French art -
Making generalizations about the visual culture of any group of people is a crude endeavor, especially with a culture as diverse as France's. With this thought in mind, know that this survey, as any must be, is tremendously limited in its breadth and depth.
[Expect a more in-depth article to appear here soon.]
Frankish (early French), Carolingian, Equestrian Statuette of Charlemagne, ninth century, bronze with traces of gilt, 9 1/4 inches high (23.5 cm), Louvre. See Middle Ages and sculpture.
France, Coronation Sword of the Kings of France, 10th-11th centuries (pommel), 12th century (cross-guards), 13th century (spindle), gold, steel, glass, lapis, and pearls, 1.005 x 0.226 m, Louvre. See arms & armor.
Burgundy school (French), Descent from the Cross, called "The Courajod Christ", second quarter of the twelfth century, paint and gilt on wood, 61 x 67 x 12 inches (155 x 168 x 30 cm), Louvre.
France, Limoges, shortly before 1200, Alpais Ciborium, gilt brass, chiseled, engraved, and colored with enamels and precious stones, height 0.30 m, diameter 0.168 m, Louvre.
Maurice de Sully (French), Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, 1163 - 1250, bearing masonry, cut stone. Notre Dame Cathedral was seminal in the evolution of the French Gothic style. It is 110 feet high — the first cathedral built on a truly monumental scale. With its compact, cruciform plan, its sexpartite vaulting, flying buttresses and vastly enlarged windows, it became a prototype for future French cathedrals. Also see architecture and gargoyle.
French Gothic, King Childebert, c. 1239-1244, stone with traces of polychrome, 75 x 21 x 22 inches (191 m x 53 m x 55 cm), from the refectory of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, and now in the Louvre. See Gothic and monastery.
French, Time, c. 1500-1510, tapestry with wool and silk, Cleveland Museum of Art.
Paris (?), Parade Shield, 1540-1550, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See arms & armor.
France, after designs by Etienne Delaune (1518/19-1583, Paris), Armor for Henry II of France, c. 1555, steel, embossed, blued, silvered, and gilded, height 74 inches (188 cm), weight 53 lb. 4 oz. (24.2 kg), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
France, Paris, Burgonet with Falling Buffe, c. 1555, steel, blued and gilded, height 14 inches (35.5 cm), weight 5 lb. 6 oz. (2.4 kg), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
France, Paris, probably after designs by Etienne Delaune (1518/19-1583), Shield of Henry II of France, c. 1555, steel, embossed and damascened with gold and silver, height 25 inches (63.5 cm), weight 7lb. (32.2 kg), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Pierre Le Bourgeois (French, -1627, Lisieux), Flintlock Gun, c. 1620, steel, chiseled, blued, and gilded; wood, inlaid with silver, brass, and engraved mother-of-pearl; brass-gilt; bone; length 55 inches (140 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Nicolas Poussin (French, 1593/94-1665), Parnassus, oil on canvas, 145 x 197 cm, Prado Museum, Madrid. Poussin was a Baroque painter who was a precursor to Neoclassicism. Also see Neoclassicism. See Poussinisme.
Nicolas Poussin, Landscape with Polyphemus, oil on canvas, 149 x 197.5 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See landscape.
Nicolas Poussin, Bacchanal, c. 1635-6, pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over faint black chalk underdrawing, 5 1/4 x 8 1/8 inches (13.3 x 20.6 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See mythology.
Claude Gellée, called Le Lorrain (French, c. 1604/5-1682), Queen Esther Approaching the Palace of Ahasuerus, 1658, pen and brown ink, brown wash over black chalk, heightened with white, 11 13/16 x 17 1/2 inches (30 x 44.4 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Pierre Puget (French, 1620-1694), Milo of Crotona Devoured by a Lion,1670-1682, marble,106 x 55 x 35 inches (270 x 140 x 98 cm), Louvre.
France, Paris, Air, c. 1683, petit point hanging made with silk, wool, metal thread on canvas 316 stitches per square inch, 49 stitches per square cm, 14 feet x 9 feet (426.7 x 274.3 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See textile.
Savonnerie Manufactory (Paris, France), Music, c. 1685-1697, XVII century, carpet made with wool Ghiordes knot, 90 knots per square inch, width 16 feet (487.7 cm), length 29 feet 6 inches (899.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See music.
France, Chasuble, late 17th century, silk, silver-gilt and silk thread, couching, satin stitch, 98 x 89 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See costume.
France, Flounce of Guipure Lace, late 17th-early 18th centuries, linen thread, needlepoint, 60 x 177 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See textile.
Drouar (possibly André Drouart) (French, Paris), Armor of Infante Luis, Prince of Asturias, 1712, steel, blued and gilded; brass-gilt; silk; cotton; metallic yarn; paper; height 28 inches (71.1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin (French, 1699-1779), The Silver Tureen, 1728, oil on canvas, 30 x 42 1/2 inches (76.2 x 108 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See still life.
Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin, Soap Bubbles, after 1739, oil on canvas, 23 5/8 x 28 3/4 inches (60 x 73 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art. See genre.
Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin, Still-Life with the Attributes of the Arts, 1766, oil on canvas, 44 x 55 inches (112 x 140.5 cm), Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Denis Diderot (French, 1713-1784), Author; Jean d'Alembert (French, 1717-1783), Author; Paris: Briasson, 1751-1765, Publisher; Neufchastel : S. Faulche & cie., Vols. 8-17 published, Encyclopedie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonne des Sciences, des Arts et des Metiers, 1751-1765, printed book; 17 v. : fold. tab. ; 40 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Illustrated: Plates, Volume 8. Plate 1- "Relieur". The procedures for binding a book from the Encyclopedie. See illustration.
Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (French, 1714-1785), Mercury Fastening His Winged Sandals,1744, marble, 23 x 14 x 12 inches (59 x 34 x 30 cm), Louvre. See Rococo and sculpture.
Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732-1806), A Gathering at Woods' Edge, c. 1760-1780, red chalk, 14 3/4 x 19 3/8 inches (37.5 x 49.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Pierre Julien (French, 1732-1804), Dying Gladiator, 1779, marble statuette, 0.607 x 0.485 x 0.42 m, Louvre.
Hubert Robert (France, 1733-1808), Landscape with Steps, 1770s, red chalk, 17 1/2 x 12 5/8 inches (44.5 x 32.1 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Jean-Antoine Houdon (French, 1741-1828), Diana the Huntress, probably between 1776 and 1795, terra cotta, height overall 75 1/2 inches (191.8 cm), height of figure 68 1/8 inches (173 cm), Frick Collection, NY. Inscribed on the top of the base in the front left corner: "HOUDON Scult." See Neoclassicism.
Jacques-Louis David (French, 1748-1825), The Death of Socrates, 1787, oil on canvas, 51 x 77 1/4 inches (129.5 x 196.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (On the Met's page, you can enlarge any detail.) See history painting and Neoclassicism.
Jacques-Louis David, The Oath of the Horatii, 1784, oil on canvas, 3.30 x 4.25 m, Louvre. See narrative art.
Jacques-Louis David, The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of Empress Josephine (December 2, 1804), 1806-1807, oil on canvas, 6.21 x 9.79 m, Louvre.
Jacques-Louis David, Sappho and Phaon, 1809, oil on canvas, 89 x 103 inches (225.3 x 262 cm), Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Jacques-Louis David (French, 1748-1825), Leonidas at Thermopylae, c. 1814, black chalk, squared in black chalk, 16 x 21 5/8 inches (40.6 x 54.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Jacques-Louis David, Cupid and Psyche, 1817, oil on canvas, Cleveland Museum of Art. See mythology.
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (French, 1758-1823), The Empress Josephine (1763-1814), 1805, oil on canvas, 2.44 x 1.79 m, Louvre. See Neoclassicism.
Louis-Leopold Boilly (French, 1761-1845), A Game of Billiards, 1807, oil on canvas, 22 x 32 inches (56 x 81 cm), Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See Neoclassicism.
Jean-Baptiste Joseph Wicar, (French, 1762-1834), one of Jacques-Louis David's most interesting followers. See Neoclassicism.
Antoine-Jean Gros (French, 1772-1835), Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Stricken at Jaffa (March 11, 1799), 1804, oil on canvas, 5.23 x 7.15 m, Louvre.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French, 1780-1867), commissioned by Prince Wenzel von Kaunitz-Rietberg (Austrian Ambassador to Rome in 1818), The Kaunitz Sisters (Leopoldine, Caroline, and Ferdinandine, Austrians), 1818, graphite, 11 7/8 x 8 3/4 inches (30.1 x 22.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Neoclassicism.
Jean-August-Dominique Ingres, Portrait of Count N.D.Guriev, 1821, oil on canvas, 42 x 34 inches (107 x 86 cm), Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See portrait.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Princesse de Broglie, 1851-1853, oil on canvas, 47 3/4 x 35 3/4 inches (121.3 x 90.8 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Auguste Edouart (French, 1789-1861), Frank Johnson, Leader of the Brass Band of the 128th Regiment in Saratoga, with his wife, Helen, 1843-1844, silhouette, 11 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches (28.6 x 23.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Théodore Géricault (French, 1791-1824), The Raft of the Medusa, 1819, oil on canvas, 4.91 x 7.16 m, Louvre. Géricault pictures a real-life drama of 149 shipwrecked sailors from the frigate "Medusa", abandoned for twelve days on a raft off the Senegalese coast. He chose to depict the moment on July 17, 1816 when the 15 survivors were overcome with despair as the "Argus", the ship that eventually was to rescue them, sailed off. See Romanticism.
Antoine Louis Barye (French, 1796-1875), Lion Fighting a Serpent,1832-1835, bronze, 53 x 70 x 38 inches (135 x 178 x 96 cm), Louvre. See animalia and Romanticism.
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875), Diana and Actaeon, 1836, oil on canvas, 61 5/8 x 44 3/8 inches (156.5 x 112.7 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Romanticism.
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, The Lake, 1861, oil on canvas, 52 3/8 x 62 inches (133 x 157.5 cm), Frick Collection, NY.
Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798-1863), Royal Tiger, 1829, lithograph, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. See Romanticism.
Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People (July 28, 1830), 1830, oil on canvas, 2.60 x 3.25 m, Louvre.
Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, Saada, the Wife of Abraham Benchimol, and Préciada, One of Their Daughters, 1832, watercolor over graphite, 8 3/4 x 6 3/8 inches (22.2 x 16.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, Strolling Players, 1833, watercolor, 9 3/4 x 7 1/4 inches (24.8 x 18.4 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, The Abduction of Rebecca, 1846, oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 32 1/4 inches (100.3 x 81.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (On the Met's page, you can enlarge any detail.)
Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, Lion Hunt in Morocco, 1854, oil on canvas, 74 x 92 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Jean-Jacques Feuchère (French, 1807-1852), Satan, c. 1836, bronze, height 31 inches (78.7 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art. See Romanticism.
Honoré-Victorin Daumier (French, 1808-1879), A French Painter Paints Himself (Un français peint par lui-meme), no. 3 from the series Scénes d'ateliers, 1848, lithograph, image 23.5 x 19.7 cm; sheet 34 x 26.2 cm, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA. This is not actually a self-portrait, but instead a caricature of type —"French painter" — who examines his reflection while painting a self-portrait. See Realism.
Honoré-Victorin Daumier, The Connoisseur, c. 1860-65, pen and ink, wash, watercolor, lithographic crayon, and gouache over black chalk, wove paper; sheet: 17 1/4 x 14 inches (43.8 x 35.5cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Jean-François Millet (French, 1814-1875), Spring, 1868-1873, oil on canvas, 33 3/4 x 43 3/4 inches (86 x 111 cm), Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Millet is most associated with the Barbizon school of painters, though he is an important precursor to Realism.
Jean-Désiré-Gustave Courbet (French, 1819-1877), Portrait of Juliette Courbet as a Sleeping Child, 1841, graphite on paper, Musée d'Orsay. See Realism.
Jean-Désiré-Gustave Courbet, A Burial at Ornans, 1849-1850, oil on canvas, 10 feet 3 1/2 inches x 21 feet 9 inches (314 x 663 cm), Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
Jean-Désiré-Gustave Courbet, The Painter's Studio, A Real Allegory, 1855, oil on canvas, 11 feet 10 1/4 inches x 19 feet 7 1/2 inches (361 x 598 cm), Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
Jean-Désiré-Gustave Courbet, Woman with a Parrot, 1866, oil on canvas, 51 x 77 inches (129.5 x 195.6 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (On the Met's page, you can enlarge any detail.)
Jean-Désiré-Gustave Courbet, The Stormy Sea (or The Wave), 1869,oil on canvas, 3 feet 10 inches x 5 feet 3 1/2 inches (117 x 160.5 cm), Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
Félix Nadar [Gaspard-Félix Tournachon] (French, 1820-1910), Alexandre Dumas père (1802-1870), 1855, salted paper print from collodion wet plate negative, Cleveland Museum of Art.
Félix Nadar [Gaspard-Félix Tournachon] (French, 1820-1910), Charles Baudelaire in an Armchair, 1855, unique test on salted paper made from a partly destroyed negative, 28 x 16.5 cm, Musée d'Orsay, Paris. See photography and portrait.
Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822-1899), The Horse Fair, 1853-55, oil on canvas, 96 1/4 x 199 1/2 inches (244.5 x 506.7 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (On the Met's page, you can enlarge any detail.) See Realism.
Gustave Eiffel (French, 1832-1923) , Eiffel Tower, 1887-1889, exposition observation tower, exposed iron construction, height 985 feet, a symbol of Paris worldwide. Built for Paris's 1889 International Exhibition, the centenary celebration of the French Revolution. See architecture.
Édouard Manet (French, 1832-1883), Luncheon on the Grass (Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe), 1863, oil on canvas, 81 x 101 cm, Musée d'Orsay. See Realism and Impressionism.
Édouard Manet, Olympia, 1863, oil on canvas, 51 3/8 x 74 3/4 inches (130.5 x 190 cm) Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
Édouard Manet, Boating, 1874, oil on canvas, 38 1/4 x 51 1/4 inches (97.2 x 130.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (On the Met's page, you can enlarge any detail.) This picture was painted "en plein air."
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Édouard Manet, Seated, 1866-68, portrait of Édouard Manet (French, 1832-1883), black chalk on off-white wove paper; sheet: 13 1/16 x 9 1/16 inches (33.1 x 23 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Impressionism and portrait.
Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917), The Age of Bronze, 1877, plaster, height 173 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See sculpture.
Auguste Rodin, She Who Was the Helmet-Maker's Beautiful Wife, c. 1880-85, bronze, height 19 1/2 inches (49.5 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919), Two Young Girls at the Piano, 1892, oil on canvas, 45 3/4 x 35 3/8 inches (116.2 x 90 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Impressionism.
Henri-Edmond Cross (French, 1856-1910), Landscape with Stars, watercolor over pencil on paper, 9 5/8 x 12 5/8 inches (20.5 x 32.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See nocturne.
Georges Seurat (French 1859-1891), Study for 'Les Poseuses', c. 1887, conté crayon on paper; 11 11/16 x 8 7/8 inches (29.7 x 22.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Neo-Impressionism and pointillism.
René Lalique (French, 1860-1945), "Sauterelles" Vase (Grasshoppers), 1922, glass, height 10 9/16 inches (26.9 cm), Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA. See Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
Émile Antoine Bourdelle (French, 1861-1929)
Aristide Maillol (French, 1861-1944)
Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867-1947), Before Dinner, 1924, oil on canvas, 35 1/2 x 42 inches (90.2 x 106.7 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Intimisme.
Suzanne Valadon (French, 1867-1938), Portrait of Mme Zamaron, 1922, oil on canvas, 32 1/8 x 25 7/8 inches (81.5 x 65.6 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See feminism, feminist art, and portrait.
Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954), Promenade among the Olive Trees, 1906, oil on canvas, 17 1/2 x 21 3/4 inches (44.5 x 55.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Fauvism.
Henri Matisse, Back III, 1916-1917, bas-relief in bronze, 185 x 111.5 x 22.5 cm, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Henri Matisse, Henriette III (Large Head), 1929, bronze, height 40 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Henri Matisse, Icarus, 1947, color pochoir, 16 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches (image) 16 1/2 x 25.2 inches (sheet), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See hard-edge.
Raymond Duchamp-Villon (French, 1876-1918), The Great Horse, 1914/1976, bronze, 150 x 97 x 153 cm, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. See Cubism.
André Derain (French, 1880-1954), Houses of Parliament at Night, 1905-1906, oil on canvas, 31 x 39 inches (78.7 x 99.1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Fauvism.
Gaston Lachaise (French, 1882-1935)
Jean [or Hans] Arp (French, 1887-1966)
Marcel Duchamp (French-American, born France 1887-1968), Bicycle Wheel, 1951, assemblage: metal wheel, painted wood stool, 25 1/2 (diameter) x 23 3/4 inches, Museum of Modern Art, NY. An "assisted readymade," this is Duchamp's third version. He made the original in 1913 (now lost). See Dada.
Marcel Duchamp, Torture-Morte, 1959, painted plaster and flies, on paper mounted on wood, 11 5/8 x 5 5/16 x 2 3/16 inches (29.5 x 13.4 x 10.3 cm), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Charles Edouard Jeanneret, known as 'Le Corbusier' (French, 1887-1965), Villa Savoye, 1928-29, concrete and plastered unit masonry, Poissy, France. See architecture.
Charles Edouard Jeanneret, known as 'Le Corbusier', Notre Dame du Haut, or Ronchamp, 1955, reinforced concrete, soft-form composition, deep windows with colored glass, wall thickness 4-12 feet, Ronchamp, France. Sited atop a hillside, it has rough masonry walls faced with whitewashed Gunite (sprayed concrete) and a roof of contrasting beton brut. Surrealism is a key to many of Le Corbusier's late works, and notably the church at Ronchamp. Its form has been considered analogous to a nun's habit, or a ship, or a dove.
Brassaï (French, born Transylvania, 1899-1984), Couple d'amoureux dans un petit café, quartier Italie, c. 1932, printed c. 1970, depicted: Paris, France, gelatin silver print, 28.3 x 22.7 cm (11 1/8 x 8 15/16 inches), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Jean Dubuffet (French, 1905-1985), Dhôtel nuancé d'abricot (Dhôtel in Shades of Apricot), 1947, oil on canvas, 116 x 89 cm, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
"Balthus" Balthasar Klossowski (French, 1908-2001), Figure in Front of a Mantel, 1955, oil on canvas, 75 x 64 1/2 inches (190.5 x 163.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See mantel.
Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908-2004). See photography.
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