The Jury of the Paris Fine Art Salon, 1831-1852
Griffiths, Harriet Celia
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis provides the first detailed study of the jury of the Paris Fine Art Salon under the July Monarchy and Second Republic. In 1831, Louis-Philippe delegated the role of jury to the members of the first four sections of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. This thesis analyses the diverse composition of the July Monarchy jury and offers the first account of its procedures and decisions based on a rigorous examination of archival sources. It also examines the nature and extent of the growing opposition to the jury, its eventual abolition in 1848 and the decisions taken in forming a new jury under the Second Republic. In so doing it reveals the failure of the king and his arts administration to respond to the aspirations and expectations of the artistic community under the post-revolution constitutional monarchy. It also shows how the jury’s diverse membership sparked conflict, notably between a conservative group of architects and certain more open-minded members of the painting section, as it sought to adjust its academic values and expectations in response to the artistic developments of the period. My examination of the opposition to the jury among artists and art journalists during this period brings to light the key issues surrounding admission to the Salon at the time. Finally, the analysis of the Second Republic reveals the ways in which this opposition was temporarily satisfied by reforms to the jury, examining the significance of changes not only to its composition, but also to its procedures. At each stage the thesis challenges the simplistic misrepresentations of the Salon jury’s procedures and decisions prevalent during the July Monarchy itself and subsequently in the history of the emergence of modern art in France during the nineteenth century.
PhD in French