In France whenever and wherever you turn your head you will perceive all kinds of art: architecture, painting, music, literature etc. If we travel back in history to the late 15th century and the early 17th century, we will experience the well-known French Renaissance. Roughly, the Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement where important developments in the artistic, technological and literary fields took place. Although the Renaissance took place in all the European country, in France, had a bigger splendor.
During the 15th century, when the French invaded Italy, France became in contact with the creative spirit of the Italians. This invasion was a key event for the cultural boost that marked the beginning of the French Renaissance. King Francis I during his reign, encouraged the development of the arts, and invited Italian artists like Leonardo Da Vinci and Rosso Florentino to his country in order to share their work. This is the reason why the Italian and French art seems sometimes very similar to us. The period of art from King Francis I trough King Henry IV was heavily inspired by the Italian art and it is referred to as Mannerism. Great French representatives of Mannerism are: the painter Jean Fouquet, the architect Pierre Lescot, and the sculptors Germain Pilon and Jean Goujon.
The Chateau of the Loire Valley was one of the best examples of the French architecture during the Renaissance period. The climate of royal an aristocratic patronage was of great importance to the development of the architecture, because all of these people required luxurious places to be at.
|"Past, present and future" |
When the Renaissance came to an end (around the 17th century) new currents such as the Baroque (in the 18th century), and the Romanticism (in the 19th century) arrived to France. By now you might be asking yourselves if the French artist always wore their rose colored spectacles, the answer is no. During the 19th century the Realistic movement was introduced, this movement was against the idealized classical art and the exotic themes of the Renaissance, Baroque and Romanticism. The Realism was based on the direct observation of the world, the representatives were: Gustave Courbet, Honoré Draumier and Jean Francois Millet.
In the literature field, the 19th century was of great importance, figures such as Gustave Flaubert and Charles Baudelaire contributed to the development of this fabulous artistic field. Gustave Flaubert, author of the highly criticized novel Madame Bovary, was an exponent of both romanticism and naturalism. In the other hand Charles Baudelaire, author of Fusées and La Chevelure, was a poet greatly influenced by movements such as: Romanticism, and Symbolism.
Talking or reading about art is not as entertaining as seeing it, that is why we invite you to go to one of the museums, that are mentioned in the previous entry.