The Importance of the Paris Salons

Edouard Manet A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (Un Bar aux Folies-Bergère), 1882

Why is the history of the Paris Salons important? It’s because the most important salons dictated what was considered to be in good taste for such a long period. Artists who wanted to be successful needed to comply with the jurys’ requirements or become members of sociétés in order to have their work shown. As there were few commercial galleries as we know them now, there weren’t many other opportunities to sell works, or to find patrons.

Once the Salon De Refusés showed works by avant-garde artists, and this was followed by other break-a-way group exhibitions, artists had a greater chance of establishing a career outside of the mainstream, and reaching a wider audience.

It is no accident that these changes co-incided with the emergence of modern art.

You’ll find much more detail about the key salons and exhibitions in my e-course modern art appreciation

Next week I’ll start to discuss the various modern art movements, commencing with Romanticism, which will provide a background to the changes that were to occur through the 1800s in France.

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