Salon d’Automne exhibitions Paris, France

Le Salon d’Automne
Le Salon d’Automne

As an alternative to a conservative official salon, the Salon d’Automne was founded. It was also an alternative to the Salon des Indépendants, which was liberal but had a non-jury policy that sometimes contributed to mediocrity. The founders of the Salon d’Automne were a collective of artists and writers, including Eugène Carrière, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Georges Rouault, Édouard Vuillard, Joris-Karl Huysmans and Émile Verhaeren, under the leadership of the architect Frantz Jourdain. They agreed to form their association to invite any artist who wished to participate, appointing a jury for the exhibits, drawing straws from the membership of the new community and giving the decorative arts the same respect as the fine arts.

The first Salon d’Automne was held at the Petit-Palais on October 31, 1903. The organisers chose autumn as the time of year for their shows because most of the other exhibitions in Paris took place in the spring and summer. The venue was a significant influence in the growth of modern art in Europe. Early salons featured retrospective exhibitions by post-Impressionist painters Paul Gauguin (1903 and 1906) and Paul Cézanne (1907), which helped to build their respective reputations and also proved to be events that shaped the careers of many artists. The most famous exhibition was that of 1905 when the painter Henri Matisse and his colleagues were nicknamed Fauves (“Wild Beasts”) for their expressive use of pure, non-naturalistic colours.


Salon d’Automne. (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2020, from

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