La Libre Esthétique was an artistic society founded in 1893 in Brussels, Belgium to continue the efforts of the artists' group Les XX dissolved the same year. To reduce conflicts between artists invited or excluded, artists were no longer admitted to the society, thus all exhibitors were now invited.
The first annual exhibition was opened on 14 February 1894, and the exhibition of 1914 was the last: a year later German troops had occupied Belgium, Brussels included.
The Annual Exhibitions, 1894-1913
All exhibitions were accompanied by a bibliophile catalogue, printed at Veuve Monnon, Brussels.
First exhibition, 17 February - 15 March 1894
Paul Gauguin showed five paintings, one from Martinique 1887, the others from his trip to Tahiti, 1891-1893. He even traveled to Brussels to assist at the opening, and published a review.
Third exhibition, 22 February - 30 March 1896
Fourth exhibition, 25 February - 1 Avril 1897
With six recent paintings by Gauguin.
Fifth exhibition, 24 February - 1 April 1898