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Related: group - Salon de Paris - salon (room)
People who hold/held salons: Jim Haynes - Nathalie Barney
DefinitionThe salon is a 17th-century French idea, a gathering of stimulating and attractive people of quality under the roof of an inspiring hostess, partly to amuse one another and partly to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation and readings, consciously following Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "to please and educate" (aut delectare aut prodesse est).
The first literary salons of Paris formed in the 1620s at the Hotel de Rambouillet and the rival salon that gathered around Madeleine de Scudéry. Here gathered the original "blue-stockings" (les bas-bleues), whose nickname continued to mean "intellectual woman" for the next 300 years. In the salons of Paris, the précieuses refined the French language even before the Académie Francaise was founded.
The 18th-century salons brought together Parisian society and the progressive philosophes who were producing the Encyclopédie. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salon_%28gathering%29 [Sept 2004]
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