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France Travel Guide

The Renaissance Period

Once again France was influenced by Italian art. In the sixteenth century King Francis I employed the Italian artist Francesco Primaticcio of Bologna, who was the director of the school of Fontainebleu. That's why French painters adopted an Italian way of work called the Renaissance period. Two of the most important artists of from this period were : Jean Goujon and Germain Pilon, both of whom were sculptors and who contributed to the classical style representative of works of French art. Portrait art was also famous and Jean Cousin and Jean and François Clouet were the best portrait painters during this period.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Baroque tendencies evolved during the reign of Marie de Medici and Louis XIII. The enthusiasm for classical antiquity, combined with a cult of rationalism, encouraged the development of a monumental and formalized art, which showed influences from both the Roman painters and artists from northern Europe, namely the Dutch and Flemish schools. Recognized painters from this period were those who painted landscapes, and others such as Philippe de Champaigne who painted contemplative portraits of people in the Catholic Jansenist sect. Simon Vouet, the Le Nain brothers, George de la Tour were famous for their candle-lit paintings. The most important were Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, who worked in Italy.


Philippe de Champaigne painting George de la Tour painting


« The Gothic Period
« The Renaissance and Baroque Period
« The Eighteenth Century
« The Nineteenth Century
« The Twentieth Century

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