Salon de 1876

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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 4,033 entries in the livret, even though artists were once again limited to submitting two works.  

The collage includes artists and works that Émile Zola believed expressed the sign of the times (donnaient le ton à l’époque).  The critic acknowledged the difficulty with classification systems but still followed a more or less traditional scheme/sorting from grand paintings to landscapes.  

According to Zola:  

Puvis de Chavannes was the only true grand painter; Doré’s work (today apparently lost) left him with the impression of an enormous colored stain (the 1947 photograph in the collage is distorted because the large work was on the floor of a New York warehouse);  Cabanel was a harmful influence on young artists and proof of the banality of the Academy;  Henner displayed a total absence of originality;  and the Realist/Naturalist Vollon triumphed/succeeded with his Juno disguised as a fisherwoman.

According to Zola:     

Fantin La Tour’s homage to the composer Hector Berlioz was highly original in terms of concept and execution; the serpentine pose of actress Sarah Bernhardt in Clairin’s portrait was physically impossible; and rich fabrics and accessories too often seduced Carolus-Duran.

According to Zola:  

Viewers had to stand in line to see Firmin-Girard’s flower market; Vibert specialized in ecclesiastic anecdotes; Garnier specialized in sensational anecdotes; Detaille specialized in anecdotes of war (below); and Toulmouche produced little more than fashion illustrations (gravures de modes).

According to Zola:  

Moreau’s original interpretations of traditional literary/historical themes were unique in seeking deeper meanings. Fromentin’s arab’s are overly elegant/stylish (de chic) and although the great landscape painters Corot, Dupré, and Rousseau are deceased, Charles Daubigny maintains that tradition.

The jury refused Manet’s works, but they were on exhibit in his studio.

Zola did not discuss sculpture. Paul Dubois won the grand medal of honor in that medium for figures representing military courage and charity (below left and right; Musée Paul Dubois-Alfred Boucher, Nogent-sur-Seine).