Revolution in Art

Exhibition at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum Cologne: 1863 • PARIS • 1874 - The exciting path of French painting from the Salon to Impressionism.
Revolution in Art
Revolution in Art


Fri, 15. Mar 2024 - Sun, 28. Jul 2024




Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud

Few places and times have influenced art history as much as Paris in 1874, when the first exhibition of the later world-famous Impressionists such as Degas, Morisot, Monet, Renoir and Sisley took place here 150 years ago from April 15 to May 15. This spring, the Wallraf is showing how these painters came to organize themselves outside of the official Salon exhibition of the Paris Academy and why their art was initially rejected and later celebrated worldwide. With its major special exhibition “1863 - PARIS - 1874: Revolution in Art”, the Cologne museum traces the exciting path of French painting from the Salon to Impressionism and presents a fascinating panorama of artists, styles and motifs. The special exhibition, with numerous loans from internationally renowned museums, will run exclusively in Cologne from March 15 to July 28, 2024.

The Paris Academy of Fine Arts has been organizing the so-called “Salon de Paris” since 1667, the exhibition of predominantly traditional works that has become the focal point of the French art world over the years with up to 900,000 visitors every year. The Salon jury decided which artists were to be exhibited and was much more influenced by the state than by academic constraints, as politicians repeatedly tried to use this crowd-puller for their own purposes.

Of all things, a “Salon of the Rejected” initiated by Emperor Napoleon III in 1863 heralded the departure from academic rules and, in retrospect, was a first groundbreaking step for avant-garde art. Thanks to this exhibition, the freedom to exhibit became synonymous with the freedom of artistic expression. This paved the way for the group of artists who, barely ten years later, presented the aforementioned exhibition in Paris under the name “Société Anonyme des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs etc.”, which gave the starting signal for the Impressionist movement: Its special show in 1874 was the first of a total of eight exhibitions with which the painters, who were soon christened “Impressionists”, revolutionized established art.

Full payer: 13.00 EUR (per person)
Reduced: 8.00 EUR (per person)
Groups: 11.00 EUR (per person for groups of 10 or more)

Tickets are available at the museum box office or online:

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