Salon (Paris)

The Salon de Paris (French for the Paris Salon ) was a regular art exhibition, which was initiated by King Louis XIV in 1667 to propagate the official court art taste.

First reserved for members of the Royal Academy of Arts, was after the revolution, the salon also open to other artists. For a long time for an artist admission to the exhibition, the basic requirement to become generally accepted. The selection criteria were very conventional and new ideas were suppressed normal. When selecting selected for the Salon pictures it came in the 19th century regularly to intrigue and irregularities. So it came from the mid-19th century numerous counterparties exhibitions, as for example, gallerists such as Louis Martinet rejected granted artists exhibition opportunities in their showrooms.

Exhibition rhythm and time

The first salon was in 1667 as part of celebrations to commemorate the Academy was established in place, it was opened on 9 April and lasted until 23 April. After the visit of the King and Colbert's judgment was given that the salon every two years to be held during the Holy Week. However, the salon took place regularly during the course of the 18th century. The next room was still open as scheduled in 1669 and housed for the first time in the Grande Galerie of the Louvre - the previous one was held in the meeting rooms of the Academy. The following salons were held irregularly until 1699, and the first salon in the 18th century - held in 1704 - was the last time being because wars and the financial ruin of the French crown was not necessary no funds for it. It was not until some twenty years later, in 1725, a salon was re- organized, but he found regularly only since 1737: Except in 1744, he was a year to 1748, then held every two years until 1794.

The exhibition began first in April, then in August, since 1673, however, always on the 25th of the month, because on the 25th of August, the day of Saint Louis, patron saint falls to the French crown. The salon usually took until the end of the following month.

Organization and financing

The organization of the salon was responsible de jure the state. The succession competent state institutions - first the existed since 1664 Surintendance générale des Bâtiments du Roi et des Arts et Manufactures, from 1802, the Direction des musées and from 1870 to 1905, the Direction des beaux -arts - transferred de facto stated its decision-making powers always completely or at least partially of the Académie des beaux -arts.

In the Ancien Régime first, the General Assembly of the Academy in May or June the opening date pro forma and wide these the Directeur des Bâtiment, the approved him in the name of the king. Then they started with the organization. Occasionally had to re- petitions be placed, because the cost of the exhibition were worn mostly by the king: He paid for the installation of the exhibition spaces, the two or four guards for the duration of the exhibition and the issues of the so-called Tapissiers which for construction and arrangement of the exhibits was in charge at the Salon.

Showrooms and construction

Until 1725, the salon was housed in the Grande Galerie of the Louvre, then always in the salon Carré, which is also the title of the exhibition derives. At first the paintings were simply attached to the walls or in front of a background of wall hangings with floral patterns - the so-called " verdures " - mounted by the Royal Guard - Meubles ( the central depot of the household of the King) were made available. Overall, about the ( western) half of the gallery was used, the eastern part was cordoned off with a partition, which was decorated with the design cartoons for the book of Acts, after Raphael. Prior to participating in the Salon sculptures were installed.

A similar method was also in the salon Carré until 1746 - and since then - the walls hung with green cloth and the paintings were presented against a uniform, fairly neutral background. On particularly large salons, such as the 1748, the exhibits were also in the Galerie d' Apollon, and even in the courtyard of the Louvre. In part, maintained the participating artists exhibit their works in studios, which also, that were located in this wing just below the Grande Galerie of the Louvre.

The arrangement of the exhibits concerned the " Tapissier " or " decorator ", which was elected by the members of the Academy, very often being an artist was commissioned to arrange the works: in 1755 and 1751 to 1777 it was, for example, Chardin, 1775 Vien and 1785 Ch. -A.-P. van Loo. The " Tapissier " but applied a very simple scheme: In the center of the main wall is a portrait of the king was affixed, the great religious paintings were hung on advantageous lit spaces, the least estimated along the stairs. The paintings hung one above the other close to and in at least three or four rows, the sculptures were placed on long tables with no particular order. The tasks of the " Tapissier " it belonged also to respond to complaints throughout the salon and - not infrequently - to integrate subsequently submitted works into the existing exhibition.

Exhibition grantor

At the Salon solely members of the Academy were allowed to exhibit, all in all around 40 artists, by the most senior rector down to the most recent provisional members ( Agrees ). Occasionally, non-members were allowed to "à la porte " issue so before the actual salon rooms.

Originally were all members of any exhibit many works that they also sought out themselves. Although the total number grew steadily over time: Up to 1763 it does not exceed 200 works, then suddenly doubled in 1765 to more than 400 and remains at this level until the Revolution. The majority, about three quarters of the exhibits are paintings, the rest make sculptures and prints from which were also approved.

1748 was a commission, called the " jury " was formed, which met a selection of the goods to be delivered by August 17 plants in a secret ballot. In 1777, the Directeur des Bâtiments was forced to ask them for more rigor in terms of artistic merit and moral decency of the artworks. 1791 a new commission was formed, which worked exclusively belonged to officials of the Academy - previously there were also ordinary members without academic offices to be. Works of office-holders were always excluded from this preselection.

The most successful members of the Academy to submit projects usually exhibit their works in his own studio, where they present more objects, and even faster, ie before completion of the salons were able to deliver to buyers - this is practiced, for example, Boucher and Greuze.

Salon Visitors

The entrance to the salon was free of charge and theoretically free to all social strata: Both the nobility as well as staff, bourgeoisie and interested craftsmen were to be found there. Many hired standing ready guide to the exhibition, mostly young artists or writers who had previously studied the Salon catalog, the so-called " livret ". The distinguished visitors were from the " Directeur des Bâtiments " an inspection outside the opening times promise.

Exhibition catalog

The exhibited paintings were typically signed and dated, the substantive aspects were sometimes explained in cartridges, which were fastened to the frame - but this was omitted soon because it has a detrimental effect on the sale of exhibition catalogs, over which the exposition part was refinanced. At the early salons was apparently still issued no catalog until the early 18th century is referred only to the 1673, which is preserved in only a few copies. It is a four-page booklet in 4 ° (quart, about 30-35 cm high). The catalog of 1699 is an 8 ° ribbons ( octave, 22-25 cm high) with 23 pages - about this size and scope have all of the following " livrets ".

The " livret " always opens a similarly denominated, laudatory preface, followed by a descriptive list of the exhibited works. Until 1739 the exhibits were listed without any numbering in a topographical order, from 1740 onwards, the works according to the ranking of the author in the academic hierarchy - numbered only in the catalog - listed: Senior Rector, Rector, professors, adjuncts of the professors, members ( reçus ), the provisional members ( agréés ). From 1775 to group the artists in accordance with the first art class in which they operate: painter, sculptor, graphic artist; within these groups, then after the academic rank. This made finding the exhibits, therefore, led to a numbering in the catalog and on the object.

The exhibition catalog was 1738-1753 from a cashier (not treasurer! ) The Academy, the " Receveur et concierge de l'Academie " edited, although the task actually was up to the secretary. He also underscored the proceeds from the sale, even though they were actually responsible for the Academy checkout - this had to be corrected by Marigny again. The Secretary received two months prior to Show opening all exhibiting artists were allowed to provide or dictate the descriptions and had the right to ask for text corrections. Then he put on a clean copy and let them write in triplicate. After the revolution, the catalog was not of a academician, but by an official of the Ministry of Public Education (French: Ministère de l' Instruction Publique ) edited or inside. Before the catalog could be printed, he had the Directeur de Bâtiments be presented, often undertook changes. Until 1787 the Salon catalog of private publishers were worried, then by the " Imprimerie des Bâtiments du Roi ", ie in own publishing house.

Most " livrets " learned three or four editions in varying heights: The catalog of 1755 was 8000 times that of 1787 printed 20,000 times. A copy cost 12 Sol, by the officially two sous the cashier and the two sous the models working for the Academy tion states - the rest should go to the Academy checkout. However, not the entire run was sold about 300 copies were given away in various ways: 250 somewhat more complicated paperback copies with gilt edges were distributed to the members, so that each received four or five; a hard- bound, particularly adorned book was presented to the king, thirteen were for the royal family and about fifteen highest Hofpersönlichkeiten.

Salon criticism

With the establishment of regular public art exhibitions in the form of the salons unfolded since 1737, the public, modern art criticism: the famous and stylistically to this day admired art critic of the 18th century, Denis Diderot, who wrote eight parlor reviews. In the 19th century Charles Baudelaire wrote several lounge reviews about the exhibitions of 1845, 1846, 1855 and 1859. Heinrich Heine published in Germany a salon criticism of the exhibition of 1831, he had written under the impression of the July Revolution of 1830 ( detail he devoted himself to issued picture of Eugène Delacroix: liberty Leading the People).

Alternative and opposite exhibitions

It was considered an honor to exhibit at the Salon, and - although Paris offered the most opportunities for the public presentation of works of art in the 17th and 18th centuries from all major cities - there was until the second half of the 19th century not many alternatives: 1751-1774 organized by the Académie de Saint -Luc several exhibitions that would compete with the salon of the Academy; finally tried a private entrepreneur an art exhibition in Paris in 1771 opened Colisee to establish a kind of amusement park with similar entertainment venues such as the Vauxhall Gardens in London - this was banned on the initiative of the Academy. By reporting the Mercure de France is further known a traditionally held on Corpus Christi in the late 18th century under the name Exposition de la Jeunesse at the Place Dauphine exhibition in which, however, also "lower ", technically oriented painters such as a sign painter, etc. participated.

The first significant counter- exhibition is an initiative of the French Emperor Napoleon III. due. After the rigid selection of the jury in 1863 caused quite a stir, he was parallel to the Paris Salon the Salon des Refusés ( " Salon of the Rejected " ) to align. Two rejected by the jury of the Paris Salon paintings at that time attracted particular attention: James McNeill Whistler's " Girl in White " and Édouard Manet's " Luncheon on the Grass ".

A Salon of the Rejected was indeed aligned a second time, but in subsequent years, there was a series of parallel exhibitions such as the 1884 founded the Société des Artistes Independants Salon des Independants.