"French phrases"

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Salon (gathering)

The salon is a 17th century French idea, a gathering of stimulating and attractive people of quality under the roof of an inspiring hostess, partly to amuse one another and partly to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation and readings, consciously following Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "to please and educate" (aut delectare aut prodesse est).

In 16th-century Italy some scintillating circles that formed in the smaller courts were often galvanized by the presence of a beautiful and educated patroness such as Isabella d'Este or Elisabetta Gonzaga.

The first literary salons of Paris formed in the 1620s at the Hôtel de Rambouillet by Madame de Rambouillet and at the rival salon that gathered around Madeleine de Scudéry. Here gathered the original "blue-stockings" (les bas-bleues), whose nickname continued to mean "intellectual woman" for the next 300 years. In the salons of Paris, the précieuses refined the French language even before the Académie Francaise was founded.

The 18th century salons brought together Parisian society and the progressive philosophes who were producing the Encyclopédie, Marmontel remarks about Julie de Lespinasse suggest the secret of the salon in French culture:

"The circle was formed of persons who were not bound together. She had taken them here and there in society, but so well assorted were they that once there they fell into harmony like the strings of an instrument touched by an able hand."

Such a woman in German circles, inspiring to writers and artists, perhaps without an artistic bent herself, was called a muse.

Paris salons of the 18th century:

Some 19th-century salons were more inclusive, verging on the raffish, and centered around painters and "literary lions" such as Mme Récamier. After the shocks of 1870, French aristocrats tended to withdraw from the public eye. Marcel Proust called on his own turn-of-the-century experience to recreate the rival salons of the fictional Duchesse de Guermantes and Madame Verdurin.

Public "Salons"

A more public Salon of another kind also had a formative influence on French high culture. The Paris Salon was originally an officially-sanctioned exhibition of recent works by members of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, starting in 1673 and soon moving from the Salon Carré of the Palace of the Louvre.

The name remained, even when other quarters were found and the exhibitions' irregular intervals became biennial. A jury system of selection was introduced in 1748.

In the 19th century this other idea of Salon was extended to an annual government-sponsored juried exhibition of new painting and sculpture, held by invitation in large commercial halls, to which the ticket-bearing public was invited. The vernissage ("varnishing") of opening night was a grand social occasion, and a crush that gave subjects for newspaper caricaturists like Honoré Daumier. Charles Baudelaire and others wrote reviews of the annual salons, whose officially sanctioned art, increasingly conservative and "academic", refused entry to the Impressionists who organized their own counter-salon, the Salon des Refusés opening May 17, 1863, a date that marks the official birth of the Avant garde. Later "Refusés" salons were held in 1874, 1875 and 1886. In 1881 the government withdrew official sponsorship from the annual Salon, and a group of artists organised the Société des artistes français to take responsibility for the show.

In 1903, the Salon d'Automne was founded.

External links: private salons

External links: juried exhibitions

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

Liberté, égalité, fraternité (French for "liberty, equality, brotherhood") is the motto of the French Republic.

The slogan of the French Revolution was Liberté, égalité, fraternité, ou la mort! (Liberty, equality, brotherhood or death!). This slogan outlived the revolution, later becoming the rallying cry of the activists, both militant and non-violent, who promote democracy or overthrow of oppressive governments.

France currently uses the phrase as its National motto. The French euro coins for 1 euro and for 2 euros have this motto stamped on the obverse side.

Fin de siècle

Fin de siècle is French for "End of the Century". The term "turn-of-the-century" is sometimes used as a synonym, but is more neutral (lacking some or most of the connotations described below), and can include the first years of a new century.

The expression "Fin de siècle" generally refers to the last years of the 19th century. It has connotations of decadence (seen as typical for the last years of a prosperous period, in this case the Belle epoque), and of anticipative excitement about - and/or despair facing - impending change (which is generally expected when a century or time period draws to a close).

That the expression is in French, probably comes from the fact that "Fin de siècle" is particularly associated to certain French-speaking circles in Paris and Brussels, exemplified by artists like Stéphane Mallarmé, movements like Symbolism, and works of art like Oscar Wilde's "Salomé" (originally written in French, and premiered in Paris) - which connects the idea of "Fin de siècle" also to the Aesthetic movement. Also Edvard Munch spent some of his time in Paris around the turn-of-the-century, which was his most melancholy period.

In a broader sense the expression "fin de siècle" is used to characterise anything that has an ominous mixture of opulence and/or decadency, combined with a shared prospect of unavoidable radical change. Note that it is not change itself that is implied in the expression fin de siècle (but only its anticipation), e.g. for the historical 19th century Fin de siècle the radical changes in the cultural and social order would only occur more than a decade after the new century had started (World war I), while by the end of the 19th century the Belle epoque was not even at its height (nor had the Edwardian era, almost seamlessly following the Victorian era, even started). A more recent example of fin de siècle can be found in the Y2K problem: the general turmoil caused by this in itself relatively insignificant technical issue becomes a lot more understandable when acknowledging an underlying fin de siècle mechanism. Also e.g. the War on terror could be seen to have a definite fin de siècle touch (allegedly anticipating an era without dictators). Even Hitler probably could never have pushed his compatriots thus far in accomplishing his Thousand Year Reich fantasies without the support of fin de siècle-like philosophies (see e.g. the article on Millennialism and Nazism), and the fin de siècle atmosphere of the interbellum. Many other 20th century phenomena, like e.g. Goth and New Age, could be interpreted as building on at least some fin de siècle ideas.

A good introductory text on the 19th century Fin de siècle is Barbara Tuchman's The Proud Tower.

Art Brut

Art Brut is an informal art genre. The term (meaning Raw Art) was coined by French painter Jean Dubuffet for the art of the insane. Dubuffet became fascinated by the paintings of people institutionalized with schizophrenia such as Adolf Wolfli, Heinrich Anton Muller, Aloïse Corbaz and the Prinzhorn Collection.

As the Incorrect Music Hour defines it, "A true 'Incorrect' artist must be sincere and lack self-awareness. A severe irony deficiency helps. Any humorous overtones to their work must be unintentional."

A certain overlap and confusion with Folk art, Naïve art and Outsider art is common. The distinction between these genres might be described thus:

  • Art Brut: The art of the clinically insane, especially painting and drawing.
  • Folk art: The art of the ignorant; that is, those unfamiliar with the History of painting and without aspirations to being Fine art.
  • Naïve art, Outsider art: More politically correct terms that gather together both of the above.

What they share is the capacity to be patronizingly celebrated as somehow more free and original than the fine art found in galleries and traditions, being free of The Anxiety of Influence.


  • Jean Dubuffet: L’Art brut préféré aux arts culturels [1949](=engl in: "Art brut: Madness and Marginalia", special issue of "Art & Text", No. 27, 1987, p. 31-33)
  • Publications de la Compagnie de l'Art Brut - L'art brut, Vol. I-XX, Lausanne, Collection de l'Art Brut, 1964-1985
  • L'Art brut, Exhb. cat. Musée des arts décoratifs, April 7-June 5, 1967, Paris, 1967
  • Roger Cardinal, Outsider Art, London, 1972
  • Harald Szeemann, Ein neues Museum für Lausanne. In: Id., Individuelle Mythologien. Berlin 1985
  • Michel Thévoz, Art brut, New York, 1975
  • John M. MacGregor, The Discovery of the Art of the Insane. Princeton, Oxford 1989
  • Parallel Visions. Modern Artists and Outsider Art. Exhb. cat. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 1992
  • Allen S. Weiss, Shattered Forms, Art Brut, Phantasms, Modernism, State University of New York, Albany, 1992
  • Roger Cardinal, Art Brut. In: Dictionary of Art, Vol. 2, London, 1996
  • John Maizels, Raw Creation art and beyond, Phaidon Press Limited, London, 1996
  • Colin Rhodes, Outsider Art, spontaneous Alternatives, London, 2000
  • Lucienne Peiry, Art brut: The Origins of Outsider Art, Paris, 2001
  • Michael Krajewski, Jean Dubuffet. Studien zu seinem Fruehwerk und zur Vorgeschichte des Art brut, Osnabrueck, 2004

External links

Art Brut Museum, Lausanne

Coup d'état

A coup d'état (IPA: /ˌkuː deiˈtɑː/), often simply called a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, usually done by a small group that just replaces the top power figures. It is different from a revolution, which is staged by a larger group and radically changes the political system. The term is French for "a sudden stroke, or blow, of a nation". The term coup can also be used in a casual sense to mean a gain in advantage of one nation or entity over another; e.g. an intelligence coup. By analogy, the term is also applied to corporations, etc; e.g. a boardroom coup.

Tactically, a coup usually involves control of some active portion of the military while neutralizing the remainder of a country's armed services. This active group captures or expels leaders, seizes physical control of important government offices, means of communication, and the physical infrastructure, such as streets and power plants. The coup succeeds if its opponents fail to dislodge the plotters, allowing them to consolidate their position, obtain the surrender or acquiescence of the populace and surviving armed forces, and claim legitimacy.

Coups typically use the power of the existing government for its own takeover. As Edward Luttwak remarks in his Coup d'état: A practical handbook: "A coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder." In this sense, use of military or other organized force is not the defining feature of a coup d'état. Any seizure of the state apparatus by extra-legal tactics may be considered a coup, according to Luttwak.

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Coups have long been part of political tradition. Indeed, Julius Caesar made a coup and was the victim of another coup. Many Roman emperors, such as Claudius, came to power in coups. Modern dictators such as Juan Perón also benefited from coups.

In the late 20th century coups occurred most commonly in developing countries, particularly in Latin America (Brazil, Chile), Africa and Asia (Pakistan), but also in the Pacific (Fiji) and in Europe (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Soviet Union). Since the 1980s, the coup has been seen somewhat less frequently. A significant reason is the general inability to resolve the economic and political problems of developing nations, which has made armed forces, particularly in Latin America, much more reluctant to intervene in politics. Hence, in contrast to past crises, the armed forces have sat on the sidelines through economic crises such as the Asian crisis in Thailand in 1998 or the Argentinian crisis of 2002 and have tended to act only when the military perceives itself as institutionally threatened by the civilian government, as occurred in Pakistan in 1999.

Coups d'état have often been seen as a means for powerful nations to assure favorable outcomes in smaller foreign states. In particular, the American CIA and Soviet KGB developed a reputation for supporting coups in states such as Chile and Afghanistan, respectively. Such actions are substitutes for direct military intervention which would have been more politically unpopular. The governments of France and Britain have been accused of engineering coups as well.

New styles of coups

In recent years, the traditional military coup has declined massively in use. Today, even Africa, once the most coup-plagued continent on earth, rarely experiences a violent overthrow of an existing regime.

A new, more contemporary form of military intervention which some regard as a coup d'état is simple threat of military force to remove a particularly unpopular leader. This has occurred twice in the Philippines. In contrast to previous coups d'état, the military does not directly assume power, but rather serves as an arbiter for civilian leaders.

In recent years mass street protests have also often been able to force leaders from office in a coup-like fashion. In situations of this sort, such as in Serbia (2000), Argentina (2001), Bolivia (2003) and Haiti (2004) popular uprisings simply forced the sitting president to resign his office, causing someone new to assume the presidency. This often results in a period of stability and calm, in which an unknown and uncontroversial Vice President can rule the nation until new elections can be held.

Types of coups

Samuel P. Huntington has divided coups into three types (ignoring Luttwak's non-military coups)

  • Breakthrough coups - In which a revolutionary army overthrows a traditional government and creates a new bureaucratic elite. Breakthrough coups are generally led by non-commissioned officers (NCOs) or junior officers and only happen once. Examples include China in 1911 and Egypt in 1956.
  • Guardian coups - These coups have been described as musical chairs. The stated aim of this form of coup is to improve public order, efficiency, or to end corruption. There is usually no fundamental shift in the structure of power, and the leaders of these types of coups generally portray their actions as a temporary and unfortunate necessity. Many nations with guardian coups undergo many shifts between civilian and military governments. Examples include Pakistan, Turkey, and Thailand.
  • Veto coups - These coups occur when the army vetoes mass participation and social mobilization. In these cases the army must confront and suppress large-scale and broad-based opposition and as a result they tend to be repressive and bloody. Examples include Chile in 1973 and Argentina in 1975. An abortive and botched veto coup occurred in Venezuela in 2002.

Coups can also be classified by the level of the military that leads the coup. Veto coups and guardian coups tend to be led by senior officers. Breakthrough coups tend to be led by junior officers or NCOs. In cases where the coup is led by junior officers or enlisted men, the coup is also a mutiny which can have grave implications for the organizational structure of the military.

There is also a category known as bloodless coups in which the mere threat of violence is enough to force the current government to step aside. Bloodless coups are so called because they involve no violence and thus no bloodshed. Napoleon acceded to the power that way in 1799 (the coup of 18 Brumaire). More recently, Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan came to power in such a manner in 1999.

The term self-coup is used when the current government assumes extraordinary powers not allowed by the legislation. An example is Alberto Fujimori in Peru, who was democratically elected, but later took control of the legislative and judicial powers, or the coup of French President Louis Napoléon Bonaparte in 1851 against the powerful National Assembly.

Post-military-coup governments

After the coup, the military is faced with the issue of the type of government to establish. In Latin America, it was common for the post-coup government to be led by a junta, a committee of the chiefs of staff of the various armed forces. A common form of African post-coup government is the revolutionary assembly, a quasi-legislative body made of members elected by the army. In Pakistan, the military leader typically assumes the title of chief martial law administrator.

According to Huntington, most coup leaders act under the concept of right orders: they believe that the correct approach to government is to issue correct orders. This view of government underestimates the difficulty in implementing government policy and the amount of possible political resistance to certain orders.

French phrases used by English speakers

Here are some examples of French words and phrases used by English speakers.

There are many words of French origin in English, such as croissant, baguette, déjà vu, naive (sometimes spelled naïve with a diaeresis for the i), police, role (or rôle), routine, machine, and hors d'œuvres, but this article covers only words and phrases that remain identifiably French. That said, the phrases are given as used in English, and may seem more French to English speakers than they do to French speakers. The general rule is that if the word or phrase looks better in italics, it has retained its French identity, but if it doesn't need italics, it has probably passed over into English.

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Words and phrases

Note that these phrases are pronounced using the French rules, and not the English ones. Thus, the stress most often falls on the final syllable, the final letter is silent (unless it's "r" or "à" or "é"), consequent words are pronounced without a pause between them, unaccented "e" is usually pronounced as [ @ ], and final "n" is nasalized as /~/ (see SAMPA for a guide to phonetic symbols).

  • À bientôt! -- see you later!
  • À la -- in the manner of
  • À la carte -- each item separately available
  • À la mode -- fashionable (or, in North America, "with ice cream")
  • Adieu! -- good bye!
  • Agent provocateur -- a police spy who causes a crime to secure a conviction
  • Au revoir! -- see you again! good bye!
  • Bête noire -- lit. "black beast", someone or something which is detested or avoided.
  • Bon appétit! -- have a good meal!
  • Bonne chance! -- good luck!
  • Bon voyage! -- have a good trip!
  • Bonjour! -- Hello! lit. "good day!"
  • Carte blanche -- unlimited authority (lit. "blank card")
  • C'est la vie! -- that's life!
  • C'est magnifique! -- that's great!
  • Comment allez-vous? -- how are you?
  • D'accord -- agreed, okay
  • Déjà vu -- lit. "already seen". The impression or illusion of having seen or experienced something before.
  • De rigueur -- required, necessary
  • Douceur de vivre -- sweetness of life
  • Escargots -- snails
  • L'esprit d'escalier -- thinking of the right comeback too late (lit. "staircase wit"), originally a witticism of Diderot, the French encyclopediste, in his Paradoxe sur le Comédien.
  • Fait accompli -- something which happenend and is unlikely to be reversed
  • Faux amis -- false friends (used to refer to similar words in French and English that have different meanings).
  • Faux pas -- social misstep
  • Fin de siècle -- comparable to (but not exactly the same as) turn-of-the-century but with a "decadence" connotation
  • Je-ne-sais-quoi -- An indefinable (usually compelling) quality (lit. "I don't know what")
  • Joie de vivre -- joy of living
  • La crème de la crème -- the best of the best
  • Cul-de-sac -- lit. "bottom of the sack", dead end
  • Derrière -- lit. "behind", buttocks
  • Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité -- Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (motto of the French Republic)
  • Merci beaucoup! -- thank you very much!
  • Mirepoix -- a cooking mixture of two parts onions and one part each of celery and carrots (see mirepoix (http://www.foodreference.com/html/fmirepoix.html) at foodreference.com (http://www.foodreference.com/))
  • Moi -- me, often used in English as an ironic reply to an accusation: "what, me?". Can sound pretentious if over-used in English, hence the joke "pretentious? moi?".
  • (or) née -- born (past participle of naître -- to be born), often used to give someone's former or maiden name
  • N'est-ce pas? -- isn't it? Used after a statement, as in "right?"
  • Non -- no
  • Nom de plume -- pen name
  • Oui -- yes
  • Répondez s'il vous plaît (R.S.V.P.) -- please reply
  • Le roi est mort. Vive le roi! -- The king is dead. Long live the king!
  • Savoir-faire -- know-how
  • S'il vous plaît (S.V.P.) -- please. Lit. "if it pleases you", "if you please".
  • Soupe du jour -- the soup of the day
  • tête-à-tête -- lit. "head to head", a private meeting
  • Tour de force -- a masterly or brilliant stroke, creation, effect, or accomplishment (lit. "feat of skill" or "strength")
  • Vive la différence -- long live the difference
  • Vive la France -- long live France
  • Voilà! or et voilà! -- there you go!

Seemingly French phrases used in English, but not in French

  • Auteur -- in French it just means "author", but in English it means "film director who controls everything about the film, or other controller of an artistic situation". (Actually, the English connotation derives from French, or rather French film theory. Popularised in the journal Cahiers du cinéma, auteur theory maintains that directors like Hitchcock exert a level of creative control equivalent to the author of a literary work.)
  • Cause célèbre -- an issue arousing widespread controversy or heated public debate
  • Double entendre (pronounced dubble ontondr' or dooble ontond)-- double meaning, for which the French say double sens
  • Encore -- extra song(s) played at the end of a gig, literally means "again" (French would say bis)
  • Le mot juste -- the right word. (means the same literal thing in French, but isn't used in the particular context English-speakers use it).
  • Succès de scandale -- success by scandal
  • Venue -- location of an event, from venir, literally means "came"

French phrases in international air-sea rescue

International authorities have adopted a number of words and phrases from French for use by speakers of all languages in voice communications during air-sea rescues. Note that the "phonetic" versions are presented as shown and not in SAMPA.

  • SECURATE (securité, "safety") -- the following is a safety message or warning, the lowest level of danger
  • PAN PAN (panne, "breakdown") -- the following is a message concerning a danger to a person or ship, the next level of danger
  • MAYDAY (m'aidez, "help me") -- the following is a message of extreme urgency, the highest level of danger. MAYDAY replaced SOS in this function.
  • SEELONCE (silence, "silence") -- keep this channel clear for air-sea rescue communications.
  • SEELONCE FEE NEE (silence fini, "silence is over") -- this channel is now available again.
  • PRU DONCE (prudence, "prudence") -- silence partially lifted, channel may be used again for urgent non-distress communication
  • MAY DEE CAL (médical, "medical") -- medical assistance needed

It is a serious breach in most countries, and in international zones, to use any of these phrases without justification.

See Mayday for a more detailed explication.

Related articles

External link

  • Communications Instructions, Distress and Rescue Procedures Combined Communications-Electronics Board (http://www.dtic.mil/jcs/j6/cceb/acps/Acp135e.pdf) of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States. PDF document.

Hors d'oeuvre

Hors d'oeuvres (or alternatively appetiser, appetizer or starter) refer to the food served before or outside of (French: hors) the main dishes of a meal (the œuvre). The purpose of the hors d'oeuvres is to whet the appetite; if there is a long waiting period between when the guests arrive and when the meal is served (for example, during a cocktail hour), these might also serve the purpose of sustaining guests during the long wait.

Hors d'oeuvres may be served at the table, i.e. as a part of the sit-down meal, or they may be served before sitting at the table.

Wikibooks Cookbook has a section about:


These might include:

See also:

Cinéma vérité

This article is about a type of documentary. Cinéma Vérité is also an album by Dramarama.

Cinéma vérité is a form of documentary. The name is a French phrase meaning, literally "true film". The term comes from the literal translation of Dziga Vertov's Kino-Pravda series of the 1920s. While Vertov's announced intention in coining the word was to use film as a means of getting at "hidden" truth, largely through juxtapostions of scenes, the French term refers more to a technique influenced by Vertov than to his specific intentions.

Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North (1922) is also often seen as an ancestor to cinéma vérité, in that it was a partially scripted film that used the techniques of documentary filmmaking. As a silent film, it was immune from a problem that would arise with the advent of sound: for many years it was impossible to record sound in an unstructured environment, requiring documentaries to rely on narration.

The aesthetic of the movement, which began in the 1950s and flourished in the 1960s was essentially the same as that of the mid-1950s "free cinema" in the UK and the "direct cinema" movement in the United States. Incongruously in France and Quebec it is usually called "cinéma direct".

Borrowing techniques from documentary film (but eschewing the use of voiceovers) cinéma vérite aims for an extreme naturalism, using non-professional actors, nonintrusive filming techniques, frequent use of hand-held camera, the use of genuine locations rather than sound stages, and naturalistic sound without post-production. The movement was fueled as much by technological as artistic developments. Cameras had become small enough to be portable and unbotrusive. Even more important cameras were now quiet so that natural sound could be recorded at the same time as filiming. Technologies linking cameras and recorders made the clapboard obsolete, further freeing the filmmaker.

In principle, the film movement Dogme 95 features similar tenets, but in practice most Dogme 95 films show far more indications of the scripting and direction than is typical for cinéma vérité.

Filmmakers generally associated with cinéma vérité include:

Cinéma vérité films

The techniques (if not always the spirit) of cinéma vérite can also be seen in such films as the Blair Witch Project and in mockumentaries such as A Hard Day's Night and This Is Spinal Tap.

Succès de scandale

Succès de scandale is French for "success by scandal", i.e. when (part of) a success derives from a scandal.

It might seem contradictory that any kind of success might follow from scandal: but scandal attracts attention, and this attention (whether gossip or bad press or any other kind) is sometimes the beginning of notoriety and/or other successes.

The archetypal example of succes de scandale in art is Stravinsky's Sacre du Printemps, premiered in 1913 by the Ballets Russes. The public attending this premiere was so scandalised by the brutal sounds produced by the orchestra, and the evocation of a blood sacrifice on the scene, that it literally tore down the theatre... this was 1913, the high days of the Belle Epoque. A shower of bad press and criticism followed. But Stravinsky kept aloof, as if he knew that overnight he had become the most famous composer of the 20th century, and that he never would have to recur to scandal again (he moved to chamber music and neoclassical style for the next few years, nothing with which to upset large audiences). From what he declared years later, he appeared still sure that he couldn't be beaten in exploiting a scandal for success, the way it had happened with Le Sacre du Printemps.

Belle Epoque

Le déjeuner sur l'herbe was one of the first in a series of Parisian succès de scandales
Le déjeuner sur l'herbe was one of the first in a series of Parisian succès de scandales

Belle epoque Paris appears to have had exactly the right climat for succès de scandale (probably also the reason why this is where the term originated): in all examples below, regarding famous artists kicking off their career with some sort of scandal, there are at least some connections with turn-of-the-century Paris. In other cities provoking a scandal appeared more risky, as Oscar Wilde would find out shortly after his relatively "succesful" Parisian scandal (Salomé - 1894, portraying the main character as a Necrophile):

  • Le déjeuner sur l'Herbe by Edouard Manet (Salon des refusés, 1863): Even the Emperor was scandalised - but Manet had a nice start to his career.
  • Alfred Jarry shocked Paris in 1896 with the first of his absurdistic Ubu plays: Ubu Roi. The performance of this play was forbidden after the first night. No problem for Jarry: he moved the production to a puppet theatre.
  • A new group of artists, labelled disrespectfully Les Fauves ("The Wild Beasts") by an art critic, had their successful debut in 1905 Paris (and kept the name).
  • Richard Strauss had had few success with his first two operas (which are never performed any more today), so he tried something different: he set music to Wilde's Salomé in 1905, and racketed quite some scandal with this opera, including in the New York Met, where the production had to be closed after one night. But Strauss wanted more: his next opera (Elektra - 1909) was so "noisy" that cartoons appeared with Strauss directing an orchestra of animals. Then Hugo von Hoffmansthal, the textwriter of this second "successful" production, seems to have taken the right decision, in refraining Strauss from getting ever more bold: Strauss's success was guaranteed without any further scandal, so Von Hoffmansthal wrote a bittersweet scenario with a theme of resigning to the fact of getting older, for Strauss's next (and after all most successful) opera. Only two world wars later Strauss would get involved in scandal again, for his way of realising what was then considered as the highest ambition: directing the Bayreuther Festspiele (which had involved sucking up to the Nazi regime). Here, however, scandal came after the success, which is more annoying.
  • The Rite of Spring (1913): see introduction to this article.
  • Parade production of 1917: see Parade (ballet).
  • Paul Chabas had won a most prestigious prize with his September Morn in Paris. Nudity as portrayed in this painting was however far from being able to shock a Parisian public, half a century after the "déjeuner". So, notwithstanding the "official" prize, market value of the painting remained low. Then, Chabas put it on show in a New York shop window in 1913. There, for the first time in history, it appears a succes de scandale scheme was set up by a publicity agent (Harry Reichenbach), who "accidentally" coached a morality crusader along the picture. The scandal that evolved brought as well financial success, as that it secured Chabas's place in art history books (what did he care this was most often in the "Kitsch" chapter - the painting ended up in one of the most prestigious museums of New York).

See Also

Salon des Refusés

The Salon des Refusés ('Rooms of the Rejected') was an exhibition in Paris.

It first took place in 1863. It displayed art-works that had been rejected by the Académie des beaux-arts when submitted for display at the Paris Salon: the official exhibition of the Académie.

In 1863 the nascent Realist and Impressionist movements submitted works to the Academy's selection committee only to be rejected. The resultant complaints of bias led the French emperor Napoleon III to allow the rejected works to be displayed in a separate exhibition.

Most were undoubtedly of poor quality, leading to ridicule in the press. However, the exhibition contained at least two important paintings, Edouard Manet's Déjeuner sur l'Herbe (the 'Picnic') and James McNeill Whistler's The White Girl.

Later Salon des Refusés were held in 1874, 1875 and 1886. In 1881 the government withdrew official sponsorship from the annual Salon, and a group of artists organised the Société des artistes français to take responsibility for the show.

See also