5th ‘impressionist’ exposition 1880



Impressionism: a historical reconstruction

The 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition


General info

The 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition:
Tthe 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition held in 1880 in Paris had 19 partakers who showed about 309 art-works, which is much more than the 232 catalogue numbers. Just about 51,8% of the exhibited art-works were oil paintings, 26,2% were etchings. (See slideshow). There were 4 new-comers, including Jean-Francois Raffaëlli, who exhibited far out the most (46) art-works. Many partakers showed paintings made in a more or less impressionist style or at least landscapes made in a pre-impressionist style. On this page you will find information on the organisation, the partakers, the used techniques, the lenders, the reviews and the results of the 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition.

1880, the organisation / special features:
This year Monet also was absent, following Renoir and Sisley submitting to the Salon. Jean-Francois Raffaëlli, who did partake for the first time and with far out the most (46) works, is called Monet his successor. Just about 51,8% of the exhibited art-works were oil paintings, 26,2% were etchings. (See slideshow). The catalogue simple calls it the fifth exposition, the poster adds ‘par un groupe d’artistes indépendants’. On this poster the names of Marie Bracquemond, Cassatt, Morisot and Jean-Marius Raffaëlli are absent. Notably are the many etching that were exhibited, many of them were intended for the failed journal ‘Le jour et la nuit’, wherein Cassatt, Degas, Forain and Pissarro would take part and probably also Caillebotte, Morisot, Lebourg, Jean-Francois Raffaëlli and others. Degas played an active role in the planning. There were many rooms occupied by the works of one or a few artists. The exposition was held 1-30 April at 10, Rue des Pyramides in Paris. (The poster added: à l’angle de la Rue Saint-Honoré).
It was held on the mezzanine of an unfinished building; the many rooms were noisy, small and poorly lit.
Sources: R2,p259 +294 +296 +297 +308 +310-314; R3,p229; R5,p119; R84,235-245; BeraldiXI,p57=R85; R90I,p259.

1880, the partakers:
The 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition had 19 partakers exhibiting about 309 art-works, which is much more than the 232 catalogue numbers. New-comers were Jean-Francois Raffaëlli, Jean-Marius Raffaëlli, Vidal and Vignon. Several partakers who first joined in 1879 continued exhibiting in 1880: Marie BracquemondCassattForain, GauguinLebourg and Zandomeneghi. Other partakers were Félix Bracquemond, Caillebotte, DegasGuillaumin, Levert, Morisot, Pissarro, Rouart and Tillot. For the following 4 artists it would be the last time they joined the ‘impressionist’ expositions:  Félix Bracquemond, Lebourg, Levert and Jean-Marius Raffaëlli.

1880, the used techniques:
See link for an overview of the used techniques. See also the link for a slideshow.

Most art-works exhibited were oil paintings. Probably 160, of the exhibited art-works were oil paintings, this is just about 51,8% of the total amount of about 309 art-works. Jean-François Raffaëlli, Guillaumin and Tillot showed each more than 20 oil paintings.
Note: I count the painting on cement (no.136) of Pissarro as an oil painting. It is uncertain which techniques Jean-François Raffaëlli used for his 3 works exhibited outside the catalogue, but I will count them as oil paintings. I assume the studies and sketches of Tillot were made of oil, but this could easily be otherwise (no.204+205). I assume hc1 of Degas was an oil painting.

Many (8) partakers exhibited engravings: Félix Bracquemond maybe 25x (no.5); Cassatt 10x (nos.25-32); Degas maybe 8x (no44); Forain 2x (no.53+54); Levert at least 2x (no.112); Pissarro 18x (nos.139-143); Jean-François Raffaëlli at least 10x (no.164+166+167); Jean-Marius Raffaëlli 6x (no.180). So in total there were about 81 engravings exhibited, 26,2% of the total amount of art-works.

The following 4 partakers exhibited aquarelles: Morisot 4x (nos.123-126); Jean-François Raffaëlli 7x (no.147+152+158+161+168+171+179); Rouart 8x (nos.185-192); probably Forain showed 8 watercolours / gouaches instead of the 6 drawings the catalogue indicated (nos.47-52); note: no.52 probably contained at least 3 works. So in total there were probably 27 aquarelles exhibited, about 8,7% of the total amount of art-works.

The following 4 partakers exhibited pastels: Caillebotte 3x (no.14-16); Guillaumin 4x (nos.81-84); Jean-François Raffaëlli 3x (no.153+159+165); the catalogue indicated that Degas showed 3 pastels (nos.38+39+40); but probably no.41 also was a pastel and (1 or) 2 of the drawings (no.43) and hc3; so maybe Degas exhibited 7 pastels. So in total there were probably 17 pastels exhibited, about 5,5% of the total amount of art-works.

The following 4 partakers exhibited drawings: Lebourg 10x (nos.95-104); Jean-François Raffaëlli 1x (no.175); the catalogue doesn’t render a technique for no.4 of Félix Bracquemond, but reviews indicate it was a drawing (note: there are also etchings of this portrait); of no.42+43 of Degas each contained at least 2 ‘dessins’, but as reviews noted probably (1 or) 2 of them were pastels, so I assume Degas showed 2 drawings. So in total there were probably 14 drawings exhibited, about 4,5% of the total amount of art-works.
Note: probably the drawings of Forain were watercolours or gouaches so I won’t count them here (nos.47-52).

The following 2 partakers exhibited art-works using mixed techniques: no. hc2 of Degas probably was made of pastel and tempera; Jean-François Raffaëlli used a mix of aquarelle and pastel 2x (no.155+157). So in total there were probably 3 art-works exhibited made with mixed techniques, about 1% of the total amount of art-works.

Gauguin showed a marble bust (no.62) and was the only one who showed a sculpture, because Degas didn’t show his little his dancer (no.34). So in total there was just 1 sculpture exhibited, less than 1% of the total amount of art-works.

The following partakers exhibited fans: Morisot 1x (no.127); Pissarro 1x (no.138); Zandomeneghi 4x (nos.229-232). So in total there were 6 fans exhibited, about 2% of the total amount of art-works.

Some of the above mentioned art-works can also be seen as applied art. This includes the above mentioned fans. Félix Bracquemond showed engravings for the decoration of earthenware and porcelain services (no.5), it maybe contained 25 etchings. Probably some ‘dessins’ of Forain were aquarelle bookillustrations (attributed to no.52). 


Was this an impressionist exposition?
When we see Impressionism as a painting style, was this exposition in 1880 than an impressionist exposition? No, in the sense that after Renoir and Sisley now also Monet had left the ‘impressionist’ expositions behind. Instead Jean-François Raffaëlli had joined the group, who stands in a more Realist tradition. But I don’t agree Rewald who states it was ‘no longer an impressionist show’ (R1,p439). Caillebotte, Cassatt, Gauguin, Guillaumin, Lebourg, maybe Levert, Morisot, Pissarro, Rouart, Tillot, Vignon and Zandomeneghi showed several works more or less made in an impressionist painting style or at least landscapes made in a pre-impressionist style.

1880, the lenders:
Several works were loans: of Degas (3 out of 22), of Forain (1 out of 12), of Guillaumin (5 out of 26), of Pissarro (2 out of 29), of Jean-François Raffaëlli (14 out of 46), of Vignon (2 out of 9). So, in total there had been 27 loans, which is about 9% of all the 309 works exhibited.
The lenders were: Aguiar (no.71 of Guillaumin; Bonnet (no. 70 of Guillaumin); Jules Claretie (no.172 of Raffaëlli; Doucet no.138 (of Pissarro) and no. 152 (of Raffaëlli); Mme Durand (no.145 of Raffaëlli); Duranty (no.175 of Raffaëlli); Mme G. (no.81 of Guillaumin); Gauguin (no.128 of Pissarro); Heilbuth (no.162+163 of Raffaëlli); Joris-Karl Huysmans (no.154 of Raffaëlli); L. (no.41 of Degas); Levallois (no.148 of Raffaëlli); Mll. V. de M. (no.45 of Raffaëlli); Père Martin (no.222 of Vignon); Massé (no.177 of Raffaëlli); Ernest May no.35 + 40 (of Degas) and no.161 ( of Raffaëlli); Murat (no.224 of Vignon); Parard (no.76 of Guillaumin); Perrinet (no. 64 of Guillaumin); Mll. C. S. (no.178 of Raffaëlli); Salomon (no.150 of Raffaëlli); S. T. (no.169 of Raffaëlli); Taigny (no.94 of Raffaëlli). (R90II,p285-294)

1880, reviews:
The 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition was not well received by most art-critics (R2,p293). They criticised the lack of vision and unity. Ephrussi reviewed ‘Around these art radicals came a few artists whose place would have been at the Salon, and who preferred the hospitality of the Independents. The opportunity to exhibit a greater number of works, the hope of easier success … determined this emigration from the Champs-Élyssées to the Rue des Pyramides. … the strong flavor of impressionist productions only makes colorless, accentless works more dull, and mediocrity looks all the more mediocre for it.’ (R90I,p279;R2,p294).  Raffaëlli and Morisot were most reviewed (R2,p297). Raffaëlli was called the successor of Monet who exhibited at the Salon again (R2,p308). The intense use of colour ‘where there should be just a little colour, a hardly noticeable nuance’, was criticised (R2,p296).

1880, the results:
There were not much visitors (R5,p119). I couldn’t find data on the costs and the profits.


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//1880 (extended article on the 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition; =iR424)
  3. magrasku.de/fünfte_impressionisten-ausstellung (page in German on the 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition; =iR59)
  4. impressionistarts.com/fifth (webpage on the 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition; =iR374)
  5. x


Recommanded citation: “Impressionism, a historical reconstruction: The 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1880; general info. Last modified 2024/02/14. https://www.impressionism.nl/5th-impressionist-exposition-1880/.”

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