Famous French Artists

Famous French art

The French have many things to be proud of, including fine wine, delicious world-famous cuisine, and famous French musicians and artists that have changed the way the world views art and all things beautiful.

Explore the World of Famous French Artists

During the Renaissance period, one can find:

Pierre Bontemps

Pierre Bontemps, who lived between 1507 and 1568, was a French sculptor who is best known for his funeral monuments. Along with Germain Pilon, Bontemps was considered one of the pre-eminent sculptors who worked on François I's tomb, which depicted the French victories at the battle of Marignan and the battle of Cérisoles. His works include:

  • Tombeau de Charles de Maigny
  • Les fils de Jean d'Humiéres
  • ''Guillaume Froelich, colonel général des Suisses

Antoine Caron

Born in Beauvais in 1521, Caron was a famous glassmaker, a Mannerist painter and a master teacher at the School of Fontainebleau. Antoine Caron began his career in his teens by painting frescos for a number of churches until he eventually began working under Primaticcio and Niccolò dell'Abbate at the School of Fontainebleau. Today, not many of his works have survived, but his painting, Massacres under the Triumvirate, currently hangs in the Louvre.

Claude Deruet

Born in 1588, Claude Deruet was apprenticed to Jacques Bellange, the official court painter to Charles III, Duke of Lorraine. Towards the end of his life he was made a noble by the Duke of Lorraine in 1621. Some of his famous works include:

  • Hasekura Tsunenaga in (1615)
  • Departure of the Amazons in (1620)
  • Road to Calvary (1620)

Artists during the Eighteenth Century

François Boucher

This list of famous French artists includes the name of François Boucher. Born in 1703, this French painter was well known for his voluptuous style of painting on classical themes. Additionally, Boucher also designed theater costumes and sets. Some of his works include:

  • The Toilet of Venus (1751)
  • The Breakfast (1739)
  • Marie-Louise O'Murphy (1752)

Étienne de La Vallée Poussin

Étienne de La Vallée Poussin was a French history painter and a creator of interior schemes. He was also related to the great painter Nicolas Poussin. In his later years, he became a member of the Academy of Arcadia and was also admitted to the Académie de Peinture. His works include:

  • Portrait of Benedict XIV
  • The Birth of Jesus Christ
  • Adoration of the Shepherds (1490)

Artists from the Romanticism to Impressionism Period

Alexandre Cabanel

Born in Montpellier, Hérault, Alexandre Cabanel painted historical, classical and religious subjects in the academic style. Additionally, Cabanel was also a famous portrait artist who won the Prix de Rome scholarship in 1845 at the age of twenty-two. He was also appointed as a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts. His works include:

  • Birth of Venus (1863)
  • The Death of Moses (1851)
  • La Comtesse de Keller (1873)

Achille Emperaire

A friend of Paul Cézanne, Achille Emperaire was born a dwarf and a hunchback in 1829. Amazingly, despite what anyone would consider some devastating medical setbacks, Emperaire went on to graduate from drawing school and was commissioned to create a painting for the Louvre Museum.

Benjamin Jean Joseph Constant

Benjamin Jean Joseph Consant, also written simply as Benjamin Constant, was a historical and portrait painter. Born in Paris in 1845, Benjamin-Constant studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris under the tutelage of Cabanel. Some of the famous portraits he painted include:

  • Portrait of an Arab Woman
  • The Throne Room in Byzantium
  • Queen Herodiade

French Artitists of the 19th Century

At this time, Paris was simply flourishing in the arts, so much so that many well known non-French painters made significant contributions here. Both Van Gogh who was Dutch, and the Spaniard Picasso were largely influential and spent at least part of their careers in Paris. Their contributions during their time in France influenced the likes of many well known French painters and artistic movements.

  • Éduouard Manet-Manet is considered the very beginning of the Impressionist movement, dividing Impressionism from the 19th century.
  • Claude Monet-If Manet is the very beginning of the Impressionist movement, then Monet is the father of Impressionism. His Water Lillies is one of his more famous paintings.
  • Pierre Auguste-Renoir-An impressionist painter known especially for depicting the sensuality of women.
  • Edgar Degas-Degas called himself a realist (although many art critics would call him an impressionist), and he is quite famous for his depiction of ballet dancers.

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Famous French Artists