1876-1878
Jules Bastien-Lepage | Hay making, 1877

Early splinter groups

The increasingly conservative and academic juries were not receptive to the Impressionist painters, whose works were usually rejected, or poorly placed if accepted.
The Salon opposed the Impressionists' shift away from traditional painting styles. In 1857 the Salon jury turned away an unusually high number of the submitted paintings.
An uproar resulted, particularly from regular exhibitors who had been rejected.
In order to prove that the Salons were democratic, Napoleon III instituted the Salon des Refusés, containing a selection of the works that the Salon had rejected that year.
It opened on 17 May 1863, marking the birth of the avant-garde.
The Impressionists🎨 held their own independent exhibitions in 1874, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882 and 1886.
In 1881, the government withdrew official sponsorship from the annual Salon, and a group of artists organized the Société des Artistes Français to take responsibility for the show.

Secession

In December 1890, the leader of the Société des Artistes Français, William-Adolphe Bouguereau🎨, propagated the idea that Salon should be an exhibition of young, not-yet awarded🎨, artists.
Ernest Meissonier, Puvis de Chavannes🎨, Auguste Rodin🎨 and others rejected this proposal and made a secession.
They created the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and its own exhibition, immediately referred to in the press as the Salon du Champ de Mars or the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux–Arts; it was soon also widely known as the Nationale.
In 1903, in response to what many artists at the time felt was a bureaucratic and conservative organization, a group of painters and sculptors led by Pierre-Auguste Renoir🎨 and Auguste Rodin🎨 organized the Salon d'Automne. | © Wikipedia


From exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1879"
John-Singer-Sargent | Portrait of the French painter Carolus-Duran | The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Antonio Cotti | Dante deriso a Verona, 1879
Léon Bonnat | Portrait of Victor Hugo, 1879
Pierre-Auguste Renoir | Madame Georges Charpentier et ses enfants, 1878 | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Il Salon de Paris, a partire dal 1667 fu la mostra d'arte ufficiale dell'Académie des Beaux-Arts di Parigi.
Per quasi 150 anni (1740-1890 ca.), il Salon è stato l'evento artistico annuale o biennale più prestigioso al mondo.
Di conseguenza, la sua influenza sulla pittura francese - in particolare lo stile artistico, le convenzioni pittoriche e la reputazione degli artisti - fu enorme.
Al Salon del 1761 contribuirono trentatré pittori, nove scultori ed undici incisori. Dal 1881 in poi, è stato gestito dalla Société des Artistes Français.

From Exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1880"
Dagnan Bouveret | An Accident, 1879 | Walters Art Museum
Edouard Dantan | Un rincón del Salon, 1880

Descrizione

Il Salon nasce nel 1667 con la prima esposizione organizzata dall'Accademia reale, riservata solamente ai membri dell'Accademia stessa.
Dopo questa data, le esposizioni successive ebbero cadenza biennale sino al 1675, quando, a causa dell'elevato costo, si svolsero solo nel 1699, nel 1704 e nel 1706, quest'ultima della durata di un solo giorno.
Fino al 1791 tutte le esposizioni furono inaugurate il giorno di san Luigi, onomastico del re. Allestite prima nella galleria del Palais-Royal e nel cortile dell'hôtel Richelieu, quelle del 1699 e del 1704 si svolsero nella Grande Galerie del Louvre e dal 1725 presero definitivamente posto nel Salon Carré, da cui il nome Salon, occupando talvolta anche la galleria detta dell'Apollo.

From Exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1885"
Henry Lerolle | The Organ Rehearsal, 1887 | Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dal 1737-1748, ad eccezione del 1744, la mostra ebbe cadenza annuale, poi nuovamente biennale dal 1748-1791.
Nel 1748 venne istituita una commissione incaricata di salvaguardare la tradizione della “grande pittura” ed esercitare un controllo sulla moralità delle opere proposte.
Sin dall'origine l'allestimento venne affidato a un artista detto le Tapissier o le Décorateur; tale incarico, dal 1761-1773, assunto da Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin a cui subentrò Joseph-Marie Vien, Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée il Vecchio, Louis-Michel van Loo nel 1783 e 1785, e Louis Durameau.
Con la Rivoluzione vennero apportate una serie di modifiche radicali al regolamento del Salon: nel 1791 l'esposizione divenne libera e accessibile a tutti e dal 1798 venne istituita una giuria di ammissione eletta a suffragio universale.
La giuria assunse presto però una veste di conformistica ufficialità e sotto l'Impero fu composta da tre artisti e due amatori presieduti dal Denon.
Soppressa nel 1848, ma reintrodotta l'anno seguente, la giuria mostrò un indirizzo sempre più rigido rifiutando molti candidati e qualsiasi opera non conforme ai gusti accademici.
Nel 1863 la giuria diede dei verdetti particolarmente rigidi escludendo di fatto quasi 3000 quadri.

From Exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1889"
Jean Béraud | Salle de rédaction du Journal des débats en 1889

Il clamore suscitato da tale scelta fece decidere allo stesso Imperatore Napoleone III di organizzare una libera esposizione dei dipinti esclusi, chiamato poi Salon des Refusés. Successivamente la struttura organizzativa del Salon viene riformata, consentendo l'ingresso in giuria anche da parte di alcuni artisti già premiati con medaglia.
In questo modo avviene una progressiva apertura dell'esposizione alle nuove tendenze dell'arte impressionista.

From Exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1891"
Jean Béraud | The Magdalen at the House of the Pharisees, 1891 | Musée d'Orsay
Jeanne Itasse | Egyptian Harpist, 1891

La Secessione

Nel dicembre 1890 il leader della Société des Artistes Français che gestiva il Salon, William-Adolphe Bouguereau🎨 espose l'idea che il Salon potesse diventare un'esposizione senza premi, che sponsorizzasse i giovani. Ernest Meissonier, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes🎨, Auguste Rodin🎨 ed altri artisti rigettarono la proposta facendo sorgere una secessione.
Essi crearono la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts nel 1891, esponendo in un altro Salon chiamato Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux–Arts, in breve Salon du Champs de Mars.
Nel 1903, in risposta a ciò, da molti artisti tra cui Pierre-Auguste Renoir🎨 ed Auguste Rodin🎨, venne ideato il Salon d'Automne. | © Wikipedia

From Exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1895"
Marcel Rieder | Dante et les amies de Béatrice, 1895
Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida | La vuelta de la pesca, 1894

From exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1897"
Frederick William Pomeroy | The Nymph of Loch Awe, 1897 | Tate Britain

From Exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1899"
Paul-Dubois | Le Souvenir ou L'Alsace et la Lorraine | Musée Camille Claudel

From Exhibition: Paris, "Le Salon de 1905"
Camille Claudel | Vertumne et Pomone | Musée Rodin


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