1877 – Third exhibition
The third exhibition of the «Impressionist painters» opened on Lepelletier Street on April 5, 1877. It presents the work of eighteen participants.
In January 1877, Caillebotte wrote to Pissarro: Would you like to come next Monday for dinner at home? I come from London and I want to tell you a few things about a possible exhibit. You will find yourself in my home with Degas, Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Manet. I am counting on you» (Berhaut, p. 273). The principle of exposure is approved. It remains to find a local, which does not seem simple, but the determination of Caillebotte is complete: We are very bored for our exhibition. The premises in Durand-Ruel are rented for a whole year... But let’s not disappoint, already several combinations offer chances. The exhibition will be done; it must be done” (Caillebotte in Pissarro, Rewald, 2, p. 54). On February 24, Guillaumin wrote: The Exhibition must take place on the 1ster April; the presumed location would be on the grounds of the former opera house in a shack built specifically for the occasion, but that is all I can say precisely. It is not much, it is likely that the costs that will be large enough, will be made by the 2 or 3 capitalists of the band (as advance). They would repay themselves on the entries; if there were a deficit, it would be filled by the exhibitors, under conditions that are not yet fixed. I cannot tell you more, but I believe that by addressing you in Renoir, 35 St-Georges Street, you would have all the information possible, because this is where the Exhibition is made” (Gachet, pp. 71-73). The «band capitalists» are probably Rouart and Caillebotte. The local is finally found. Renoir and Caillebotte write to B. Morisot: We hasten to announce that we have just rented an apartment 6 Rue Lepelletier [sic] for our exhibition. We’re happy to think you’ll be able to participate as usual. We’ll keep you posted on everything that’s going on. In any case, we would like to inform you of the meeting we are having on Monday at 5 o'clock at Mr. Legrand’s, 22 bis Rue Laffitte” (“Correspondance Morisot,” p. 98). Who is this Legrand? "a former employee of Durand-Ruel," according to Rivière, and he "exhibited works ofImpressionists " (“Renoir,” 36). Duret tells us a little more about the room found: They organized a third exhibition in April 1877. It was held at the n° 6 of rue Le Peletier, on the first floor of a house under repair, rented for the occasion. They thus had the rooms of a vast apartment, which gave them enough space to show the 241 paintings together. They were on a busy street, in sight of the Boulevard, which would assure them of visitors” (Duret, 1919, p. 18). Rivière adds a few details: I don’t know who discovered this large empty apartment, composed of large and high rooms, well lit, and quite suitable to receive paintings. It was really a find. As far as my recollection is concerned, I believe that Caillebotte knew the owner of the building and had personally intervened with him to have him agree to house a painting exhibition in his house» (Rivière, « Cezanne», p. 84).
Contrary to what is often claimed, the exhibition does not take place in the premises of Durand-Ruel, located on the same street, but at another number.
«Paris was covered with posters announcing that the exhibition of the works of the «Impressionist Painters» would open on rue Lepelletier [sic] on April 5» («L'Art», 1877, p. 68). Renoir will remember that, in 1877, it was I who insisted on keeping this name of Impressionists who had made a fortune. That was to say to passers-by—and no one was mistaken—“Here you’ll find the kind of painting you don’t like. If you come, it will be too bad for you, you will not be reimbursed your ten under the entrance!” (Ambroise Vollard, “ Renoir”, Paris, 1920, p.66). In front of the building, «a large sign shaded with tricolour flags warns that this is a new art» (Claretie, «The Belgian Independence», April 15, 1877). The use of tricolour flags is an unambiguous patriotic and republican statement at a time when France is going through an institutional crisis.
Bertall evokes the “walls laden with frames and costly gilding” (“Paris-Journal,” 9 April 1877) and Gustave Gœtschy the “sumptuous gold borders [of] ugly portraits of M. Caillebotte” (“Le Voltaire,” 6 April 1877).
A letter addressed to B. Morisot shows that Caillebotte and Renoir are now the inviting power. The event brings together eighteen exhibitors. Cezanne and Guillaumin are back, alongside Caillebotte, Cals, Degas, Jacques-François, Levert, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir, Rouart, Sisley and Tillot. There are four newcomers: Frédéric Cordey, Lamy Franc (“Illustrator of the music of Cabaner”, according to Paul Gachet), Alphonse Maureau and Ludovic Piette (a friend of Pissarro).
On the other hand, Béliard, Bureau and Ottin Jr left the group. Desboutin, Lepic, Levert and Millet also joined the Salon. Desboutin exhibits an oil portrait and eleven dry-tipped portraits. As for Legros, in 1876 he was appointed professor at University College London. Henceforth his career would be resolutely English. He obtained British citizenship in 1881.
«The share of each is 350 Fr. as guarantee» (Guillaumin to Dr Gachet, 25 March 1877, Gachet, pp. 74-75).
The possible participation in the fair is a sensitive subject. Degas wrote to Morisot to invite him to a group meeting: He will discuss a big question: if we can exhibit at the Salon and with us? Very grave!” (“Correspondence Morisot,” p. 98). Degas believes that the impressionists must play the card of absolute independence and refrain from sending anything to the Salon. Pissarro takes the same view, as, certainly, Morisot. Degas addressed her in 1877 because he knew he could count on her support.
The task of organizing the exhibition and placing the paintings was left to Renoir, Monet, Pissarro and Caillebotte, with the help of a few friends. Things went very well and each exhibitor was satisfied with the place attributed to him; Cezanne, in particular, was admirably presented, as if his companions had wanted, giving him a place of honor, protesting the attacks against him. In the first room, paintings by Renoir, Monet and Caillebotte were placed. The second room contained Monet’s large painting: The White Turkeys ¹, ¹ The Swing ¹, of Renoir, landscapes of Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Guillaumin, Cordey and Lamy. In the large living room in the middle, the Bal du Moulin de la Galette» of Renoir, a large landscape of Pissarro, the paintings of Berthe Morisot and the canvases of Cezanne, these occupied one of the large panels. The grand salon that followed this one was attributed to Sisley, Pissarro, Monet and Caillebotte. Finally, in a small gallery at the end of the exhibition, the works of Degas and watercolours by Berthe Morisot were brought together» (Rivière, « Cezanne», pp. 84-85).
The paintings of Cezanne were close in this beautiful room with the Bal du Moulin de la Galette ", of Renoir, a large landscape of Pissarro, the pretty studies of Mme Berthe Morisot and one or two landscapes of Monet” (Rivière, “ Cezanne», p. 120).
This is the first, and one of the few Impressionist exhibitions where no prints are presented, even if Degas exhibits Drawings in bold ink and printed », impossible to identify without further precision.
As Duret notes, “all had reached their full development” (1919, p. 20). Although Caillebotte presents only six works, Guillaumin and B. Morisot exhibit twelve, Cezanne and Sisley seventeen, Renoir twenty-one, Pissarro twenty-two, Degas twenty-six and Monet thirty-one. Duret, based on the printed catalogue, speaks of 241 works on display. In reality, 244 works are presented, three (one Cezanne, one Degas, one Monet) having been added outside the catalogue. Among the thirty-one works presented by Piette, four represent market scenes in Pontoise. Several paintings of markets, preserved at the Tavet-Delacour Museum in Pontoise, could have been part of the impressionist exhibition.
This «full development» is perceptible not only in the quantity, but also in the scale and quality of the works.
The collector Hoschedé ready for the exhibition eleven Monet, four Pissarro and three Sisley. The publisher Charpentier lent two Monet, two Renoir and two Sisley. De Bellio lent three Monet and three Sisley. Caillebotte lends three Pissarro, one Monet and one Sisley. Duret lends two Monet and one Sisley. Finally Manet lends this time two Monet and one Sisley. Of the thirty-one paintings exhibited by Monet, only ten are not yet sold at the opening of the exhibition. This shows that, especially for Monet, the exhibition is as much, if not more, for promotion as for sale.
Influenced by Whistler, Pissarro presents his works in uniformly white frames. One of Pissarro’s paintings is of unusual spirit, more by the subject and the dimensions (more than a metre ten in height and a metre sixty in width), than by the technique: Jardin des Mathurins, Pontoise ». Pissarro usually paints peasant gardens and not bourgeois mansions. The one depicted here belongs to Maria Deraimes, a politician who fights for women to belong to Freemasonry. No doubt it appears on Pissarro’s canvas.
Cezanne presents subjects of swimmers (« Bathers at rest ") which, despite a baroque style, tend, by their composition towards a certain classicism.
' The Psyche », exhibited by B. Morisot is an intimate and delicate version of Manet’s provocative painting, « Nana », refused that year by the jury of the Salon. The «Nana» painting is presented in the window of a luxury store on Boulevard des Capucines from 1er may. The second painting submitted by Manet at the show, « Faure in the role of Hamlet ” is accepted.
Works from the exhibition in public collections (based on work by Berson and Moffett)
Curd : ' Rue de Paris; Rainy weather », « Country portraits ».
Cals : ' Landscape, in Saint-Siméon », « Tow-thinning women », « Mother Doudoux »
Cezanne : ' Still life », « Id.” , “ Eflower study », « Fantastic scene » (non-catalogue).
Degas : ' Women in a coffee shop in the evening », « Edance school », « Ballet », « Dancer, a bouquet in her hand », « Dancer at the helm », « Café-concert », « Café-concert », « Woman coming out of the bath », « Woman taking a tub in the evening », « Chorus singers », « Portrait of Mr. H.R… », « Bathing in the sea; Little girl combed by her maid », « Portrait », « Id. », « Toilet », « Ballet », « Ballet rehearsal », « Absinthe » (out of catalogue, the models in this table are the engraver Desboutin and actress Ellen André).
Guillaumin : ' Road from Clamart to Issy », « Lying woman ».
Monet : ' The pond at Montgeron », « The Dahlias», “ Les Tuileries », « Landscape: Parc Monceau », « Arrival of the Normandy train, St-Lazare station », « The Rome Bridge (St-Lazare station) », « St-Lazare station, arrival of a train », « Turkeys (decoration not completed) », « Interior view of Gare St-Lazare, Paris », « The Tuileries; Sketch », « Apartment interior », « The Signal » (non-catalogue).
Morisot : ' The Psyche ».
Pissarro : ' Côte Saint-Denis to Pontoise », « Le verger, Côte Saint-Denis, Pontoise », « Jardin des Mathurins, Pontoise », “ The plain of Epluches (Rainbow) », “ The Harvest ».
Renoir : ' The Swing », « Bal du Moulin de la Galette », « Portrait of Madame G. C. ” (Marguerite Charpentier, wife of the publisher of the Naturalists), “ Portrait of Miss G. C. ” (Georgette Charpentier, younger daughter of Marguerite and Georges Charpentier), “ Portrait of Madame A.D. ” (Julia Daudet, woman of letters and wife of Alphonse Daudet), “ Portrait of Mr. Sisley », « Portrait of Miss S… ” (Jeanne Samary, actress), “ The Seine in Champrosay ».
Sisley : ' Le Chalet; white jelly », « Sawers », « The bridge of Argenteuil in 1872, belongs to M. Manet ».
New audience, same effects
The elegant world, to our surprise, had come to rue Le Peletier. This worldly curiosity was something new. The previous exhibitions, in the former Nadar studio and in the Durand-Ruel gallery, had drawn the attention of the public to these painters, to whom a revolutionary attitude was attributed, and that because of this they had first been called the Intransigent But the visitors of the first exhibitions were all, so to speak, passers-by; they had shown themselves, moreover, without benevolence. They laughed in good faith in front of the paintings, in memory of the easy jokes of which the most spiritual chroniclers of the Parisian press had riddled the Impressionists. If, this time, the quality of the visitors had changed, Both felt the same way about art. Hostility was still very strong in the crowd that crowded at the exhibition on Rue Le Peletier” (Rivière, “Renoir,” p. 156).
Desboutin states: our exhibition by a group of artists [… ] produced a pretty nice dividend so that, all expenses paid, each of us still fit into his puttingeven with a small profit. The press was very kind to me on this occasion, and for my dry-ends: this mode of advertising served me more for my humble name than 10 years of exposure in the chambers of the corridors of the Salon» (À M Mme De Nittis, April 20, 1876, Pittaluga - Piceni, p. 358). Degas writes to the same: Our exhibition on Rue Le Peletier did not go badly. We paid our way and earned about 60 francs in 25 days. I had a small room all by myself, full of my articles. I only sold one, unfortunately» (21 May, Pittaluga - Piceni, p. 369).
«The Impressionist, art journal»
In April 1877 four issues of The Impressionist, art journal The Director of Publications is Georges Rivière, a friend of Renoir. Rivière also writes most articles. Four of the paintings on display on rue Le Pelletier are reproduced as sketches by Caillebotte ("Le Pont de l'Europe"), Degas ("Dancer at the Helm"), Renoir ("La Balançoire") and Sisley ("Scieurs de long"). Rivière concentrated on countering the attacks of the press against impressionism. According to Rivière, “Camelots were shouting at the Impressionist on the Boulevard des Italiens and at the door of the exhibition, but only a small number of them were sold; we did not cover our expenses, to a great extent” (Rivière, “Renoir,” p. 152).