top of page

P A R I S   S A L O N

The trend away from 19th century  "picture perfect " academic art and the emergence of the impressionist movement seems to have coincided with the advent of photography.... Up until 1863 only academic art  was accepted into the Salon de Paris as the institution clung to the status quo

Salon des Refusés 1863 

The Salon des Refusés of 1863, sanctioned by Napoleon lll, may very well represent the most decisive institutional development in the evolution of modern art. It is observed that it provided an opportunity for public exposure of the avant-garde and, marked the official sanction of the artist’s right to demonstrate the fruits of their labour without regard to institutional refusal or stylistic classification as opposed to the “Picture Perfect” requirement for the academic art of the day.


The Salon des Refusés further implied that freedom of exhibition was inextricably linked to freedom of pictorial expression and is the single most invigorating stimulus to the formation of the Impressionist group shows. 


Among the works exhibited were: Édouard Manet, James McNeill Whistler, Alexandre Cabanel, Gustave Courbet along with Camille Pissaro, Johan Jongkind, Paul Baudry, Fantin-Latour, Cézanne, Renoir, Carot and Diaz

Salon des Indépendants 1884 

The Salon des Indépendants of 1884 arose through the need by artists to present their works to the general public independently, rather than through the official selective method of the Salon de Paris. 


A small collective of innovative artists created the Salon des Indépendants. The right to present their works to the public with no restrictions was their only condition. The Salon became the refuge for artworks deemed unacceptable by the traditional Salon de Paris. 


For the following three decades their annual exhibitions set the trends for the art of the early 20th century.


Among the works exhibited were:  Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Paul Cézanne, Henri Gervex, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Camille Pissarro along with Albert Dubois-Pillet, Louis Valtat, Armand Guillaumin, Charles Angrand and Vincent van Gogh


And of course, little has changed - The institutions and curators clings to last century art school art and the only difference today is that they also monopolise and control the Salon des Refusés. So, the art world is even more controlled than it was 150 years ago.

In view of all this, it should be kept in mind that only through exhibition can creative individuals fulfil themselves and, a positive response would be to encourage that. The creative and commercial divide is that it's about the art to the artist although, for the gallery, it's more about the artists name.

bottom of page