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Société des Artistes Indépendants: Wikis


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The Société des Artistes Indépendants (Society of Independent Artists) formed in Paris in summer 1884 choosing the device "No jury nor awards" (Sans jury ni récompense). Albert Dubois-Pillet, Odilon Redon, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac were among its founders. Two years later, in 1886, the Artistes Indépendants mounted their second exhibition, and since then for three decades their annual exhibitions set the pace. All trends in art of the early 20th century were first displayed and widely discussed there. World War I brought a cruel ceasure, though the Artistes Indépendants remained active: With headquarters in the vast basements of the Grand Palais since 1920 (next door to the Société des Artistes Français, the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, the Société du Salon d'Automne, and others), their 117th annual exhibition will be on display there in spring 2007 at the Espace Champerret.



During the Second Empire, artists not backed by the official Académie de peinture et de sculpture in charge of the exhibits at the annual Salon or without support supplied by actual political constellations had little chance to advance. From year to year the number of artists working in Paris, the number of artists submitting works to the official Salon and the number of works refused by the jury increased, but neither the Second Empire nor the Third Republic found an answer to this situation.

For years, the artists had counted on official support. In 1884, finally, the artists began to organise themselves, and a "Group of independent artists" was authorised by the Ministry of Fine Arts to arrange an exhibition, while the City of Paris agreed to supply rooms for the presentation. So, from May 15 through July 15, the first "free" exhibition of contemporary art showed more than 5000 works by more than 400 artists.

Although sustained by Mesureur, deputy chairman of the Council of Paris and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of France, by Frédéric Hattat, chairman of the Fine Art commission in the same council, by Albert Dubois-Pillet, commanding the Republican Guard, member of the Grand Orient de France, the beginning of the Company, considered as a nest of revolutionaries, were difficult.



June 11, 1884, Maître Coursault, notary at Montmorency, officially confirmed the establishment of the Société

Article 1 of the organization's statutes reads,

...the purpose of Société des Artistes Indépendants – based on the principle of abolishing admission jury – is to allow the artists to present their works to public judgement with complete freedom.

"Groupe" vs. "Société"

Members of the Groupe challenged this foundation and succeeded to have an exhibition arranged "for the victims of the recent cholera epidemic", inaugurated December 1, 1884, by Lucien Boué, President of the Paris City Council.

But financially the result was a catastrophe.

Nevertheless, in spring 1885, the "Groupe" organised its next exhibition, this time with some success.

Heroic years

Among the works exhibited were Une Baignade, Asnières by Georges Seurat and Le Pont d’Austerlitz by Paul Signac, and the art of Henri-Edmond Cross, Odilon Redon, Albert Dubois-Pillet, Louis Valtat, Armand Guillaumin, and Charles Angrand.

But at the beginning of the 20th century, all the tendencies of the Ecole de Paris will succeed to one another in the Salon des Indépendants: neo-impressionism, fauvism, cubism.

Since 1920

In 1920, the Société des Artistes Indépendants obtained the Grand Palais for the exhibitions of its Salon.

After World War II, the Salon des Indépendants was renewed with the artist group La Jeune Peinture: Dunoyer de Segonzac, Bernard Buffet, Jean Carzou, Maurice Boitel, Yves Brayer, Aristide Caillaud, Daniel du Janerand, among others.

Famous exhibitors




  • Monneret, Sophie: L'Impressionisme et son époque, dictionnaire international, Paris 1980 ISBN 2-221-05222-6
  • Socièté des artistes indépendants, 76e exposition: Le Premiers Indépendants: Rétrospective 1884-1894, Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées, April 23 - May 16, 1965
  • Dominique Lobstein, Dictionnaire des Indépendants, préface de Serge Lemoyne, L'Echelle de Jacob, 2003.

See also

External links


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