HISTORY OF MODERN FRANCE
From the Pre-Revolutionary period to the 3rd Republic 1770-1870 - Part VI
26 April 2023
The Battle for Art in the Salons of the Second Empire, 1848-1874
The period between the revolution of 1848, the advent of Napoleon III's Second Empire in 1851 and its dramatic fall in 1870 is one of the most exciting in French art history.
In our lecture, we will introduce the main institutions of French art at the time, the Academy, the Paris School of Fine Arts, the annual Paris Salon and the famous Salon des refusés of 1863. We will see how the artistic traditions and styles upheld by these institutions were increasingly challenged by the new artists of the day, beginning with Courbet, Manet, and Fantin-Latour, and culminating in the rise of the future Impressionist group - Degas, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Bazille, and Cézanne - in the late 1860s through the first "Impressionist" exhibition in 1874.
We will see how the Salons and art exhibitions of the two Paris World Fairs of the time - 1855 and 1867 - also served as a showcase for the leading artists of the Second Empire and their competitors.
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