For getting known as an artist and selling your works the official Paris Salon was very important. With there own expositions the Impressionists tried to find an alternative way. But were there also other possibilities? Yes there were. On this page you’ll find some basic information on these other exhibitions. Each theme is started with a short summary. My main sources are the lexicon of Walther (R3,p642-705) and the data of Denvier (R5). For the additional sources see general references.
Were the expositions of the Impressionists the first independent exhibitions (R3,p7)?
Summary: Before and after 1874 there were several groups of artists who held exhibitions and also artists, like Courbet and Manet, who held solo exhibitions
- 1850: Boudin exhibits two works with the ‘Société des amis des arts du Havre’ (R3,p649)
- 1855: being partly refused by the Salon Courbet held a solo exhibition under the name ‘Pavillon du Réalisme’ at the Avenue Montaigne; it was a financial faillure (R63,p116; R59,p142; R3,p60)
- Already in 1860 the ‘Cercle L’Union artistique‘ was founded; co-founders were Degas and Lepic (R3); this union held lectures, concerts and exhibitions (R3). Francis Petit gave home to their exhibitions in his gallery at the Rue Choiseul (R3,p56). 1870/02/18: Manet exhibits at the place Vendôme (R5,p62).
- In 1861 the Salon des Arts Unis was founded by Ingres and other conservative artists (R2,p94)
- 1863: Félix Bracquemond was co-founder of the ‘Société des aquafortistes’ (R3,p650)
- 1863/03/01 Manet shows 14 works in the gallery of Louis Martinet (R5,p24)
- Louis Martinet had founded the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts to promote the credibility of mixed exhibitions. Between 1862-65 he held a permanent exhibition in his gallery. Corot, Daubigny and Manet were part of this group (R3,p56)
1864/02/04 the first (?) exhibition was held in the gallery of Louis Martinet (R5,p28)
1865/02/03 Manet submits 9 paintings, where of only 2 are accepted (R5,p34)
- 1867/04/08: solo exhibition of Courbet in his ‘Pavillion des Réalisme’ on the place de l’Alma; receives much publicity (R5,p43; R63,p117)
- 1867/05/22: solo exhibition of Manet in a specially build pavilion near the Pond de l’Alma, which did cost 28.305 franc (R5,p42/3)
- 1875/08 the ‘L’Union‘ was founded by Pissarro and Meyer replacing the Société Anonyme... / as an alternative group for the Impressionists (R5,p91+100;R1,p362). Béliard, Cézanne, Guillaumin and Latouche all were members (R1,p363;iR35). 1877/02/15 exhibition in the Grand Hôtel, Boulevard des Capucines, Paris; was a complete failure. Shortly before Cézanne, Guillaumin and Pissarro decided to leave the group (R5,p91+100).
- 1876: Marie Bracquemond exhibits with the ‘Exposition de l’Union centrale des arts décoratifs’ (R3,p650)
- 1882: shortly before 7th exposition in the Salons du Panorama in this building and also rented by Rouart there had been expositions of the ‘French Society of Landscape Painters‘ and the ‘Society of Animal Painters‘ (R2,p390; R5,p131).
- 1884, May: Renoir has plans for a ‘Société des Irrégularistes’ but it was never founded (R5,p139+141; R31,?)
Expositions in galleries, studios, shops and offices:
Summary: There always had been possibilities to show (a small number of) paintings in galleries, a studio of your own or a befriended artist or in the window of a shop. Around the start of the ‘impressionist’ expositions the Barbizon-painters received large sums for their paintings sold through galleries. In that sense they were independent of the Salon. Sales through art-dealers became more and more important.
- Expositions in galleries: When works of Rousseau were rejected at the Salon (1836-39) his works were still exhibited in Galleries. (R59,p109). Diaz and Dupré never had much succes at the Salon, still they had good sales through galleries (of Goupil, Brame, Durand-Ruel and George Petit). Diaz even got 8000 Francs for a private sale. (R59, p184)
1863: Manet has his own exhibition at the gallery of Martinet (R3,p40). 1864/06/27 Manet exhibits two works in the gallery of Cadart (R5,p30). 1865/06/01 Manet exhibits 3 works in the gallery of Cadart (R5,p35). Monet exhibited the paintings that were rejected by the Salon of 1867 in two galleries of Hagerman and Latouche (R22,p66; R2,p94). 1867/04 Morisot exhibits in the gallery of Cadart (R5,p43). Monet exhibits a Salon rejected painting in the gallery of Latouche (R22,p77). 1886/04/14 Pissarro shows a pointillist painting at the gallery of Closet (R5,p149). Pissarro, Seurat and Signac exhibit at the gallery of Martinet (R5,p150).
- Expositions in studios: the studio as permanent gallery was a phenomenon in the second half of the 19th century (R3,p400). 1875/03+04 Manet exhibits his by the Salon rejected works and others in his own gallery; it attracts 4000 visitors (R5,p94/5). Manet did the same in 1876 after he had been rejected by the Salon (R2,p146). 1878/06 Pissarro rents a room where he also can exhibited his works (R5,p109).
- Expositions in shops and offices: 1869, Autumn: Renoir exhibits some paintings in the art-shop of Carpentier at 8, Boulevard Montmartre in Paris (R5,p55; R31,p315). Père Tanguy held small exhibitions in his shop. Manet exhibited his rejected ‘Nana’ in 1877 in a shop (R3,p200). 1879/07/27 opening exhibition of paintings of Monet, Pissarro and Sisley in the offices of the newspaper ‘L’Evénement’ (R5,p113). 1888, Januar in the offices of ‘Revue Indépendants’ directed by Fénéon; with Seurat (R40,p93).
Sales through auctions (at Hôtel Drouot) and art-dealers:
Summary: the Impressionist soled several times there works through auctions at Hôtel Drouot. It’s interesting to know how these sales related to there own expositions. These auctions were a good indication of what a work was worth on the art-market, which mostly wasn’t good for the Impressionists. Sales through art-dealers were very important for the Impressionists. Without Durand-Ruel they never would have reached the fame they have now.
Hôtel Drouot auctions:
- Hôtel Drouot was an auction house owned by the state (R3; R5,p102); used by artists to show and sell their works (R5,p102). The sales here gave a good indication of what a work was worth on the art-market (R5,p102).
- It’s remarkable that the Impressionists used three times the option of an auction at Hôtel Drouot in the first years of their expositions. It didn’t stimulate the group identity. And when that wasn’t important, but only the opportunity of selling your works, why organize your own exhibition at all, when this opportunity is at hand?
- 1874, January: good sells for Degas, Monet, Pissarro, Sisley (R2,p105).
- 1875/03/24: auction of 73 works of Monet, Morisot, Renoir, Sisley initiated by Renoir; poor sells, average 157,48 franc (R3,p192; R2,p146; R31; R30; R5,p90)
- 1877/05/28 auction organized by Renoir of 45 works of Renoir, Caillebotte (4x), Pissarro and Sisley; prices were disastrously low, average 169,11 franc; Legrand was the expert (R2,p244+262; R5,p101); R31; R30).
- 1878/06/5+6 auction Hoschedé collection, including Monet (16x), Sisley (13x), Pissarro (9x), soled for disastrously low prices, average 112 franc (R3; R31; R2,p246; R5,p109).
- 1878/04/29 auction Fauré collection with impressionist works; he had to sell back his paintings because the biddings were to low (R3; R5,p109).
- 1884/02/02-04? posthumous auction of works of Edouard Manet; average sales 733,57 franc (R5,p138; R39,p299).
- 1891, Februar: auction of 30 works of Gauguin; total sale 9860 franc (R36,p81).
- 1894/03/18: posthumes auction of the collection of Duret (R5,p194)
- 1894/06/02 posthumes auction of the Père Tanguy collection (R5,p195; R3).
- 1895/02/18: auction of 45 paintings and 25 drawings of Gauguin; total sale 2986 (R36,p81).
Exhibitions by art-dealers:
- In the early 1870s Durand-Ruel showed impressionist works in his gallery in London, without much succes. Since the 1880s he starts to show impressionist works in Paris and at regional and international exhibitions. In 1883 he holds several solo-exhibitions. For the Impressionists Durand-Ruel was crucial for financial support and for becoming known in France and abroad. For an overal view of exhibitions organised by Durand-Ruel click on the link to the page on art-dealers.
- 1882 onwards George Petit organizes his yearly Exposition International de peinture, see below.
- 1893 onwards Ambrose Vollard organizes exhibitions in his galleries with impressionist works.
Other exhibitions in Paris:
Summary: Since 1879 there was an increasing opportunity for the Impressionists to exhibit their works in Paris apart from the Salon and their own group expositions. In 1879 La Vie Moderne started with solo exhibitions. In 1882 George Petit started his yearly ‘Exposition Internationale’. And in 1884 the ‘Salon des Indépendant’ started their (yearly) exhibitions. (More later in 1903 also the Salon d’Automne was started.) These opportunities were an important reason for the stop of the ‘impressionist’ expositions in 1886.
Exhibitions at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts:
- 1867/02/12: a posthumous solo exhibition of Ingres (R5,p42)
- 1874/05/01: Prud’hon with 518 works (R2,p117)
- 1882/03/09: posthumous solo exhibition of Courbet (R5,p128/9)
- 1884/01/06-28 posthumous solo exhibition of Manet with 179 works (R5,p138; R39,p299)
- 1885/03/06-04/15 solo exhibition of Delacroix (R5,p142; R39,p300)
- 1884/01/03 exhibition of Cercle Artistique de la Seine; with Renoir (2x); Cassatt, Sisley (R5,p138; R31,p315)
- 1886/10/17 Exposition des Arts Incohérents by artists with anarchist sympathies exhibiting under a pseudonyme; with Toulouse-Lautrec (R5,p150)
- 1889, June: exhibition of Impressionists and Synthetists in Café Volpini near the ‘Exposition international Universelle’; with Gauguin, Schuffenecker (R36,p81)
- 1900: Centennale de l’Art français; exposition universelle, with two rooms for the Impressionists: Boudin, Guillaumin, Lebourg, Monet (14 works: CR183+229+311+313+440+442+534+560+727+741+1032+1070+1168+1191), Morisot, Pissarro (7 works: CCP188+235+621+653+725+747+783), Renoir, Sisley (12 works) and Bazille, Manet (R22IV,p1018;R116I,p365;R166,p7;iR8😉
La Vie Modern:
- 1879/04/10 onwards: journal published by Charpentier (R3,p702; R5,p112)
their also was an exposition room / Gallery, were there were monthly exhibitions organized by Edmond Renoir (R3,220); 7, boulevard des Italiens, Paris
- 1879: solo exhibition Renoir = ‘Cinquième exposition de la Vie moderne, P.-A. Renoir’; with mostly pastels (R30; R31,p315; R3,p221)
- 1879/07/05 opening exhibition of impressionist works; 2000 visitors a day (R5,p113)
- 1880/03/03 exhibition of painted ostrich eggs by Manet, Pissarro, Renoir and others (R5,p116)
- 1880/04/08-30 exhibition of pastels of Manet (R5,p116; R39,p298)
- 1880/06: solo exhibition Monet (16x?); he sells nothing (R5,p117; R22IV,p1016)
- 1880: solo exhibition De Nittis; with daily 2 to 3.000 visitors (R2,p427) or held as the second exhibition in 1879 (R3,p221)
- 1882/01: solo exhibition Sisley (R5,p122) or in 1881 (R3,p221)
- 1885/01/22: posthumous solo exhibition of Eva Gonzales (R5,p142; R31,p302)
Exposition Internationale de peinture et de sculpture / George Petit:
- yearly exhibitions in the gallery at the Rue de Sèze of Georges Petit in Paris (R3; R31)
- 1882/04 founding by George Petit and Giuseppe de Nittis (R5,p129; R2,p427; R3)
co-founders / members: Alfred Stevens (R3)
- 1885/05/15: 4e exposition; with Monet (10x), Jean Béraud, Albert Besnard, Henri Gervex (R2,p422; R5,p143; R22IV,p1017)
- 1886, June-July: 5e exposition; with Monet (10x?), Raffaëlli, Renoir (5x) (R2,p422; R22IV,p1017; R31,p302)
- 1887; 8/5-8/6: 6e exposition; co-organizers: Monet, Renoir; with Monet (16x?), Pissarro, Morisot, Renoir (5x) and Sisley (R22IV,p1017; R2,p426; R31,p315)
- 1889, June-July: Monet-Rodin: with Monet (141x?) and the sculpture Rodin (R22IV,p1017).
- 1898, June-July: solo exhibition Monet with 61 (?) works (R22IV,p1018).
Salon des Indépendants:
- 1884/05/15 (or:14) – 06/30 exhibition by the ‘Groupe des Artistes Indépendants’ in a barrack in the Tuileries in Paris, performing works of 402 artists who were rejected by the Salon; their were fights between the partaking artists. With Seurat (Une baignade), Signac (R5,p139; R2,p24; R39,p325; R40,p93).
- 1884/06/11 foundation of the ‘Société des artistes indépendants’ (R5,p140; R3). Co-founders/members: Angrand (Charles; 1854-1926); Cross (Henri Edmond; 1856-1910); Dubois-Pillet (Albert; 1846-90); Guillaumin; Redon (also chairman), Schuffenecker, Seurat, Signac (R5,p140; R39,p299+695; R2,p422; R40,p93). Goals: exhibiting works, without the restriction of juries, freely to the public (R5,p140).
- 1884/12/10 (or:02) – 1885/01/17 first exhibition; Redon chairman; Dubois-Pillet organizer;
partakers: Seurat, Signac, Schuffenecker (R5,p140; R3; R39,p325), Angrand (R3,p655-).
- (The ‘Salon des Indépendants’ ‘stole’ the term ‘Indépendants’ from the Impressionists who called their expositions that way in 1882 and more or less in 1881, 1880 and 1879. Thus leaving the Impressionists with the term ‘impressionists’ whereas the term ‘Intransigeants’ already had faded out, see. Still in 1886 they represented themselves with the neutral term ‘8e exposition by…’.)
- 1886/08/21 – 09/21 second exhibition; many neo-impressionists and symbolists exhibited. Including Pissarro, Seurat, Signac (10x), Angrand; Denvier writes it opened the 3th of August (R3; R5,p150; R39,p300, 655-).
- 1887 and later: a yearly exhibition (R3; R39,p325/6)
- 1887: with
- 1888: with Anquetin,
- 1889: with
- 1890: with
- 1891: with Angrand, (R3,p645-)
- 1892: with Angrand, (R3,p6454-)
- 1893: with Angrand,(R3,p645-)
- 1894: with Angrand, (R3,p645-)
- 1895: with Angrand, (R3,p645-)
- later also important for Fauvists and Cubists (R3,p694)
- chairman: 18??-1909 Valton; 1909-1934 Signac; 1934-1941 Luce (R3, p694)
- Signac was often an important organizer (R39,p299)
- 1904/10-11: with a special room for 35 works of Renoir (R31,p216), with Cézanne (R3,p653)
- 1905/10-11: with Renoir (9x) (R31,p216)
- 1906: with a posthumes overview of 227 works of Gauguin (R36,p82)
Summary: Regional exhibitions were always an opportunity to exhibit (a small number of) works. These opportunities increased since the late 1870s.
- 1858: Le Havre; with Bodin (?), Monet (1x) (R22IV,p1016)
- 1864: Rouen: with Monet (R22IV,p1016)
- 1866/01-03: Renoir exhibits 3 works at the ‘Société des Amis des Beaux-Arts’ in Pau (R31,p315)
- 1866/05/01 Manet exhibits 1 work at the Société des Amis des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux (R5,p39)
- 1868/03/21-?: Bordeaux, Société des Amis des Beaux-Arts; with Monet (3x)(R22IV,p1016)
- 1868: Le Havre, Exposition Maritime Internationale: with Monet (4x) (R22IV,p1016)
- 1872: Rouen, 23e exposition; with Monet (1x) (R22IV,p1016)
- 1873/07/20-?: Dieppe, 3e exposition; with Monet (?x) (R22IV,p1016)
- 1873: Reims; with Monet (1x) (R22IV,p1016)
- 1876/02-03: Renoir exhibits 2 works at the ‘Société des Amis des Beaux-Arts (R31,p315)
- 1879/02/03: Société des Amis des Beaux-Arts in Pau; Sisley exhibits 3 works, sells nothing (R5,p112)
- 1880: Besançon; with Monet (2x) (R22IV,p1016)
- 1880/08/05-09/20: Le Havre; with Monet (3x) (R22IV,p1016)
- 1882/09-10: Tours; with Monet (2x) (R22IV,p1016)
- 1884, 20/5-1/7: in Nante; with Monet (R22IV,p1016)
- 1884, June or 1885, May: in Rouen: Magnifique collection d’impressionnistes… (collection Murer = Meunier); with Cézanne (1x), Gauguin (1x), Guillaumin (several), Monet (3x?), Pissarro (9x), Renoir (30x), Sisley (4x) (R22IV,p1016; R31,p315; R5,p140)
- 1886; 10/7-31/8: Grenoble; with Monet (3x) (R22IV,p1017)
- 1886/10/10 – 11/30: Nantes, Exposition des Beaux-Arts; with Renoir (2x), Signac (R31,p315; R39,p325)
- 1891/04/04-05/04: 2me exposition de la Société de amis des arts in Nantes; with Monet 2x?), Renoir (2x) (R22IV,p1017; R31,p315)
Summary: In the 1870s their were some opportunities for the Impressionists to show their works at international exhibitions, especially in the gallery of Durand-Ruel in London. But in the 1880s the possibilities of exhibiting at international exhibitions grew enormously. A special one were the yearly exhibitions of Les XX in Brussels since 1883. More later there came an increasing group of international collectors of impressionist art.
- 1870-75 Durand-Ruel exhibits impressionist works in his gallery in London
- 1871/05/12 International exhibition in Kensington; with Manet (1x), Monet (1x), Pissarro (2x); the works are neglected (R5,p70)
- 1873: Vienne; with Monet (1x) (R22IV;p1016)
- 1876/04 art-dealer Deschamps exhibits works of Degas, Manet, Morisot and Sisley in London (R5,p94)
- 1876/09 exhibition in Brighton with Degas’ Absint (R5,p95)
- 1879/05 Society of American Artists in New York; Cassatt exhibits (R5,p113)
- 1879/12 exhibition in New York and Boston shows a work of Manet (R5,p113)
- 1880s thanks to a better railway system and post traffic international exhibitions became more common (R5,p214)
- 1882, Autumn: first exhibition of Impressionists in Germany by Gurlitt; with Monet (2x)
repeated in 1883; with Monet (2x), Renoir,
(R22IV,p1016; R5,p215; R31,p315)
- 1883/04/15 Society of Impressionists in London (with Boudin, Cassatt, Manet, Morisot, Pissarro and Sisley; R5,p134/5)
- 1883, April-July: ‘La Société des impressionnistes’ in London; with Monet (>34x?), Morisot (R22IV,p1016; R42,p92)
- 1883/09/01 in Boston with Manet (2x), Monet (3x), Pissarro (6x), Renoir (3x), Sisley (3x) send in by Durand-Ruel; no sales, no mentions in the press (R5,p135; R22IV,p1016; R31,p315)
- 1883/12/03 in New York with Degas, Manet and others; positive respons (R5,p136)
- 1885, June: in Brussels (by Durand-Ruel); with Degas, Monet (3x?), Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley (R22IV,p1016; R31,p315)
- 1887; 25/5-30/6: Celebrated paintings by great French masters in New York; with Monet (12x?), Renoir (5x) (R22IV,p1017; R31,p315)
- 1890/09-10: in Chicago; with Monet (5x), Renoir (3x) (R22IV,p1017; R31,p315)
- 1891; 17-28/03: ‘the Impressionists of Paris’ in Boston (collection Durand-Ruel); with Monet (20x?), Pissarro, Sisley (R22IV,p1017)
- 1892: start of the yearly ‘Exposition de l’Association pour l’Art in Antwerp’; Signac regularly exhibited (R39,p325)
- 1895 start of the Biënnale in Venice, Italy (R5,p214)
- 1896 Hugo von Tschudi becomes director of the Nation Gallery in Berlin (and later of the Neue Pinakothek in Munich) buying and exhibiting impressionist works (R5,p215)
Les XX / La Libre Esthétique in Brussels:
- 1883/10 the assembly ‘les XX / Vingt’ is founded by art-critic Octave Maus and a group of 20 unskilled artists and starts to organize yearly exhibitions for national and international avant-garde artists in Brussels (R5,p214)
- 1886/02/06-03: with Monet (10x), Redon, Renoir (8x); Degas refuses (R5,p148; R22IV,p1017; R31,p315)
- 1887, Februar: with Seurat (La Grande Jatte+6 seascapes) (R39,p301; R40,p93)
- 1888/02/05-?: Ve exposition; with Signac, Anquetin, (R39,p325+645-)
- 1889, spring: VIe exposition; with Monet (4x?), Seurat (12x), Angrand, (R22IV,p1017; R40,p93+645-)
- 1890/01/17-03: VIIe exposition; with Renoir (5x), Signac. Cézanne (R31,p315; R39,p325; R3,p653)
- 1893: the abolishment of les XX and the foundation of ‘la Libre Esthétique’ now solely by Octave Maus (R5,p214)
- 1894/02/17 – 03/14: Ie Salon de La Libre Esthétique; with Morisot, Renoir (2x), Signac (R31,p315; R39,p326; R42,p92)
- 1896/02/22-03/30: 3e exposition; with Renoir (1x). Signac (R31,p316; R39,p326)
- all Impressionists exhibited at these Salons except Caillebotte (R5,p214)
International private collectors:
- Since the 1890s their were more and more international private collectors who bought works from the Impressionists.
- Germany: 1900s onward: Thurneyssen; Mendelssohn-Bartholdy; Max Liebermann (R5,p215)
- Russia: 1897 onward: Sjtsjoekin; Shchukin; the brothers Morozov (R5,p215)