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Quatrième Année Salon de Photographie - 1897This fourth international photographic art exposition (Quatrième Année Salon de Photographie) hosted by the Photo-Club de Paris at the Galerie Des Champs Elysées in Paris was held between 13th and 28th April 1897. The Photo-Club de Paris was created by members who seceded from the Société de Francaise de Photographie and it included influential photographers including Robert Demachy and Constant Puyo.
(The Photo-Club de Paris)
This was also the fourth year that the Photo-Club de Paris issued a commemorative portfolio for the exposition. It seems the decision was made to issue this portfolio in a much smaller edition than the previous three years. This example in this exhibition (#40) was the personal copy of Constant Puyo, and was one of only 200 examples printed on vellum. Another 30 deluxe examples were issued printed in a double suite of plates on Impérial Japan paper and vellum. Each of the large plate photogravures was printed on paper manufactured by Blanchet and Kléber of Rives, France. Several notable things were eliminated in the introductory letterpress for this portfolio. Principally, these were the "Règlement de l‘Exposition", which were basically the rules for entering the exhibition and most notably, the lengthy exhibitors list for all those photographers who had their work accepted for hanging at the exhibition.
We have included an example of the large color lithographic poster used to promote the exhibition. If this was made into a reduced form and included as a plate similar to the Edme Couty lithograph in the third portfolio catalogue of 1896, then it has gone missing from this particular copy. This large poster (34 x 47 2/3") went unsold in a major recent German camera auction.
There are 38 photogravures in this portfolio, also a major reduction considering the first year showcased 64 photographs printed on 56 individual plates. The majority of the copper plates in this portfolio were engraved by the firm of Fillon et Heuse, an atelier based in Paris. All of the plates were printed by Charles Wittmann. The letterpress, along with the poster, were printed at Imprimerie Chaix in Paris-perhaps better known for the fact that it was headed up by artist Jules Cheret - its‘ principal artist and director best known for his series of large lithographs of the Folies-Bergére.
On the judging front however, there was a noticeable difference - and one might even call it "progress" in giving the photographs a stronger voice on the judging panel. This was because unlike the first three years (1894-1896) of the expositions, in which the largely unknown amateur photographers Audra and Saint-Senoch were the only photographic voices among the artists, sculptors and critics acting as judges, the fourth year was a great leap in that three very well known "artistic" photographers: Hector Colard (Belgium: 1851-1923), Paul Bergon (France: 1863-1912) and René Le Beque (France: 1857-1914) were represented on the judging committee.
It is known that there was a fifth year for this international salon sponsored by the Photo-Club de Paris, also held at the Galerie Des Champs Elysées (May 3-29, 1898). However, it is unknown if there was a final portfolio similar to the previous four issued for the 1898 salon.
Photoseed is honored and pleased to let people around the world experience the beauty of this important 1897 exhibition catalog.