The rise of ‘the salon’.

The eighteenth-century saw the rise of the institution known as, the salon. It was an arena where for the first time women could meet on equal terms as the men who attended these social gatherings. Salons were popular through-out Europe and presided over by gifted hostesses who drew together small gatherings of intellectuals,writers and artists. Salons continued to be popular right up until the second world war and it is hard to gauge just how influential the women of these salons were in shaping European intellectual thought. I have chosen two portraits of two salon hostesses separated  by over a century the first is of Madame de Sorquainville by Perroneau


the second Mrs Hugh Hammersley by John S. Sargent 1892


I chose this portrait because of the local connection to me Mrs Hammersley presided over her Salon at her house in Hampstead London known as Admiral’s House and made famous in the film Mary Poppins.

With my own two sketches of these portraits I have taken the liberty of using my own colour scheme.




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