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A historical reconstruction

1874 – 1886


The impressionists are known for the independent group expositions they held from 1874 – 1886 in Paris.
Step into the shoes of the people who visited these expositions about 150 years ago.
See the about 2000 art-works they saw and meet the 57 partaking ‘impressionists’ of which many are (quite) forgotten.

And enjoy the beauty of Impressionism !

This website contains more than 350 pages and about 5000 pictures
and is still growing.


What art-works were exhibited?
During the 8 expositions from 1874-1886 the partaking ‘impressionists’ did exhibit around 2000 art-works. Still in books and websites on Impressionism you will find just a limited selection of these works. Of about 900 it is (quite) clear which art-works were exhibited (R90II). Of the other art-works it is unclear  (see also identification of paintings). Still, I want to give an impression of these 2000 art-works as much as possible. So, also unknown works of the well known ‘impressionists’ and as much as possible works of the unknown ‘impressionists’. Many suggestions done, will stay (very) uncertain, but it will give an extended impression of these expositions and not just a well known selection. In this way I want to render a historical reconstruction of these 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions, that influenced art-history. I hope you can enjoy the beauty of them!
You will find the pictures in the sub-menu’s of the artists in the left (or bottom) menu. (This work is almost finished).


Who were the 57 partaking ‘impressionists’?
The best tribute one can pay to the memory of a talented artist is to make his work known.
F. C. de Syène (1879/05/01) (R90I,p243)

There were 56 partakers mentioned in the catalogues of the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions. It is known that in 1874 Comtesse de Luchaire and in 1886 Comtesse de Rambure also exhibited outside the catalogue (=hc). But probably the latter exhibited in 1876 and 1877 under the pseudonym Jacques François. So in total there were 56+2hc-1=57 partakers. In the left (or bottom) menu  you will find short biographies of all these artists. (Almost finished)
When you look in books and on websites about Impressionism, you will find a lot of information and pictures of (according to Duret=R142) the 5 key Impressionists: Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley. And also of Caillebotte and Cassatt and of Degas (who was more a Realist), Cézanne and Gauguin (who were more Post-Impressionists), Seurat and Signac (who were Neo-Impressionists) and also of -/-Manet, who never joined the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions and just sometimes used an impressionist painting style. In these sources you will hardly find information and pictures of the other 45 partakers of the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions. This sadly was also the case in the centennial exhibition of 1974 (R87), the centennial of 1986 (R2) and partly also in the additional catalogue of Berson (R90II).


2024: Rehabilitation of 45 forgotten ‘impressionists’?
Some call all these other partakers incapable amateur-painters or retarded Salon-painters (R90I,p19;R87,p270). But is this true? A goal of this website is to rehabilitate all these other partakers and to show as much pictures as possible of them, so that you can judge for yourself: Are their art-works beautiful or not? And: Were they Realists, Pre-Impressionists, Impressionists or something else?
I hope that in exhibitions that will be organised in 2024 (150 years after the 1st impressionist exposition) justice will be done to Rouart, Guillaumin, Tillot, Cals, Vignon, Zandomeneghi, Levert, Forain, who frequently did partake in the expositions. But also to Béliard, Boudin, Marie Bracquemond, Colin, Cordey, Lebourg, Lépine, Maureau, De Nittis, Piette, Schuffenecker, who all made beautiful impressionist art-works.


All about the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions:
On this website, in the top menu, you will find all kinds of information about the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions held in Paris from 1874-1886, including Why are they called ‘impressionist’ expositions? You will also find per year who were the partakers, the catalogues and in the future I will render several -/- overviews.


Were all the partakers Impressionists?
The key question is: were all these 57 partakers of the expositions from 1874-86 Impressionists? The answers on this question for all the 57 partakers you will find in the left (or bottom) menu. I distinguish between Impressionism as an art-movement in France from about 1860-1900 and Impressionism as a painting style. See also in the top menu under Impressionism. But why were the Impressionists called ‘impressionists’ anyway, see?
In the top menu I also will give answers (in the future) to the following questions: Who were the -/-main Impressionists? Impressionists can also be seen as -/-circles of friends. Who was part of which circle? What were +/-meeting places? When and where did they have contacts (rendered in a -/-chronology)?


The Salon:
A main caracteristic of the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions was, that they were independent of the Paris Salon. The Salon was a large, yearly exhibition in Paris. Without the Paris Salon it was hard to get yourself known as painter and to sell your pictures. Many books and websites suggest that the ‘impressionists’ were mostly rejected for the Salon and that they were opposed to it. But in reality the relationship of many Impressionists with the Salon was ambivalent. Many partakers of the ‘impressionist’ expositions often did exhibit at the Salon. Even with beautiful impressionist paintings, see for example Sisley.
In the left (or bottom) menu you will find what works the ‘impressionists’ did exhibit at the Salon (=S) and its successor the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français (=SdAF) and its alternative the Salon de la Société des Beaux-Arts (=SNBA). In the top menu you will find also info on other salons, like the Expositions Universelle, the Salon des Refusés, the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne.
Note: additional info and pictures will be added in the future on several of these pages.


Other exhibitions:
Apart from the Salon and their own expositions, the ‘impressionists’ had other possibilities to exhibit their works. You will find in the left (or bottom) menu what paintings they exhibited at other expositions. In the top menu you will also find general information of the other exhibitions: In Paris (at La Vie Moderne, at the galleries of Durand-Ruel and Georges Petit), at regional exhibitions, in Brussels (at the exhibitions of Les XX and La Libre Esthétique) and at other internationale exhibitions. Very interesting is to see who of the partakers also did exhibit at the so called (international) impressionist exhibitions.
Note: additional info and pictures will be added in the future on several of these pages.


The Impressionists didn’t live on an island, so I want to give short information about their surroundings. This surrounding world I call Meta-Impressionism. Here you will find info about the École des Beaux-Arts, earlier art-movements (like Neo-Classicism and Romanticism), art-dealers and other items. You will find info about the pre-impressionists who inspired the impressionist like the the Barbizon painters. There were artists who were active at the same time as the ‘impressionist’ and who used some elements of the impressionist painting style. Some were even invited to partake in the ‘impressionist’ expositions. I call these artists Para-Impressionists. It is interesting to see what were the similarities and the differences between them and the Impressionists. In the future you will also find info on the Neo-Impressionists and the Post-Impressionists. All this info you will find in the top menu.
Note: additional info and pictures will be added in the future on several of these pages.


The information on this website is accounted for:
The information on this website is based on extended research. I prudently make clear the sources I have used, because I like to honour these sources. It will also give you the possibility to check my assertions and to continue your personal research. In the top menu you will find a ‘general account‘. In the the sub-menu’s you will find general references (=R) to sources in books; references to internet pages (=iR); and references to Musea (=M). In the blog you can follow the development of the website, which pages were created and altered.
For a good understanding of this website, it is recommanded to first read the practical hints and the meaning of the abbreviations (see). And also to read the explanation of the subscription that is used below the paintings.


Sorted information and pictures:
There are many webpages about Impressionism and the Impressionist artists. Many pages are with (irritating) advertisements. Many pages are limited to the well-known ‘impressionists’. On many websites the information is fragmented. On many webpages the information about the pictures is limited or unclear. On many webpages the used sources are not indicated.
On this website you will find free, sorted information about Impressionism and the ‘impressionist’ artists (also of the unknown). My aim is to render about 6000 pictures. My mission is that this information and the beauty of these pictures are accessible for everyone in the world. Also for those who are not able to buy (several) books, go to museums and exhibitions and travel around the world to Paris or New York.
If you want to know more about Impressionism, you will find on this website an abundance of links (in a sorted way): to more pictures (see for example: iR49-iR58); to digital books (R130-139); to online Catalogues Raisonnés (iR180-iR194); to online old publications (R140-159); to online catalogues of auctions and exhibitions (R230-R259); and much more, see the general references (=Rx) and the internet references (=iRx). On the pages on the Salons and the other exhibitions you will also find many links to original catalogues of exhibitions.


Please share pictures, information and reactions:
Many works of the (unknown) ‘impressionists’ are in private collections. Of these works there are often no pictures available or only of poor quality. If you have (better) pictures of these lesser known works, please share them with me. Of the unknown ‘impressionists’ there is also limited information available. Please share information, that is not (easy) to be found on the internet. I will use the pictures and information to complete this website. Please also share your reactions on this website. Maybe you notice some of the information is not correct or complete. Maybe you have remarks on the lay-out, the readability and workability of this website.  Maybe you just want to share your reaction. For all these reactions you can use the email you will find in the general account. Thanks!


Please donate:
The making of this website costs money and a lot of time. If you want to contribute to the realisation of this website please make a donation. You can use the PayPal botton here below. On every page you can find the button in the top of the left menu (or at the bottom). For more info see the general account.   


Future plans:
I have many ideas for the future:

  • Make thematical overviews of the art-works of the unknown ‘impressionists’ of whom I can find less than 100 pictures. And then linking these pictures to the titles that are known (from exhibitions, auctions, books, etc). See for example Astruc and Cordey.
  • Share the beauty of Impressionism on Social Media.
  • Make a historical reconstruction of what works the ‘impressionists’ and others exhibited at the Salon, at its successor the Salon de la Société des Artistes-Français and at other exhibitions, focusing on the years 1874-1886.
  • 2024: show a slideshow that give a historical reconstruction of what art-works were exhibited at the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition held in Paris from 1874.
  • give series of lectures about the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions
  • Publish online a serie of short educational video’s with as main theme: new impressions of Impressionism.
  • Uploading pictures of the ‘impressionists’ to Google-maps on the exact location of where they were painted.
  • Make a historical reconstruction of the international impressionist exhibitions held from 1882-1914. What artists did partake? What works were exhibited?
  • Establish a foundation in which to house all these activities.


Start enjoying !



Recommanded citation: “Impressionism: a historical reconstruction of the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions (1874-1886), home page. Last modified 2022/12/29. https://www.impressionism.nl/ .”