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Salon des Refusés

Related: 1865 - banned - French art - James Abbott McNeill Whistler - Edouard Manet - modern art - Paris Salons

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Le déjeuner sur l'herbe/"The Lunch on the Grass" (1863) - Edouard Manet

One of Manet's most famous paintings at this time is Le déjeuner sur l'herbe ("The Lunch on the Grass"), originally exhibited as Le Bain ("The Bath"). The Salon refused to exhibit it in 1863 but he exhibited it at the Salon des Refusés ("Exhibition of Refused Works") later in the year. Its juxtaposition of dressed men and a nude woman was controversial, as was its abbreviated sketch-like style - an innovation that distinguished Manet from Courbet.

The White Girl (1862) - Whistler
Whistler's painting The White Girl (1862) caused controversy when exhibited in London and, later, at the Salon des Refusés in Paris. The painting epitomises his theory that art should essentially be concerned with the beautiful arrangement of colors in harmony, not with the accurate portrayal of the natural world, as recommended by the critic John Ruskin.


The Salon des Refusés ('Rooms of the Rejected') was a unique exhibition in Paris in 1865.

It displayed art-works that had been rejected by the Académie française when submitted for display at the 'Salon': the official exhibition of the French Academy of Art.

In 1865 the nascent Realist and Impressionist movements submitted works to the Academy's selection committee only to be rejected. The resultant complaints of bias led the French emperor Napoleon III to allow the rejected works to be displayed in a separate exhibition.

Most were undoubtedly of poor quality, leading to ridicule in the press. However, the exhibition contained at least two important paintings, Edouard Manet's "Dejeuner sur l'Herbe" (the 'Picnic') and James McNeill Whistler's "The White Girl". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salon_des_Refus%E9s, Apr 2004

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