Impressionism: a historical reconstruction
The 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition
On this page you will find information on the organisation, the partakers, the used techniques, the lenders, the reviews and the results of the 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition held in 1876 in Paris. Officially it was called ‘2e exposition de peinture‘. There were 19 partakers showing about 299 art-works, which is more than the 252 catalogue numbers. (See slideshow.) Caillebotte was an important newcomer and one of the organisers. Desboutin, Lepic and Legros were a sort of guests of honour, showing many etchings. Renoir showed paintings in a mature Impressionist style. Fauré and Chocquet were important lenders.
1876, the organisation:
Caillebotte, who joined the expositions for the first time also was one of the principal organisers, together with Degas, Renoir and Rouart (R2,p158). The works were hung grouped by artist.
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1876, the partakers:
The second impressionist exposition had 19+1hc-1=19 partakers showing about 299 art-works, which is more than the 252 catalogue numbers. Apparently Mme de Rambure exhibited without being in the catalogue (R102,p275), but probably she is the same as ‘Jacques François‘, a pseudonym for an unknown woman, who was a newcomer. Guest of honour was Lepic, who had participated in 1874 and now showed the most (=49) art-works. Other guests of honour were the newcomers Desboutin (17 art-works) and Legros (25 art-works). All 3 showed many etchings. The most important new-comer was Caillebotte, who also was one of the principal organisers. Other new-comers were Jean-Baptiste Millet and Tillot (though he stayed unknown he joined 6 of the 8 expositions). Degas, Monet, Morisot, Léon Ottin and Renoir showed more than 15 art-works. Other partakers were: Béliard, Bureau, Cals, Levert, Pissarro, Rouart and Sisley. 7 of the 19 partakers would stop exhibiting at the ‘impressionist’ expositions: Béliard, Bureau, Desboutin, Legros, Lepic, Jean-Baptiste Millet, Léon Ottin.
1876, the used techniques:
Most art-works exhibited were oil paintings. Probably 204, about 68% of the total amount of 299 art-works.
Notable are the many engravings exhibited. Desboutin showed at least 12 engravings, all dry points. Maybe all the 25 art-works of Legros were engravings, with the numbers 81-4 +82 +83-4 +85 +88-1 being dry points and no. 83-5 containing two lithographes. Lepic showed at least 6 and probably 10 etchings. So in total there were probably 47 engravings exhibited, about 16% of the total amount of art-works.
The following partakers exhibited aquarelles: Lepic in total 14 (nos. 124-133); Jean-Baptiste Millet showed at least 5 aquarelles (nos 138-141 +147); Morisot 3 (no.179-181). The technique of Léon Ottin his art-works was not indicated in the catalogue; still it is suggested that 10 works were aquarelles (no.195+196), but it is even possible that all his 22 works were aquarelles; for the counting I assume 10. So in total there were probably 32 aquarelles exhibited, about 11% of the total amount of art-works.
The following partakers exhibited pastels: Degas 1x (no.42); Morisot showed 3 ‘dessins au pastel’ (no.182); Renoir 1 (no.226). So in total there were probably 5 pastels exhibited, about 2% of the total amount of art-works.
The following partakers exhibited drawings: Cals 3x (no.33+34+35); Jean-Baptiste Millet probably showed 2 (sépia) drawings (nos 145+146); Rouart showed 2 drawings, 1 with chinese ink (no.234) and 1 with sépia (no.235). The catalogue indicates that Degas exhibited a drawing (no.59); it is uncertain if it was a pure drawing, still I will count it as such. So in total there were probably 8 drawings exhibited, about 2% of the total amount of art-works.
The following partakers exhibited art-works using mixed techniques: no.51 of Degas consisted of at least 2 art-works, probably it were drawings with thinned oil; for no.54 he used thinned oil (and maybe also for nos 39 +40 +56), but I will count them as normal oil paintings; I do the same for no.55 where the identification is too uncertain. So in total there were probably 3 art-works exhibited made with mixed techniques, about 1% of the total amount of art-works.
The ‘paneau decoratif’ of Monet (no.162) probably was a normal oil painting.
There is discussion if Degas showed a photograph outside the catalogue, but I assume he didn’t.
Was this an impressionist exposition?
Most of the paintings of many partakers still had subdued colours and many greyish, brownish and blackish hues were used. This also applies to Morisot and Pissarro. Namely Monet, Renoir and (partly) Sisley used a mature impressionist painting style. They often used juxta-posed brushstrokes and bright colours, namely see Monet (no.149+152+155+160) and Sisley (no.239+244). For the black coat of Monet (no.220) Renoir used a mix of purple, blue and red hues. In several portraits the model merges with the background (no.200+213+212), in the latter he also used leaves filtered light. Still, he called this work a study, which is not in line with the impressionist conviction that a sketchy painting is the best way of rendering an ever changing moment. Caillebotte still painted in a more realist style.
1876, the lenders:
Many works of Sisley, Renoir, Jean-Baptiste Millet and Monet were loans: 8 out of 10 of Sisley; 12 out of 19 of Renoir; 6 out of 10 of Millet; 10 out of 19 of Monet. Other loans were of Degas (1 out of 24), Lepic (1 out of 49), Léon Ottin (3 out of 22) and Pissarro (1 out of 12). So, in total there had been 42 loans, which is about 14% of all the works exhibited.
The most important lenders were Fauré and Chocquet. Fauré did lend 9 paintings of Monet (nos.148-160) and 1 of Degas (no.37). Victor Chocquet, mostly miswritten as Choquet, did lend 6 paintings of Renoir and 1 of Monet (no.158) and 1 of Pissarro (no.199). Other important lenders were the art-dealers Père Martin, who did lend 4 paintings of Sisley (nos.237+239+240+243) and Georges Petit, who did lend 3 works of Millet (nos.140+141+144). Other lenders were Brame lending 1 work of Millet (no.138), Dollfus lending 2 works of Renoir (nos.217 +220), Durand-Ruel lending 2 paintings of Sisley (nos.241+242), André Gill lending 1 work of Léon Ottin (no.196), Haro lending 2 works of Jean-Baptiste Millet (no.139+143), Arsène Houssaye lending 1 work of Lepic (no.134), Mme Latouche 1 painting of Sisley (no.238), Legrand lending 1 painting of Renoir (no.233) and 1 of Sisley (no.244), Édouard Manet lending 1 work of Renoir (no.224), Poupin lending 2 paintings of Renoir (no.209+219). There were also anonymous lenders: for Léon Ottin L.M. (no.188) and Mme O. (no.193).
There were more reviews (about 100) in the press, about 1/2 positive and 1/2 negative. Most of them focusing on the sketch-like lack of finish of the paintings and not on the newness of suburban subjects. The art-critics use equally the terms ‘impressionists‘ and ‘intransigeants‘, see. (R2,p145+157+158)
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1876, the results:
Financially it was relatively successful, but there were less visitors. Fewer visitors attended this exhibition than the first (so let’s say about 3.000). The partaking artists had to pay a contribution of 120 franc. (R2,p158) The rent was 3.000 franc (R5,p97).
Though held in the Durand-Ruel galleries the artists had to finance the costs themselves (R3,p192). The partaking artists received their contribution of 120 franc back, together with a dividend of 3 franc (R2,p158; R5,p97; R3,p193). A total of 2337 franc. Considering the lesser amount of visitors this probably implicates that there were more works sold of which the artist paid commission.
My main sources are Moffett (1986=R2=aR1), Berson (1996=R90), Dayez (1974=R87=aR2), Rewald (1973=R1), Walther (2013=R3), Roe (2006=R4), Denvir (1993=R5), Monneret (1978-81=R88), Adler (1998=R89). See the link for other general References (=Rx) and to the internet references (=iRx). See here below for additional references (=aRx). See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.
Additional references (=aRx):
- archive.org//t7cr6bg0d (Online version of Moffett: The New Painting, 1986 =R2=iR19)
- impressionistarts.com/second (webpage on the 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition; =iR374)
Recommanded citation: “Impressionism, a historical reconstruction: The 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1876; general info. Last modified 2023/09/25. https://www.impressionism.nl/1876-expo-info/.”
Note: More info will be added.