French Arts – Renaissance and Mannerism

Renaissance and Mannerism

The art of the Renaissance and Baroque in France was dominated by the strengthening of kingship. It took on Italian influences relatively quickly, which were decisive for the development of the characteristic French classicism (Classicisme).


Initially, secular building was given a preponderance over church building. The modern castle developed from the fortified castle, which retained elements of the fortification structure, such as a closed four-wing complex, ditches, and tower-like pavilions, for a long time. Initially, only individual wings of royal castles were built in the Renaissance style, such as Amboise (1492–98) and Blois (Francis I wing with stair tower, 1515–24). The most important building of the French early Renaissance is Chambord Castle (1519–38). Check to see more about France and other countries in the world.

Serlio, who lived in France from 1541 (Ancy-le-Franc Castle, Yonne Department, built until 1554), and G. Vignola, who stayed there from 1541–43, were pioneering architectural theorists, among others. for P. Delorme and J. Androuet Ducerceau. Delorme, from 1548 royal architect, built Anet Castle from 1548–52 and the Tuileries in Paris from 1564 ff. P. Lescot built the southern wing of the west wing of the Louvre (1546–74) and directed the construction of the “Fontaine des Innocents” in Paris together with the sculptor J. Goujon (completed 1549). In church construction, Gothic forms were combined with Renaissance elements (Saint-Eustache, Paris, 1532–1637).


In the field of sculpture, too, Italian artists (F. Laurana, G. Mazzoni) pioneered the Renaissance in France (e.g. tomb of Louis XII. And Anna of Brittany in Saint-Denis, 1516–31, by A. and J Juste; Tomb of Franz I and Claudias, ibid., 1547 ff., ByDelorme). In addition, German-Flemish models also worked, including on C. Meits tombs in the former monastery church in Brou near Bourg-en-Bresse (1526 ff.). Fontainebleau Palace with its trend-setting stucco decorations formed a center of Italian-early Mannerist sculpture Rosso Fiorentinos and F. Primaticcios (after 1531 ff.). Also Goujon and G. Pilon (Tomb Heinrichs II. And Catherine of Medici in the Abbey Saint-Denis, 1563-71) had close contact with Fontainebleau. Furthermore, L. Richier and B. Prieur are important for the French sculpture of this time.


Wall painting also took off in Fontainebleau. The style of the first school of Fontainebleau was transferred to a series of anonymous panel paintings (“Diana as the huntress”, around 1550–60; Paris, Louvre). J. and F. Clouet were in the service of Franz I. J. Bellegambe as portraitists. J. Cousin the Elder and J. Cousin the Younger, as well as A. Caron, were entirely committed to the Fontainebleau school, which was under Henry IV with T. Du Breuil, M. Fréminet and A. Dubois (second school of Fontainebleau) . now also took up Flemish suggestions. The portraitist É was excellent both as a painter and as a graphic artist . Dumb beast. Important engravers were J. Duvet and É. Delaune.


The Fontainebleau school also influenced pictorial knitting, the pewter works of F. Briots and L. Limosins, who, like the members of the Pénicaud family in Limoges, created excellent enamel works. B. Palissy became famous for ceramics with natural casts of animals.

French language

French language, one of the Romance languages.

It is used by around 130 million people (including around 57 million in France) spoken; in Europe (apart from France) v. a. in Belgium (around 3.3 million, especially in Wallonia), in French-speaking Switzerland (around 1.3 million), in Luxembourg, Monaco and partly in Italy (especially Aosta Valley); outside Europe in North America v. a. in Canada (around 6.9 million) and in some language islands in the USA (around 1 million); in Central America in Haiti, Martinique and Guadeloupe; in South America in French Guiana; in Africa v. a. in the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, the Comoros (Mayotte) and the Seychelles as well as in numerous other African countries; in Asia v. a. in some Arab states (especially Lebanon), partly also in India (Puducherry and others) as well as in the former Indochina; in Oceania in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Vanuatu (New Hebrides). The official language is French in 28 countries. In addition, the French language is of great importance as the language of diplomacy and law at the international level.

For the non-French speaking minorities within France, see the section “Society” in the France article.

French Arts - Renaissance and Mannerism