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

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

For 19th century viewers, Delacroix seemed fearless in his ability to create dramatic images painted with an intensity of color and expression that no one else could match.

Dada’s “Approximate Man”: A <em>Portrait of Tristan Tzara</em> by Marcel Janco
Dada’s “Approximate Man”: A Portrait of Tristan Tzara by Marcel Janco

This mask is a rare document of the Dada movement and an embodiment of the so-called “approximate man.”

Fit for a duke: Broederlam’s <em>Crucifixion Altarpiece</em>
Fit for a duke: Broederlam’s Crucifixion Altarpiece

Introducing a lavish altarpiece with vibrant images. Exploring the narrative and visual threads that connect its featured stories.

Religion: spotlight — Chauvet cave
Religion: spotlight — Chauvet cave

The most recognizable prehistoric works of art are cave paintings—often located deep within narrow passageways and larger caverns.

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris

The fire that engulfed the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris was a terrible tragedy—though not an unusual one.

Marie-Guillemine Benoist, <em>Portrait of Madeleine</em>
Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Portrait of Madeleine

This portrait of an unnamed woman speaks volumes about slavery, politics, and gender in revolutionary France.

Eugène Delacroix, Murals in the Chapel of The Holy Angels, Saint-Sulpice
Eugène Delacroix, Murals in the Chapel of The Holy Angels, Saint-Sulpice

Delacroix's unusual choice of scenes in these murals bewildered critics for over a century.

Raoul Hausmann, <em>Spirit of the Age: Mechanical Head</em>
Raoul Hausmann, Spirit of the Age: Mechanical Head

A century before democracy was tested by social media gone rogue, Hausmann understood the dark side of technology.

Leonardo, <em>The Mona Lisa </em>
Leonardo, The Mona Lisa

Such a tease! This ambiguous portrait plays psychological and optical games with the viewer.