There were 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions held between 1874 and 1886. These were independent of the Salon (des Beaux-Arts de Paris) and it’s successor the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français. What other options were there for the partakers to profile themselves as an artist and to sell their art-works? On this starting page you will find an overview with links to other pages.
Before 1874 the partakers of the ‘impressionist’ expositions could exhibit their works in studios↓, in art-supply shops, at galleries, at regional exhibitions, at small initiatives for independent group exhibitions, some years at the Salon des Refusés and in London at the gallery of Durand-Ruel, who had started to buy their works.
Later on there were possibilities of exhibiting and selling their works at auctions at Hôtel Drouot (namely in 1875 + 1877) and at editorial offices of journals like La Vie Moderne (1879 onwards). In the early 1880s Durand-Ruel, started to buy (again) their works, now on a more regular basis. He held solo exhibitions 1883 onwards, exhibited their works in London (1882-84) and New York (1886) at exhibitions that were called “impressionist“. Also Georges Petit started to buy and exhibit their works. At his gallery 1882 onwards the Expositions International de peinture (et de sculpture) were held and 1885 onwards exhibitions of the Société des Pastellistes Français and from 1900-1922 exhibitions of the Société Nouvelle. Other independent group exhibitions emerged: Les XX in Brussels (1884-93), the Salon des Indépendant (1884 onwards), the exhibition at Volpini (1889), the exhibitions of Les peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes (1891-98), the Salon de la Rose+Croix (1892-97), La Libre Esthétique in Brussels (1894-1914), the Salon d’Automne (1903 onwards) and other less known independent group exhibitions. In 1890 there had been an independent split off from the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français (=SdAF), namely the Salon de la Société National des Beaux-Arts (=SNBA). I wonder how all these independent group exhibitions were inspired by the independent ‘impressionist’ group expositions.
Expositions in studios:
There always had been possibilities to show (a small number of) paintings in a studio of your own or of a befriended artist. This phenomenon of the studio as permanent gallery became more common in the second half of the 19th century (R3,p400). In March 1875 Manet exhibited his pictures that were rejected by the Salon in his own gallery; it attracted 4000 visitors (R5,p94/5). Manet did the same in 1876 after he had been rejected again (R2,p146). June 1878 Pissarro started to rent a room where he also could exhibit his works (R5,p109).
More official exhibitions:
In some years artists that were rejected for the Salon, could exhibit at the Salon des Refusés (in 1863 +64 +73 +75 +86 +1901).
Since 1890 there was an independant alternative for the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français, namely the Salon de la Société National des Beaux-Arts (=SNBA). In some contemporary documents, this Salon is also shortly named ’the Salon’. Is it also referred to as Champ-de-Mars, after the location where it was held. This Salon had a jury, but awarded no medals.
In 1855 +1867 +1878 +1889 +1900 there were art exhibitions held at the Exposition Universelle in Paris (in 1855 it coincided with the Salon which lasted that year till till the 15th of November).
Most exhibitions rendered here were held in Paris. But there were also regional exhibitions. Often they were organised by a ‘Société des Amis (des Beaux-Arts)’. The exhibitions often were called a ‘Salon’ or an ‘exposition municipal’.
The ‘impressionist’ expositions from 1874-86 were independent group expositions. Independent namely of the Salon. Before 1874 there had been some initiatives for independent group exhibitions and even more ideas. On the page independent group exhibitions you will find an overview. After 1874 the number of independent group exhibitions increased.
The Salon des Indépendant started in 1884. They ‘stole’ the name ‘indépendant’ from the ‘impressionist’ who were called that way in 1882 in the catalogue and in 1880 also at a poster. After 1900 their exhibitions were as large as the official Salon. Their slogan was ‘no jury, no awards‘. Paul Signac was one of the most important supporting members.
The ‘Exposition des peintures du groupe Impressionniste et Synthétiste’ was held in the Summer of 1889, in short the exposition is known as the ‘Volpini exposition’. It was organised by Gauguin and/or Schuffenecker.
From late 1891 till early 1898 there were 15 expositions held of ‘peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes’ (=EIS) in the Gallery of Le Barc de Boutteville.
The Salon de la Rose+Croix was founded by Joséphin (Sär) Péladan. There were 6 exhibitions held from 1892-1897.
Since 1903 the Salon d’Automne was held, namely at the Palaix des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris (also called the Petit Palais des the Champs-Élysées). This Salon had a jury and also organised (large) retrospectives.
Less independent exhibitions:
There were other forms of exhibitions, namely at auction houses, at editorial offices and at the galleries of art-dealers. Of course these were less independent.
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.
Auction sales were a way to promote oneself as an artist and to sell art-works. The most used place to do so, was Hôtel Drouot. Notably in 1875 and 1877 4 key Impressionists tried their luck, but the revenues were very low. You will also find on this page chronological overviews of sales of the collections of the partakers of the ‘impressionist’ expositions and of the collections of art-collectors.
1879 onwards the exhibitions at La Vie Moderne (and other editorial offices) were a way to promote oneself as an artist and to sell art-works.
Exhibitions at the galleries of art-dealers have always been an alternative way for the partakers of the ‘impressionist’ expositions of exhibiting their pictures. Durand-Ruel started already in the early 1870s to buy works from the ‘impressionists’ and also exhibited them in his gallery in London (1870-75). But in the early 1880s he started to buy their works on a frequent basis. In 1883 he started to organise solo exhibitions, in 1886 he co-organised an exhibition in New York. In his galleries he also held small group exhibitions, you will find a chronological overview.
A bit later in the 1880s Georges Petit also became very important. At his gallery the Expositions International de Peinture (et de Sculpture) were held since 1882. Since 1885 exhibitions of the Société des Pastellistes Français. From 1900 till 1922 the Société Nouvelle de Peintres et de Sculpteurs organised their yearly independant group exhibitions mostly at the gallery of Georges Petit.
You will also find an overview of exhibitions at galleries and other locations in Paris.
Exhibitions outside of France:
Also in other countries there were art exhibitions held alongside World Exhibitions / Fairs.
In other countries there were (more or less official) Centennial Exhibitions held of French art.
The first larger independent group exhibition was that of Les Vingt or Les XX in Brussels. Le cercle des Vingt was founded 1883/10/28. There first exhibition was held in February 1884 and their last in 1893.
There were several other exhibitions held outside of France. You will find an overview per country on the page international exhibitions.
Some of these exhibitions were explicitly called “impressionist”, you will find these on the page international impressionist exhibitions.
The most important of them was the “Works in Oil and Pastel by the Impressionists of Paris“ held in New York in 1886 and organised by the American Art Association. It partly coincided the 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1886. All the about 300 works exhibited were loans by Durand-Ruel.
See at the bottom of the referred pages. My main sources are the lexicon of Walther (R3,p642-705), the data of Denvier (R5), the Salon database (iR1). For the additional sources see general references.
Recommanded citation: “Meta-Impressionism: other exhibitions, starting page. Last modified 2023/11/15. https://www.impressionism.nl/other-exhibitions/”