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The Paris Fine Art Salon/Le Salon, 1791–1881

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Edited By James Kearns and Alister Mill

Following on from « Ce Salon à quoi tout se ramène » : Le Salon de peinture et de sculpture, 1791–1890, published in 2010 as an earlier volume in this series, this volume contains a selection of the papers given at the first major international conference to be held on the post-1789 Paris Fine Art Salon. Hosted by the University of Exeter in September 2013, the conference had its origins in the research project entitled Painting for the Salon? The French State, Artists and Academy, 1830–1852, funded in 2010–2012 by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, and its purpose was to situate findings of this research within the wider framework of the Salon’s nineteenth-century history. In this collection of twenty-three papers, fourteen in English, nine in French, established and new scholars of French art history examine the national and international artistic, political and cultural dimensions of the most important regular exhibition of contemporary art in the nineteenth-century world.
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Delphine Gay and the Paris Salon

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François-Joseph Heim’s well-known picture of the Salon of 1824 represents King Charles X distributing awards at the end of the exhibition (Figure 5). Flanked by royal officials, prominent artists and other public figures, the monarch confers the Order of Saint Michel on the sculptor Pierre Cartellier.1 Surrounding the assembled group are works from the Salon, including many with connections to the king and the history of royalty in France. Above the head of Charles X are François Gérard’s Philip V (Chambord, château) and Ingres’s Vow of Louis XIII (1824; Montauban, cathédrale Notre-Dame); on the left of the image is Jean-Pierre Cortot’s statue of Charles X; on the right is Horace Vernet’s equestrian portrait of the duc d’Angoulême (Versailles, musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon), the heir to the throne.2 With its detailed portraits and reproductions of exhibited works, Heim’s picture uses the visual rhetoric equivalent to an eyewitness account. Nevertheless it is carefully composed and deeply political. The work celebrates Charles X’s commitment to the arts, connects him to an illustrious royal past, and asserts his authority in the present. The crowd in the picture appears to accept the king’s authority and serves as a representation of a contented royalist public. ← 73 | 74 →

Figure 5: Jean-Pierre-Marie Jazet, after François-Joseph Heim, Salon de 1824. Sa Majesté Charles X distribue des récompenses aux artistes, aquatint, 1830. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des...

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