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In other days, when the Salon presented only the choicest works of art, it conferred the highest honor on the creations there exhibited. Among the two hundred selected paintings, the public could still choose: a crown was awarded to the masterpiece by hands unseen. Eager, impassioned discussions arose about some picture. The abuse showered on Delacroix, on Ingres, contributed no less to their fame than the praises and fanaticism of their adherents. To-day, neither the crowd nor the criticism grows impassioned about the products of that bazaar. Forced to make the selection for itself, which in former days the examining jury made for it, the attention of the public is soon wearied and the exhibition closes. Before the year 1817 the pictures admitted never went beyond the first two columns of the long gallery of the old masters; but in that year, to the great astonishment of the public, they filled the whole space. Historical, high-art, genre paintings, easel pictures, landscapes, flowers, animals, and water-colors,—these eight specialties could surely not offer more than twenty pictures in one year worthy of the eyes of the public, which, indeed, cannot give its attention to a greater number of such works. The more the number of artists increases, the more careful and exacting the jury of admission ought to be.