Historiography of the Salon  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The salons of Early Modern and Revolutionary France played an integral role in the cultural and intellectual development of France. The salons were seen by contemporary writers as a cultural hub, responsible for the dissemination of good manners and sociability. It was not merely manners that the salons supposedly spread but also ideas, as the salons became a centre of intellectual as well as social exchange, playing host to many members of the Republic of Letters. Women, in contrast to other Early Modern institutions, played an important and visible role within the salons. The extent of this role is, however, heavily contested by some historians.

The role that the salons played in the process of Enlightenment, and particularly the fact that women played such an integral part in them, means that there is an abundance of historical debate surrounding them. The relationship with the state and the public sphere, the role of women, as well as their form and periodisation are all important factors in the historiography of the salon.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Historiography of the Salon" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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