French Art


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16th Century


The First School of Fontainebleau

Born with the decoration of the Valois King Francis I's (1515-1547) chateau at Fontainebleau beginning in 1530 with the arrival of Rosso in France to the deaths of Primaticcio and Niccolo dell'Abate in 1570 and 1571, respectively, during the reign of Charles IX (1560-1574).

Mainly Italian but also Flemish and French artists participated in the grand decorative programme. The central figures were: Rosso, dying in 1540, assisted by Francesco Primaticcio from 1532, whom became his successor. Niccolo dell'Abate joined in 1552. The collaborators on the project merely executed their conceptions and their style greatly influenced the major princely residences of the period including: at Ecouen for the Connetable de Montmorency, at Anet for Diane de Poitiers, at Ancy-le-Franc for Antoine de Clermont.

The surviving canvases at the chateau represent culminating points in Tuscan and Emilian mannerism. The Fontainebleau art penetrated every milieu by the circulation of drawings and the development of engraving workshops whose practioners include Fantuzzi, Davent, and Mignon.


La Charite, Ecole de Fontainebleau circa 1560. - See Louvre notes
Diane chasseresse, Ecole de Fontainebleau

Antoine Caron

Beauvais 1521 - Paris 1599


La sibylle de Tibur, circa 1575-80. Currently in the Louvre.
Les massacres du Triumviat, 1566. Currenly in the Louvre.

See Louvre notes

Jean Cousin the Elder (de Pere)

Sens c 1490 - Paris c 1560

Eva Prima Pandora circa 1550. Currently in the Louvre.


The reign of Henry III (1574-1589) characterized by religious and political upheaval retarding artistic activity.


The Second School of Fontainebleau

With the reign of the first Bourbon King Henry IV (1589-1610) came a renewal of the chateau at Fontainebleau's decorative enterprises which constitutes a revival and prolongation of the first school of Fontainebleau.

17th Century



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Le Valentin, Le Concert au bas-relief 1622-5 c, Louvre, Paris
Claude Vignon, Le Jeune Chanteur, 1622-3 c, Louvre, Paris
Simon Vouet, Saint Guillaume d'Aquitaine ?, Louvre, Paris
Nicolas Regnier, Le Diseuse de bonne aventure, 1626 c, Louvre Paris
Laurent de La Hyre, Le pape Nicolas V, en 1449, se fait ouvrir le caveau de saint Francois d'Assise, 1630, Louvre

1627 - The Return of Simon Vouet to France



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Jacques Blanchard, Venus et les Graces surprises par un mortel, 1631-3 c, Louvre, Paris
Nicolas Poussin, L'enlevement des Sabines (The Rape of the Sabines), 1637-8 c, Louvre, Paris
Philippe de Champaigne, Louis XIII couronne par la Victoire (siege de La Rochelle, 1628), 1635, Louvre, Paris
Simon Vouet, Le Richesse, 1640 c, Louvre, Paris

18th Century


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             J.H. Fragonard's The Swing                Francois Boucher's The Rising of the Sun

19th Century


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Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, La Grande Odalisque, 1814, Musee d'Louvre, Paris.


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Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Rome from the Pincio, 1826-7, Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.


Ferdinand Victor Eugene Delacroix, Le 28 Juillet - Le liberte guidant le peuple, 1830, Louvre, Paris



Jean-Francois Millet, Madame Eugene Canoville, 1845, Musee d'Orsay, Paris


Paul Delaroche, Bonaparte, Franchissant les Alpes, 1848, Louvre, Paris



Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Une matinee La danse des nymphes, 1850 (Salon 1850-1)


Gustave Moreau, Les pretendants, 1852, Musee d'Gustave Moreau, Paris

Edgar Degas, Rene-Hilaire De Gas, 1857, Musee d'Orsay, Paris


The influence of Japanese art was being seen. Artists "found simplifications of form, abbreviated and abstracted rendering of space, and a bold, decorative juxtaposition of linear arabesque and pattern, all of which they readily assimilated." (Boyer, see Nabis)


Gustave Courbet, The Diligence in the Snow, 1860, Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

Edgar Degas, La famille Bellelli dit aussi Portrait de famille, circa 1860-1867, Musee d'Orsay (Salon 1867?)

Edouard Manet, Olympia, 1863 ?, Musee d'Orsay

Frederic Bazille, La robe rose ou Vue de Castlenau, 1864, Musee d'Orsay

Jules-Elie Delaunay, Charles Hayem, 1865, Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Gustave Moreau, Jason and Medire?, 1865? (Salon)



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Maurice Denis, Les Arbes Verts ou Les Hetres de Kerduel 1893
Maurice Denis, L'Enfant au tablier ou La Petite Fille a la robe rouge 1899

20th Century



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Henry Edmond Cross, Nachmitag im Garten 1904


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Henri Matisse Interior at Collioure (The Rest) 1905
Andre Derain Tree Landscape on the River Bank 1905
Maurice Vlaminck Potatoe Pickers 1905-7
Georges Braque Landscape at L'Estaque 1906