Salon de 1867

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Below are photographs from the Archives nationales (Paris) of works acquired by the government. See here for more information.

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There were 2,745 entries in the livret and the exhibition opened in the middle of April. The Salon was largely overshadowed and somewhat ignored by the spectacle of the 1867 world’s fair taking place across the Seine on the Champ de Mars.  Unlike the 1855 fair, the official Salon was held separately from the fair’s retrospective display of French art since 1855.  There was also an exhibition at the École des Beaux-Arts of Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres who had died earlier in January.  

There were far fewer reviews of the Salon than usual, as well as significantly fewer visitors. Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet did not participate and both organized independent exhibitions. Manet was present, however, in the form of the portrait by Fantin La Tour.  

Maxime Du Camp wrote a brief review while noting the overall “sterility” of the event.  The sculptor Carrier-Belleuse received the only grand medal (none was awarded in 1866).

The works in the collage, most were mentioned by Du Camp, are arranged on either side of a popular caricature print from 1867 representing the academic art tradition’s focus on the past (Ancient) and the newer Realist movement’s focus on the present (Modern). The critic Jules Castagnary’s very selective review of the Salon proclaimed the triumph of Naturalism/Realism and the present, regardless of rural or urban subject matter/content.

The architect Viollet-de-Duc began the restoration of the medieval château/castle at Pierrefonds in 1857 at the request of the emperor. Paul Huet’s landscape view represents the completed exterior.   
Théodore Rousseau died later in 1867 and so this was his last Salon. He exhibited two landscapes that arrived too late for inclusion in the livret.  A forest interior from the 1830’s (above; Musée d'Orsay, Paris) was paired with the recently completed distant view of Mont Blanc in the Alps. The pointillist like surface treatment (see detail in the collage) fascinated several critics, including Du Camp who compared it to ancient Roman brickwork (opus reticulatum).  
The jury rejected Monet’s eight-foot high Women in the Garden (above; Musée d'Orsay, Paris).