The Société des Artistes Français is the association of French painters and sculptors established in 1881. Its annual exhibition is called the "Salon des artistes français" (not to be confused with the better-known Salon, established in 1667).
When the Société was established, it associated all the French artists. Its president was a painter and its vice-president a sculptor. The main task of the Société is to organize the Salon, since the French government ceased to do it.
In December 1890 president Bouguereau suggested that the Salon should be an exhibition of young, yet unrecognized, artists. Ernest Meissonier, Puvis de Chavannes, Auguste Rodin and others rejected this proposal and left the organization. They quickly created their own exhibition (Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1899) that was also named the Salon, officially Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux–Arts, in short Salon du Champs de Mars. The original Salon was sometimes called Salon de Champs-Élysées, or simply Salon des artistes français).
Presidents of the association since 1881
The Société des Artistes Français still exists and organizes each year the "Salon des Artistes Français". Its current President is Ms. Martine Delaleuf.