Salon de 1880

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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 7,289 entries (the largest Salon ever held in France) in the livret.  The dimensions of works were included with each entry and artists exempt from the jury process and from consideration for medals were exhibited in separate galleries.

The excerpt from Renoir’s 1881 letter to the art dealer Durand-Ruel underscored the importance of the Salons for an artist’s career.   
Works in the collage are aligned with an illustrated catalog and review published by Goupil & Cie (above). Goupil was a major commercial art gallery in Paris with branches in New York and London.  They also produced reproductive prints. Multiple writers contributed reviews, including Huysmans on still life painting (see 1879 Salon). Reviewers covered most all of the works in the collage and some were illustrated with photogravures (a photoengraving process). Below are photogravures of a military painting by Jules Girardet (top) and an animal subject by Édouard Bisson not included in the collage (bottom).   

Huysmans described Vollon’s painting of a pumpkin as turgid, swollen, apoplectic, smeared with cinnabar and orange, like a ball of fire flaming in the night of the painting, exploding in the middle of the anemic paintings which surround it, crushing everything around it.

The critic who reviewed history painting found the ghost-like saints communicating with Joan of Arc in Bastien-Lepage’s painting out of place in the otherwise very naturalistic work.  

Dantan’s genre painting of a sculptor’s studio was a hit with another ‘Goupil’ critic, in large part due to the strong/effective contrasts of black and white tones.  

The reviewer of nudes was distracted by the excessive décor and details in Cabanel’s lovesick Phaedra.

Antonin Proust was a friend of Édouard Manet and appointed Minister of Fine Arts in 1881.  

Claude Monet was not mentioned in the landscape section of the Goupil catalog and Rodin was grouped with young inexperienced sculptors in need of better skills.