The End of the Salon: Art and the State in the Early Third Republic

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The End of the Salon examines the cultural forces that contributed to the demise of the most important exhibition centre for art in Europe and America in the late nineteenth century. Tracing the history of the salon from the French Revolution, when it was taken away from the Academy and opened to all artists, to the 1880s, Patricia Mainardi shows that its contradictory purposes, as didactic exhibition venue and art market place, resulted in its collapse. She also situates the salon within the shifting currents of art movements, from modern to traditional, and the evolving politics of the Third Republic, when France definitively chose a republican over a monarchic form of government. The book, which was originally published in 1993, demonstrates how all artists were forced to function within the framework of the social, economic and cultural changes then taking place and how art and social history are inextricably linked.