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Salon des Beaux Arts in Paris

27 November 2015

View Contemporary Works by Over 600 International Artists during a December Stay at Hotel de Vigny

Steeped in over 150 years of history, the Salon des Beaux Arts has become renowned for championing contemporary arts. The annual exhibition offers the chance to view works by over 600 established and promising international names in painting, photography, sculpture and engraving at the Carrousel du Louvre. Attracting in the vicinity of 20,000 visitors each year, this outstanding event will be the perfect pre-Christmas treat for any art fan during a luxury stay in Paris between the 17th and 19th of December.

Salon des Beaux Arts

The roots of the Salon des Beaux Arts began as far back as 1862 with the creation of the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts (SNBA); France’s National Society of Fine Art. Writer and art critic Théophile Gautier was the first president and exhibitors included the likes of painters Édouard Manet and Eugène Delacroix; however exhibitions temporarily ceased after a posthumous retrospective was held in honour of the latter. Fast-forward to 1890 and new president French painter and sculptor Ernest Meissonier began organising annual exhibitions with help from a committee that included Auguste Rodin… and the tradition has continued into the present day.

2015’s line-up will boast four sections, each chaired by a leading figure in their field; from self-taught painter and engraver Sophie Sirot, to contemporary sculptor, André Abram. Not only will every exhibitor get the chance to present their major works to an eagerly awaiting public, but they’ll also be completing for an array of awards including the ‘Puvis de Chavannes’ prize. Named after the co-founder and ex-president of the SNBA, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, this highly sought-after accolade has been awarded to the likes of current president and Knight of the National Order of Merit, Michel King in 2005, as well as Gaston Suisse in 1936; who is regarded as a founding artist of the Art Deco movement.

Last year’s winner was Nina Tescar, who specialises in intricately detailed water colour paintings created using Chinese inks, while over 70 additional prizes and medals were also awarded to artists from a variety of mediums. Those eager to find out who’s won what this year will have to wait until the end of the show, as the all-important awards ceremony will be held at 6pm on Saturday the 19th, and will be followed by the chance to enjoy an evening of live music from 8pm.

Key Attractions for 2015

Artists from around the world; from Brazil to Switzerland, Korea to Canada, will be eagerly gathering to present their most admired creations to the public… however there will be one particular piece that’s set to be unmissable for craft fans. As the first pottery piece to be displayed in the installation section in the history of SNBA exhibitions, Japanese artist Haruhiko Kaneko’s ‘Silent Blue Wall’ will not only be a beautiful spectacle to admire, but something entirely unique for regular visitors to the show. Measuring 10 metres long, this entirely ceramic installation has been created using a very rare and difficult glazing technique called Yuteki tenmoku.

Yuteki tenmoku involves applying a black glaze that contains iron, then firing and cooling the piece in such a way that it not only changes the colour of its edges to burnt hues of orange and caramel, but also results in silvery white spots forming over its surface. It originated in China at Mount Tenmoku, when monks created tea bowls during the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279), and these were then introduced to Japan during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 – 1279).

Kaneko's father took this ancient technique and developed it further by combining the distinctive pottery with melted glass; an idea that was suggested by a young Kaneko after he requested his father incorporate his milk bottles into ceramic works. Due to the metallic content involved, the glass turned blue, and years have been spent perfecting this difficult fusion of materials. The piece on display in Paris combines 112 square plates that manage to capture the transparency and marine colours of the sea that surrounds the artist’s home on Ishigaki Island, and will be one of three pieces by Japanese artists in the ‘Perspectives on an Artist’ section.

A Luxurious Venue

The elegant surroundings around the Louvre have been hosting fine art salons since 1725, and continue in this tradition by staging the Salon des Beaux Arts. Located close to the renowned museum, which houses Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and public square, Place du Carrousel, the aptly named events venue Carrousel du Louvre will be offering the chance to view some of the best pieces of contemporary art in the world for free this December. Handily, the underground centre will also provide a unique opportunity to do a little last-minute Christmas shopping in its 40 boutiques that include the likes of luxury department store Printemps, Apple, Bose, perfumerie Fragonard and the delectable Maison du Chocolat Paris.

Situated just 15 minutes’ drive away from the five-star Hotel de Vigny, the Salon des Beaux Arts at the Carrousel du Louvre will provide a truly inspirational experience for arts and crafts fans this December.

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