French Art Through the Ages

Monet’s Lilies

By Daniella Carrese

            From Eugene Delacroix to Claude Monet, the world has seen a countless number of French artists. Throughout the ages, art has gone from Classicism to Modern.

The Renaissance (15th to 16th century) pushed forward a new age of expression. Artwork from this period sought after a subject that told a story, most popular was the story about how the world was created. Realism, shading, and symmetry were seen in the paintings for the first time. Oil paints were first introduced during this period.  During the 17th century French Baroque and Classicism were seen during the time of Louis XIV and the Scientific Revolution.  The paintings from this period were associated with the religious tensions between the Catholics and the Protestants.  Many portrayed biblical scenes with rich colors and sharp details. Rococo was introduced in the 18th century.  Compared to Baroque, Rococo was lighter and more decorative art. The French Revolution was going on toward the end of this period, and a portrayal of liberated subjects and hardships were popular.  The Romanticism period expressed a connection to nature. The “realists” wanted to get away from the industrial innovations and get back to all that is not man-made in the world. The focuses were emotion, imagination, and passion. This was a revolt against Classicism of the Enlightenment. Between WWI and WWII there were a various assortment of styles from Impressionism to Surrealism. The artists expressed the uncertainty and disillusions of the time through disoriented figures and mysterious backgrounds.

All of these types of art are displayed throughout the city of Paris in various museums. The Louvre houses many types of artwork from the periods. Some other museums include the Musée d’Orsay, the Pompidou Center and the Musée du Montmartre. These museums are within walking distance from your Paris vacation rental or just a short metro ride away.

Daniella is a frequent guest blogger for CobbleStay.  She recently wrote about street art in Paris and Coco Chanel.

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