Sign up

French Artists And Their Masterpieces

The history of the art of painting in France, like that of most European countries, goes back centuries, but very few pictures created before the Middle Ages survived to this day. The period from the 11th to the 15th century is characterized by the development of wall paintings (frescoes), miniatures in the form of illustrations for handwritten books and church stained glass windows. The most famous artists of this period are Jean Fouquet of Tours, Robinet Testard, Valentin Bousch.

In the 16th century, French artists were greatly influenced by paintings of Italian painters who worked at the invitation of the King of France. Adopting the experience of their guests from Italy, painters François Clouet, Jean Cousin, Jean Duvet, Marc Duval, Martin Fréminet, and Nicolas Poussin began to create their own works. The French school of painting used the techniques and ideas of Italians for quite some time – this is noticeable in the works of French painters, created in the 17th century.

By the 18th century, small communities formed in France, which included both experienced and beginning artists. It is believed that it was during this period that the French school of painting began to develop, gradually shifting away from the canons of the Italian school. The audience liked the paintings by Sébastien Bourdon, Michel Corneille, Jean Jouvenet, Claude Lefèbvre, Hyacinthe Rigaud, Jean Watteau, Nicolas Lancret, and Jean-Baptiste Greuze.

Famous paintings by French artists

The art of painting had become so popular that in the period from the end of the 18th century and during the 19th century, three schools of painting were successively formed in France: classical (Jacques-Louis David, Charles Guérin, Pierre Paul Prud'hon), romantic (Horace Vernet, Blaise Desgoffe, Eugène Lepoittevin), and realistic (Paul Baudry, Augustin Ribot, Gustave Moreau). Moreover, artists painted genre, antique and character works, as well as portraits and still lifes.

The search for new ideas led to the emergence of Impressionism: nowadays, everyone knows the names of such French artists as Édouard Manet (The Railway, Boating), Edgar Degas (Blue Dancers, The Tub), Auguste Renoir (La Grenouillère, The Large Bathers), Claude Monet (Women in the Garden, Garden Path).

In the 20th century, Paris became the art capital of the world. The district of Montmartre became the abode of artists and representatives of creative professions – Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Modiglianivan Gogh and other brilliant painters lived and created their masterpieces there. Nowadays, their heritage, as well as the works of other equally well known artists from other countries, is stored in one of the most prestigious museums – the Louvre.

Our art portal has prepared for you a section that contains all the painters of France. You can get acquainted with the biographies and works of French artists of different eras, create your own virtual collection of paintings and find like-minded people who share your passion for the art of French masters of the brush.
In Arthive 80,950 artists and 305,913 artworks
Add an artist
Add new artist
Add artists that are not in the Arthive database
Art form 
Style of art 
Art school 
Search for an artist
Search by name and by filter