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World > Europe > France > France Culture

culture of France

culture of France is diverse and dynamic. It reflects the differences in the
regions as well as the influence of the new immigration. For centuries,
France and especially Paris, have played a significant role of the world's
cultural centre. It is famous for its cosmopolitan attitude to life merging
with a fascination with style, fashion and looks. French people are often
regarded as very proud of their national and cultural identity, but since the
French cultural trends have played a decisive part in the development of
world culture and the artists of France have been a major influence in the
history of art, they're rightly entitled to this self-indulgence.

The development of French painting and applied arts has contributed
significantly to the world culture. The first French paintings dating back to
prehistoric times were found in the region of Dordogne. Art flourished
already in the times of Charles the Great as can be observed by looking at
various books and hand-made illustrations of this period. The styles changed
and so did the most famous painters. Poussin and Lorrain are representatives
of the 17th-century French Classicism. Soon, Classicism was replaced by
Baroque, which in turn gave way to the Rococo. The most famous painters of
this era are Fragonard, Watteau and Boucher. At the end of the Century, Louis
David introduced the Neo-Classical school, only to be followed by Delclacroix
and Gericault, who initiated the Romantic period. Later, the more realistic
Barbizon school appeared. Its followers Daumier and Courbet were most of all
interested in the nature and the lanscape. Finally, Impressionism - a true
milestone in the development of art - appeared in France at the turn of the
20th Century. The most inflluential Impressionist was Claude Monet, however
his contemporaries such as Paul Gaugin, Paul Cezanne and Toulouse-Lautrec
belong among the major world artists as well. Only Cubism, an avant-garde
movement which emerged in the beginning of the 20th Century in France and was
represented by such great names as Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris and Georges
Braque, can be compared to Impressionism when it comes to their innovative
and influential qualities.


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