Art in France

When you get outside Paris, you will find Romanesque and Gothic churches of astounding beauty. In Paris, there's the Louvre, but make time for smaller museums, like the Musée Moreau and churches like Saint-Sulpice (where you can see newly-restored paintings by Delacroix).

Some background

videos + essays

Théodore Géricault, <em>Raft of the Medusa</em>
Théodore Géricault, Raft of the Medusa

Géricault’s massive canvas takes its format from history painting, but its subject is ripped from the headlines.

Amiens Cathedral
Amiens Cathedral

Above the entrance to Amiens, animated figures and flowing drapery attest to the increasing naturalism of Gothic sculpture in the 13th century.

<em>Nike (Winged Victory) of Samothrace</em>
Nike (Winged Victory) of Samothrace

On the island of Samothrace, the wind whipped the clothing of this stone goddess of victory.

The last work of Eva Hesse
The last work of Eva Hesse

Hesse proves that powerful, emotionally charged art doesn't have to be pretty.

A Byzantine vision of Paradise — The Harbaville Triptych
A Byzantine vision of Paradise — The Harbaville Triptych

This ivory triptych was an object of prayer and a vision of paradise for Byzantine viewers following iconoclasm

Fashion and Politics in Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s Portrait of The Empress Eugénie surrounded by her Ladies-in-Waiting
Fashion and Politics in Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s Portrait of The Empress Eugénie surrounded by her Ladies-in-Waiting

Fashion's power to reveal the nuances of political power, gender, and ethnicity.

The cost of war: Delacroix, Greece on the  Ruins of Missolonghi
The cost of war: Delacroix, Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi

Delacroix's painting is about much more than the Greek War for Independence—it is a universal statement about the cost of war.

Peter Paul Rubens, <em>The Apotheosis of Henry IV and the Proclamation of the Regency of Marie de’ Médici</em>
Peter Paul Rubens, The Apotheosis of Henry IV and the Proclamation of the Regency of Marie de’ Médici

The painting is an overwhelming and learned piece of artistic propaganda.

Before the fire: Notre Dame, Paris
Before the fire: Notre Dame, Paris

The total or partial destruction of churches by fire was a fairly common occurrence in medieval Europe.

Basilica of Saint-Sernin
Basilica of Saint-Sernin

Even almost 950 years after its construction was begun, St. Sernin remains a religious structure that awes and inspires the pilgrims who still visit.

The Gallery of Francis I at Fontainebleau (and French Mannerism)
The Gallery of Francis I at Fontainebleau (and French Mannerism)

Francis had great reason to emphasize his wealth and magnanimity. For years he had been at war with the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, a gamble that continued to go poorly for the French king.

Eugène Delacroix, an introduction
Eugène Delacroix, an introduction

Delacroix created dramatic images with an intensity of color and expression that no one else could match.