French Art and Architecture

French Art and Architecture
  • French artists
  • Romanesque French Art
  • Gothic Art
  • Renaissance Art
  • Baroque Art
  • 18th Century Art
  • 19th Century Art
  • 20th Century Art

The Romanesque Period

French art first began to flourish under the Capetian dynasty, which was founded by Hugh Capet in 987 and lasted until 1328. During the Middle Ages, art in all its forms of expression focused solely on the church and the courts of the feudal lords. The Romanesque Period spanned from the 11th century to the 12th century, and reflects a style of not only architecture, but also painting and sculpting. During this time manuscript illumination was greatly encouraged by the church, as were other works of art based on religious themes.

Examples of Romanesque architecture and art include many monastic centres in Reims, Tours, St. Gall, Paris, and Metz, the Benedictine abbey at Cluny, the cathedral of Saint Sernin in Toulouse, the churches of Saint-Étienne in Caen and Saint-Gilles-du-Gard. Romanesque wall paintings can be found in the church of Saint Savin-sur-Gartempe, in the vicinity of Potiers.