Goupil and Cie
Goupil and Cie
Goupil and the 19th-century Art Market
Art galleries of the mid-19th century displayed traditional paintings depicting historical and allegorical subjects. These were the themes favored by the Paris Salon and the teaching academies. In addition, art dealers sold engraved reproductions of artworks that had been prize-winners at the Salon. The inventory at Goupil and Cie. was no exception. In his early days as an employee of the gallery, Van Gogh shared the current taste for artists such as the sentimentalist Ary Scheffer or the Salon favorite Adolphe Bouguereau. The approval of the official art world was essential if an artist hoped to sell his paintings through a commercial gallery such as Goupil's. Artists whose works were not selected for the Salon had few options. Some painters bartered their canvases with shopkeepers or restaurateurs in exchange for supplies or a meal. Others were lucky enough to find patrons who judged paintings for themselves, without relying on the opinions of the Salon jury or art critics.