DAILY ART FIX: The French Art Salon: Evolution & Impact

Art world links which caught my eye…

Pietro Antonio Martini “Exposition au Salon de 1787” Etching print

The flaws and features of the contemporary art world took form during the famed Salons of earlier centuries. The salons granted visibility to artists and access for the public, but the events were riddled with in-crowd biases, poor installation practices, and a ruthless disregard for real innovations.

French art salons remain a fascinating fixture of the art-historical narrative as they played a huge role in shaping the art world of today and the modern system of galleries and art fairs.

Visually striking, they often featured gallery walls crammed with paintings from floor to ceiling, exuding chaotic excess that clashed marvelously with the rigid academia of their host institutions—academies.

Royal academies emerged in the seventeenth century across Europe to replace guild systems and to further the ideas of art, culture, and science sweeping across the elite circles of the continent at the time. These academies were also created to protect and foster regional styles of academic art.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the restrictions and exclusivity inherent in these academic institutions eventually led a group of artists (the Impressionists) to take subversive actions. But, this did not occur until 1874.

In the preceding centuries, salons were established, became entrenched in society, reached their peak popularity, and—despite vicious turbulence—managed to remain deeply influential on society and the art world through multiple revolutions and regimes.

Read the full article here: ART & OBJECT – The French Art Salon: Evolution & Impact


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7 thoughts on “DAILY ART FIX: The French Art Salon: Evolution & Impact

  1. Timely, I just finished entering my annual submission to the RA Summer Exhibition (I’ve never been accepted but hope springs eternal); this fortuitously popped up, perhaps a good omen…or more likely a grim reminder of institutional bias 🙂
    Interesting and perversely gratifying yet unsurprising, how the same academic/art world myopic elitism was present from conception.
    But thank you, interesting article , LG

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