impressionist expositions: applied art



Impressionism, a historical reconstruction:

The ‘impressionist’ expositions

1874 – 1886

Applied Art

An overview

At the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions held from 1874-1886 in Paris there was also applied art exhibited. Most often they were engravings or drawings meant for book illustrations or porcelain designs (also mentioned on the page on the other techniques). But it also included enamel ornaments and other forms of applied art. At another page you will find the 35 fans that were exhibited, also a form of applied art. In total there were about 34 bookillustrations shown, maybe 27 designs for earthenware, 6 other forms of applied art and maybe 4 illustrations for newpapers. So, a total of maybe 71 art-works and when we include the 35 fans of 106 art-works, which is about 5% of the total amount of art-works exhibited at the ‘impressionist’ expositions.


Various forms of applied art:

Léon Ottin in 1874:
In 1874 at the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition Léon Ottin exhibited a curtain made for a theater (no.132), for which I couldn’t find a suggestion:
1IE-1874-132,  La fête chez Thérèse, projet de rideau de théâtre.

Forain in 1879:
In 1879 at the 4th ‘impressionist’ exposition Jean-Louis Forain exhibited 2 screens (no.105+106), both loans by Alphonse Daudet, for which I couldn’t find suggestions:
4IE-1879-105, Un écran; appartient à M. Alphonse Daudet
4IE-1879-106, Un écran; appartient à M. Alphonse Daudet

Henry Somm in 1879:
Henry Somm made many bookillustrations; illustrations for newspapers and magazines; designs for programs, menus, invitations, visiting cards, vignettes, almanacs and also was involved in performance art. In 1879 Henry Somm showed two Calenders.
4IE-1879-228, Calendrier de 1878, gravure à la pointe sèche
4IE-1879-229, Calendrier de 1879, gravure à la pointe sèche

Forain in 1881:
In 1881 at the 6th ‘impressionist’ exposition Jean-Louis Forain showed 4 drawings, which were untitled and not reviewed. From 1876-1925 Forain made illustrations for several newspapers (R43,p57; R50,p64;R88;aR4;aR21,p12), especially for ‘Le Courrier Français’ (since 1887)  and ‘Le Figaro’ (1891-1924; R43,p7+19;R50,p27+36;R88;aR4). His illustrations were brought together in ‘La Comédie parisienne’ (1892) ‘Les temps difficiles’ (1893), ‘Doux pays’ (1897), ‘De la Marne au Rhine’ (1920). Behind the satirical humor of his illustrations Forain was a moralist (R43,p8), he revealed the truth of the political and social life of France (aR21,p12). Maybe Forain showed in 1881 some of these illustrations. But maybe it were just rendom drawings.
6IE-1881-26, Dessin
6IE-1881-27, Dessin
6IE-1881-28, Dessin
6IE-1881-29, Dessin

Zandomeneghi in 1881:
In 1881 Zandomeneghi exhibited a Panel for a dining room (no.160), a loan by an unknown mister G., for which I couldn’t find a suggestion:
6IE-1881-169,  Panneau pour une salle à manger; appartient à M. G.


Meyer showed enamels in 1874:
At the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874 Alfred Meyer showed 5 enamel art-works (nos.87-91). I assume they were ornaments and jewellery, so applied art. For no.90+91 I render 2 very uncertain suggestions in black and white. I also render some of the few enamel works known by Alfred Meyer just to compare:
1IE-1874-87,   Étienne Marcel prévôt des marchands, émail
1IE-1874-88,   Dona Maria Pacheco, épouse de Don Juan de Padilla, chef de l’insurrection, qui avait pris le nom de Sainte Ligue des communes sous Charles-Quint, email.
1IE-1874-89,   Le Firmament, d’après Emile Lévy, émail
1IE-1874-90,   Figure d’après Raphaël, émail
1IE-1874-91,   Figure d’après Raphaël, émail


Earthenware and porcelain services:

Marie Bracquemond in 1879:
In 1879 at the 4th ‘impressionist’ exposition Marie Bracquemond showed a large cardboard which was used for a painting on earthenware / faience made for the Haviland earthenware factory. Her husband also was involved in this painting.
4IE-1879-1, Les Muses des Arts (Carton ayant servi pour une peinture sur faïence); appartient à M. Haviland

Marie Bracquemond also showed an untitled earthenware plate (no.2), for which I render 2 uncertain options:
4IE-1879-2,    Un plat de faïence (peinture mate)

Félix Bracquemond in 1880:
In 1880 at the 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition Félix Bracquemond showed engravings for the decoration of earthenware and porcelain services:
5IE-1880-5, Eaux-fortes pour décoration de services de faïence et de porcelaine.
It is unsure how many engravings he showed and for which tableware, but I assume it was made for the Rousseau service↑ and that Félix Bracquemond showed 25 engravings.


The most common form of applied art that was to be seen at the ‘impressionist’ expositions were bookillustrations.

Félix Bracquemond in 1874:
In 1874 Félix Bracquemond showed at the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition a design for the tomb of Théophile Gautier, which was meant for a book:
1IE-1874-24-10, Portrait de M. Th. Gautier (le Tombeau), eau-forte.
He also showed an unpublished frontispiece for Baudelaire’s novel Les Fleurs du Mal:
1IE-1874-27-2, Frontispice pour les Fleurs du mal
He also showed an etch, that was probably made after the novel Capitaine Fracasse (1863) of Théophile Gautier:
1IE-1874-27-5, La mort de matamore (Capitaine Fracasse)

Degas in 1877:
In 1877 at the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition Edgar Degas showed ‘drawings’ which were bookillustrations for Monsieur et Madame Cardinal by Ludovic Halévy. He made them with monotype sometimes enhanced with pastel.

3IE-1877-58, Dessins faits à l’encre grasse et imprimés
3IE-1877-59, Dessins faits à l’encre grasse et imprimés
3IE-1877-60, Dessins faits à l’encre grasse et imprimés

Henry Somm in 1879:
In 1879 at the 4th ‘impressionist’ exposition Henry Somm also showed pen-and-ink drawings to illustrate the Livre des Baisers (book of kisses), by V. Billaud. They were shown within 1 frame.
4IE-1879-230, 1 Cadre, dessins à la plume pour servir à l’illustration du Livre des Baisers, de V. Billaud

Forain in 1880:
In 1880 at the 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition Jean-Louis Forain showed several drawings. A review of Huysmans refers to a book of  watercolours with poems of Verlaine (R90II,p149): ‘In a different order of ideas, a book of watercolours, illustrating a poem by Verlaine, is singular and sinister. It’s called the walk of the vagabond in the Country (‘la Promenade du voyou à la campagne’). (R90I,p290). Berson relates it arbitrary to no.52 in the catalogue and renders 3 black and white pictures (R90II,p164+149):
5IE-1880-52, Dessin

Lucien Pissarro in 1886:
Lucien Pissarro illustrated and printed several books (R9;iR24;aR8;iR3). In 1894 (or: 1895): Lucien started of the Eragny press together with his wife Esther. It would last till World War I in 1914. Lucien published between 32 and 35 books.
In 1886 at the 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition Lucien Pissarro showed maybe 13 watercolours illustrated for Il était une bergère. I render 11 mostly black and white pictures.
8IE-1886-116, Projet d’illustration de « Il était une bergère » (aquarelle)

In 1886 Lucien Pissarro also showed illustrations for Mait’Liziard, a novel by Octave Mirbeau. It is unknown how many woodengravings he showed. I render 5.
8IE-1886-122, Illustration de Mait’Liziard (nouvelle de M. Octave Mirbeau); gravure sur bois.


Stained glass windows:
Stained glass windows are also a form of applied art. Léon Ottin showed several designs for stained glass windows at the Salon, but not at the ‘impressionist’ expositions.


Recommanded citation: Impressionism: Applied art at the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions (1874-1886). Last modified 2024/02/11.”