Exposition Universelle (1855)
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Exposition Universelle of 1855 was an International Exhibition held on the Champ de Mars in Paris from May 15 to November 15, 1855. Its full official title was the Exposition Universelle des produits de l'Agriculture, de l'Industrie et des Beaux-Arts de Paris 1855.
The exposition was a major event in France, then newly under the reign of Emperor Napoleon III. It followed London's Great Exhibition of 1851 and attempted to surpass that fair's The Crystal Palace with its own Palais d'Industrie. The industrial and art exhibits shown on this occasion were considered superior to those of all previous exhibitions.
According to its official report, 5,162,330 visitors attended the exposition, of which about 4.2 million entered the industrial exposition, and 0.9 million entered the Beaux Arts exposition. Expenses amounted to upward of $5,000,000, while receipts were scarcely one-tenth of that amount. The exposition covered 16 hectares (39 acres) with 34 countries participating.
For the exposition, Napoleon III requested a classification system for France's best Bordeaux wines which were to be on display for visitors from around the world. Brokers from the wine industry ranked the wines according to a château's reputation and trading price, which at that time was directly related to quality. The result was the important Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.
Today the exposition's sole physical remnant is the théâtre du Rond-point des Champs-Élysées designed by architect Gabriel Davioud, which originally housed the Panorama National.
- Paris Salon of 1855
- Exposition universelle, 1855, Beaux-arts , a text by Charles Baudelaire
- The Pavilion of Realism