Auguste Renoir - The Champs Elysees during the Paris Fair of 1867

The Champs Elysees during the Paris Fair of 1867
The Champs Elysees during the Paris Fair of 1867
1867 60x100cm oil/canvas
Private collection

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The second World Fair in Paris was also organized under the auspices of the emperor. This time, Napoleon III exploited the fair more efficiently as a means of communication to the public, and as an event susceptible to bring a political gain. An Imperial Pavilion was built specifically for the fair; Napoleon III himself designed a worker’s house, which he commissioned to be built for the fair. The Emperor thus hoped to show his attention and his consideration for the lower classes.
The 1867 exhibit was the first of many to take place in the Champ-de-Mars. Instead of having several buildings housing the exhibits – as had been the case in 1855 – it was decided that the main site for the event would be the Palais du Champ-de-Mars. Built by engineer Frederic LePlay with the help of the young Gustave Eiffel as a chief designer, the Palais had an oval structure, and housed both the national sections and the thematic exhibitions. Most of the exhibit (in the outer concentric circles) was dedicated to industry, while the inner circles were reserved for Art. The building at the center of the structure housed an exhibit about currency and coins.
by Pauline de Tholozany
Ph.D., Brown University 2011