Paris Salon
Overview
 
The Salon , or rarely Paris Salon (French: Salon de Paris), beginning in 1725 was the official art exhibition
Art exhibition
Art exhibitions are traditionally the space in which art objects meet an audience. The exhibit is universally understood to be for some temporary period unless, as is rarely true, it is stated to be a "permanent exhibition". In American English, they may be called "exhibit", "exposition" or...

 of the Académie des Beaux-Arts
Académie des beaux-arts
The Académie des Beaux-Arts is a French learned society. It is one of the five academies of the Institut de France.It was created in 1795 as the merger of the:* Académie de peinture et de sculpture...

 in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Between 1748–1890 it was the greatest annual or biannual art event in the Western world. From 1881 onward, it has been organized by the Société des Artistes Français
Société des artistes français
The Société des Artistes Français is the association of French painters and sculptors established in 1881. Its annual exhibition is called the Salon....

.
In 1674, the royally sanctioned French institution of art patronage, the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture (a division of the Académie des beaux-arts
Académie des beaux-arts
The Académie des Beaux-Arts is a French learned society. It is one of the five academies of the Institut de France.It was created in 1795 as the merger of the:* Académie de peinture et de sculpture...

), held its first semi-public art exhibit at the Salon Carré.
Encyclopedia
The Salon , or rarely Paris Salon (French: Salon de Paris), beginning in 1725 was the official art exhibition
Art exhibition
Art exhibitions are traditionally the space in which art objects meet an audience. The exhibit is universally understood to be for some temporary period unless, as is rarely true, it is stated to be a "permanent exhibition". In American English, they may be called "exhibit", "exposition" or...

 of the Académie des Beaux-Arts
Académie des beaux-arts
The Académie des Beaux-Arts is a French learned society. It is one of the five academies of the Institut de France.It was created in 1795 as the merger of the:* Académie de peinture et de sculpture...

 in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Between 1748–1890 it was the greatest annual or biannual art event in the Western world. From 1881 onward, it has been organized by the Société des Artistes Français
Société des artistes français
The Société des Artistes Français is the association of French painters and sculptors established in 1881. Its annual exhibition is called the Salon....

.

Origins

In 1674, the royally sanctioned French institution of art patronage, the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture (a division of the Académie des beaux-arts
Académie des beaux-arts
The Académie des Beaux-Arts is a French learned society. It is one of the five academies of the Institut de France.It was created in 1795 as the merger of the:* Académie de peinture et de sculpture...

), 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
École des Beaux-Arts
École des Beaux-Arts refers to a number of influential art schools in France. The most famous is the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, now located on the left bank in Paris, across the Seine from the Louvre, in the 6th arrondissement. The school has a history spanning more than 350 years,...

, 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
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

, when it became known as Salon or Salon de Paris. In 1737, the exhibitions became public and were held, at first, annually, and then biannually in odd number years. They would start on the feast day of St. Louis
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

 (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
Jury
A jury is a sworn body of people convened to render an impartial verdict officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a penalty or judgment. Modern juries tend to be found in courts to ascertain the guilt, or lack thereof, in a crime. In Anglophone jurisdictions, the verdict may be guilty,...

 was introduced. Its members were awarded artists. From this time Salon got its undisputed influence.

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 gazette
Gazette
A gazette is a public journal, a newspaper of record, or simply a newspaper.In English- and French-speaking countries, newspaper publishers have applied the name Gazette since the 17th century; today, numerous weekly and daily newspapers bear the name The Gazette.Gazette is a loanword from the...

s marks the beginning of the modern occupation of art critic
Art critic
An art critic is a person who specializes in evaluating art. Their written critiques, or reviews, are published in newspapers, magazines, books and on web sites...

.

The French revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 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
Vernissage
A vernissage is a term used for a preview of an art exhibition, often private, before the formal opening. Guests may be served canapés and wine as they discuss with artists and others the works in the exhibition...

(varnishing) of opening night was a grand social occasion, and a crush that gave subject matter to newspaper caricaturists like Honoré Daumier
Honoré Daumier
Honoré Daumier was a French printmaker, caricaturist, painter, and sculptor, whose many works offer commentary on social and political life in France in the 19th century....

. Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the nineteenth century...

, Denis Diderot
Denis Diderot
Denis Diderot was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer. He was a prominent person during the Enlightenment and is best known for serving as co-founder and chief editor of and contributor to the Encyclopédie....

 and others wrote reviews of the Salons.

The 1848 revolution liberalized the Salon. The amount of refused works was greatly reduced. In 1849 medal
Medal
A medal, or medallion, is generally a circular object that has been sculpted, molded, cast, struck, stamped, or some way rendered with an insignia, portrait, or other artistic rendering. A medal may be awarded to a person or organization as a form of recognition for athletic, military, scientific,...

s were introduced.

Early splinter groups

The increasingly conservative and academic
Academic art
Academic art is a style of painting and sculpture produced under the influence of European academies of art. Specifically, academic art is the art and artists influenced by the standards of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, which practiced under the movements of Neoclassicism and Romanticism,...

 juries were not receptive to the Impressionist
Impressionism
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...

 painters, whose works were usually rejected, or poorly placed if accepted. The Salon opposed the shift away from traditional painting styles espoused by the Impressionists. In 1863 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
Salon des Refusés
The Salon des Refusés, French for “exhibition of rejects” , is generally an exhibition of works rejected by the jury of the official Paris Salon, but the term is most famously used to refer to the Salon des Refusés of 1863.-Background:...

, 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
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

. 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 organised the Société des Artistes Français
Société des artistes français
The Société des Artistes Français is the association of French painters and sculptors established in 1881. Its annual exhibition is called the Salon....

 to take responsibility for the show.

Secession

In December 1890, the leader of the Société des Artistes Français, William-Adolphe Bouguereau
William-Adolphe Bouguereau
William-Adolphe Bouguereau was a French academic painter. William Bouguereau was a traditionalist; in his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of Classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body.-Life and career :William-Adolphe...

, propagated the idea that Salon should be an exhibition of young, yet not awarded, artists. Ernest Meissonier, Puvis de Chavannes, Auguste Rodin
Auguste Rodin
François-Auguste-René Rodin , known as Auguste Rodin , was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past...

 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
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to...

 and Auguste Rodin
Auguste Rodin
François-Auguste-René Rodin , known as Auguste Rodin , was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past...

 organized the Salon d'Automne
Salon d'Automne
In 1903, the first Salon d'Automne was organized by Georges Rouault, André Derain, Henri Matisse, Angele Delasalle and Albert Marquet as a reaction to the conservative policies of the official Paris Salon...

.

See also

  • Academic art
    Academic art
    Academic art is a style of painting and sculpture produced under the influence of European academies of art. Specifically, academic art is the art and artists influenced by the standards of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, which practiced under the movements of Neoclassicism and Romanticism,...

  • Académie de peinture et de sculpture
    Académie de peinture et de sculpture
    The Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture , Paris, was founded in 1648, modelled on Italian examples, such as the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. Paris already had the Académie de Saint-Luc, which was a city artist guild like any other Guild of Saint Luke...

  • Académie des beaux-arts
    Académie des beaux-arts
    The Académie des Beaux-Arts is a French learned society. It is one of the five academies of the Institut de France.It was created in 1795 as the merger of the:* Académie de peinture et de sculpture...


Other salons

  • Salon (gathering)
    Salon (gathering)
    A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine taste and increase their knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to...

  • French salons and exhibitions
    French art salons and academies
    From the seventeenth century to the early part of the twentieth century, artistic production in France was controlled by artistic academies which organized official exhibitions called salons...


  • Salon des Refusés
    Salon des Refusés
    The Salon des Refusés, French for “exhibition of rejects” , is generally an exhibition of works rejected by the jury of the official Paris Salon, but the term is most famously used to refer to the Salon des Refusés of 1863.-Background:...

  • Salon des Indépendants
  • Salon d'Automne
    Salon d'Automne
    In 1903, the first Salon d'Automne was organized by Georges Rouault, André Derain, Henri Matisse, Angele Delasalle and Albert Marquet as a reaction to the conservative policies of the official Paris Salon...

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