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

Martin Schongauer, <em>Madonna of the Rose Bower</em>
Martin Schongauer, Madonna of the Rose Bower

Schongauer paints an intimate scene of Mary and the Christ child surrounded by symbolic details—roses, strawberries, and goldfinches.

Claude Monet, <em>Impression, Sunrise</em>
Claude Monet, Impression, Sunrise

Impression, Sunrise captures a quiet morning in the port of Le Havre, but a closer look illuminates the changes happening in 19th-century Europe.

Gustave Moreau, <em>Jupiter and Semele</em>
Gustave Moreau, Jupiter and Semele

Moreau paints with brilliant jewel-like colors, and everywhere we look the figures seem filled with Melancholy.

Lamassu from the citadel of Sargon II
Lamassu from the citadel of Sargon II

Winged, human-headed bulls served as guardians of the city and its palace—walking by, they almost seem to move.

Bushel with ibex motifs
Bushel with ibex motifs

This beautiful pot was created over 5,000 years ago, and its decoration echoes its shape.

Henry Mosler, <i>Le Retour</i>
Henry Mosler, Le Retour

Tightly rendered in a dark palette, Le Retour reimagines a traditional New Testament subject in the picturesque French province of Brittany.

The “Hileq and Bileq” Haggadah
The “Hileq and Bileq” Haggadah

Filled with playful images and captions, the Hileq and Bileq Haggadah delighted its fifteenth-century users much as it continues to do today.

Matthias Grünewald, <em>Isenheim Altarpiece</em>
Matthias Grünewald, Isenheim Altarpiece

Demons as haunting as these could be a sign of delirium, or just another of Grünewald’s otherworldly creations.

The Catalan Atlas
The Catalan Atlas

The Catalan Atlas reveals how one 14th-century Jewish mapmaker understood the political and ethnic realities of his world. 

Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard

The Pont du Gard is one of the greatest public works projects spearheaded in the Augustan age.

Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, <em>Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Pest House in Jaffa</em>
Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Pest House in Jaffa

Napoleon masterfully manipulated his image, and this painting meant for Parisian audiences is pure propaganda.

Delacroix, <em>Women of Algiers in Their Apartment</em>
Delacroix, Women of Algiers in Their Apartment

Delacroix's orientalist fantasy exhibited to great acclaim in the Paris Salon.