2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition 1876



Impressionism: a historical reconstruction

The 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition


General info

The 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition:
There were 19 partakers showing about 298 art-works, which is more than the 252 catalogue numbers. (See slideshow.) Officially it was called the ‘2e exposition de peinture‘. Caillebotte was an important newcomer and one of the organisers. Lepic was a sort of guest of honour, showing far out the most (49) art-works, more than 16% of the whole. Many etchings and aquarelles were exhibited. Renoir showed paintings in a mature Impressionist style. Faure and Chocquet were important lenders. 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.

1876, the organisation:
Caillebotte, who joined the ‘impressionist’ expositions for the first time also was one of the principal organisers, together with Degas, Renoir and Rouart. The works were hung grouped by artist. It was held in the galleries of Durand-Ruel spread over three rooms, 11, Rue le Peletier in Paris. It was held in April (from 1-30).
Note: more info will be added.
Sources: R2,p146+158+160; R90I,p47; iR417;.

1876, the partakers:
The second impressionist exposition had 19+1hc-1=19* partakers showing about 298 art-works, which is more than the 252 catalogue numbers. (See slideshow.) Apparently Mme de Rambure exhibited without being in the catalogue (R102,p275), but probably she was 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 (20 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 many 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.
Note*: some sources state there were 20 partakers, but this is not specified (iR426).

1876, the used techniques:
See link for an overview of the used techniques.
Most art-works exhibited were oil paintings. Probably 200, about 67,1% of the total amount of 298 art-works. (See slideshow.) Legros probably didn’t show oil paintings.

Notable were the many engravings exhibited by 3 partakers. Desboutin showed at least 12+1hc=13 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 7 and probably 11 etchings (nos 134-137). So in total there were probably 49 engravings exhibited, about 16,4% of the total amount of art-works.

The following 4 partakers exhibited aquarelles: Lepic in total 16 (nos. 124-133; note: no.124 contained 5 aquarelles; no.126+127 each two); 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 34 aquarelles exhibited, about 11,4% of the total amount of art-works.

The following 3 partakers exhibited pastels: Degas 1x (no.42); Morisot showed 3 ‘dessins au pastel’ (no.182); Renoir 1 (no.226). So in total there were 5 pastels  exhibited, about 1,7% of the total amount of art-works.

The following 4 partakers exhibited drawings: Cals 3x (no.33+34+35); Degas 1x (no.59); 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). So in total there were probably 8 drawings exhibited, about 2% of the total amount of art-works.

Probably Degas used for some of his oil paintings mixed techniques. for no.56 (not exhibited) he used thinned oil, probably also for no.54 and maybe also for no. 39 +40; I discern works made with thinned oil (essence), but I count them as oil paintings. A review indicated no.44 of Degas as a grisaille and no.55 maybe was a pastel over monotype, but because the identification is too uncertain, I will count them all as oil paintings. No.51 of Degas consisted of at least 2 art-works, probably it were drawings enhanced with thinned oil and pastel; I count them as mixed techniques. So in total there were probably 2 art-works exhibited made with mixed techniques, less than 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?
When we see Impressionism as a painting style, was this exposition in 1876 than 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), 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).

1876, reviews:
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:
The exhibition was financed by Rouart (iR318). 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.


General sources:
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):

  1. archive.org//t7cr6bg0d (Online version of Moffett: The New Painting, 1986 =R2=iR19)
  2. culture.gouv.fr//1876 (extended article on the 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition; =iR424)
  3. applebooks.apple.com//1876 second impressions (preview of Robert Cormican: In 1876: second impressions. 2014.)
  4. www.youtube.com//art_101_1876 (video on the 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition by Mr. Burgher with extended info, beautiful pictures and irritating clips)
  5. magrasku.de/zweite_impressionisten-ausstellung (page in German on the 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition; =iR59)
  6. commons.wikimedia.org//second impressionist exhibition (some pictures that have been exhibited; =iR6)
  7. 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 2024/02/24. https://www.impressionism.nl/2nd-impressionist-exposition-1876/.”


Note: More info will be added.