List of French Artists

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A comprehensive list of French artists would be almost impossible to generate since in every decade, century, and age, scores of French artists have emerged. They cover the gamut of artistic styles and art forms, and some of the greatest artists of all times have French roots.

The period of the 1800s is riddled with French painters who have since become household names until this day. Here is a short list of French artists from the 19th century:

list of french artists Marc Chagall / Photo by: Carl Van Vechten

  • Claude Monet (1840-1926): Following the period of the Renaissance, Monet led the Impressionist art movement
  • Paul Cezanne (1893-1906): Instigated the Post-Impressionists movement, developing a unique blend of color and form
  • Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901): Rising above his disabilities as a child, Toulouse-Lautrec became one of the greatest artists of the Post-Impressionist period
  • Marc Chagall (Russian-born French, 1887-1985): Refusing to be identified with a singular style, Chagall's paintings are said to be cubist, expressionist, and to have influenced surrealism
  • Henri Matisse (1869-1954): Fauvist painter who led the Fauvist art movement in 1905
  • Robert Delaunay (1885-1941): French painter credited for introducing the non-imitative form of art; most noted for his series of 30 Eiffel Tower paintings, comprised of sketches, window paintings, and oil paintings. His most noted oil painting masterpieces are:
    • Tower with Trees
    • Tower (Tour Eiffel)
    • The Red Tower

Now, this next painter would not officially be included on a list of French artists since he is Italian in origin; however Leonardo Da Vinci's famous portrait of the Mona Lisa is proudly displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.

The list of French artists from the 20th century is equally as extensive and includes painters, sculptors, photographers, and musicians. World-famous French photographers who are credited with transforming photography into an art form include:

  • Pierre Toutan Dorbec
  • Marc Riboud
  • Georges Rousse
  • Bettine Rheims
  • Ange Leccia
  • Sophie Calle

Nicolas Poussin, the 17th century painter who served as First Painter to the King, is said to have influenced scored of future generations of French artists, including Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, and Paul Cezanne.

The list of French artists goes on and on, but here are just a few more noted names and their works of art:

Edgar Degas: French Impressionist and Realist painter during the late 19th and early 20th century; famous for his over 100 ballerina ballet dancers illustrations, comprised of preparation study sketches and full-scale oil paintings. His most famous works include:

  • Dancers in Blue
  • Four Ballet Dancers on the Stage
  • Dancer on the Stage
  • Ballerina in Front of a Window

Auguste Rodin: Famous French sculptor of the 1800s, commissioned to create a monument to French writer Victor Hugo in 1889. You can see many of his magnificent sculptures displayed in the Musee Rodin located in Paris, France.

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