Between 1667 and 1789 the French monarchy sponsored periodic exhibitions of works by members of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture.
Printed catalogs for these Salons, called livrets, were first issued in 1673. Beginning in 1791 the Salon was sponsored by varying government bodies. The Académie royale was replaced by the École des beaux-arts in 1795 and the Salon was opened to all artists. During the course of the nineteenth century the Salon became an annual event and was designated the exposition officielle from the 1866 catalog.