Salon de 1875

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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 3,862 entries in the livret and a fourth Salon des Refusés listing 290 works.  

The Paris Opera House designed by Charles Garnier was inaugurated on January 15, 1875 with much fanfare.  A print of the grand staircase occupies the collage background (above also).  Several decorative works for the Palais Garnier were listed in the un-numbered catalog section devoted to public monuments/works, including Isidore Alexandre Pils’ allegorical paintings above the grand staircase (below).
Highlights from the exhibition are arranged in alphabetical order as they appeared in the livret.  

Bastien-Lepage’s painting of a young girl’s first communion was a Salon hit, while Manet’s painting of a boatman and a woman seated on a bench was mostly ridiculed. The work was at least partly painted out of doors, or en plein air. The work was caricatured in a print (above) with the following caption: We thank…M. Manet for having injected a happy note in this rather sad Salon. On a more positive note, critic Jules Castagnary thought it was much better and more interesting than Cabanel’s Old Testament seduction/rape of Tamar by her half-brother (below; 
Musée d'Orsay, Paris).  
Auguste Rodin had unsuccessfully submitted two versions of his Man with a Broken Nose to previous Salons.  This more highly worked/finished marble was accepted by the jury, but Rodin ended up disappointed as suggested in a letter from one of his friends quoted in the collage.   

Although Falguière was primarily known as a sculptor (see 1873 Salon), he also had ambitions to be a painter.  He may have intended his Wrestlers to prove that he was accomplished at both.