Famous Artists from France Artists

Famous Artists from France

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List of the most popular artists from France, listed alphabetically with photos when available. For centuries artists have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of entertainment. Whether they're known for painting, sculpting, etching or drawing, the famous French artists on this list have kept that tradition alive by creating renowned pieces of art that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable French artists, such as when they were born and where their place of birth was.

This list has a variety of artists in it, from Pauline Auzou to Jacques Monory.

This list answers the questions, "Which famous artists are from France?" and "Who are the most well-known French artists?"

For further information on these historic French artists, click on their names. If you're a fine art lover use this list of celebrated French artists to discover some new paintings that you will enjoy.



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  1. 1

    Roger de La Fresnaye

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    Roger de La Fresnaye
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Roger de La Fresnaye was a French cubist painter.more

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    • Artworks: The Conquest of the Air
    • Birthplace: Le Mans, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Cubism, Section d'Or
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Marcel Duchamp
    Photo: Freebase

    Marcel Duchamp was a French, naturalized American painter, sculptor, chess player, and writer whose work is associated with Dadaism and conceptual art, although careful about his use of the term Dada and direct association with Dada groups. Duchamp is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and ...more

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    • Artworks: Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, La Boîte-en-valise (Box in a Suitcase), Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy?, + more
    • Birthplace: Blainville-Crevon, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Surrealism, Conceptual art, Section d'Or
    • Nationality: France, United States of America
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
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    Hans Bellmer
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Hans Bellmer was a German artist, best known for the life-sized pubescent female dolls he produced in the mid-1930s. Historians of art and photography also consider him a Surrealist photographer.more

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    • Artworks: The Machine Gun(neress) in a State of Grace, La Poupee, The Doll, The Machine-Gunneress in a State of Grace, Doll
    • Birthplace: Katowice, Poland
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Surrealism
    • Nationality: France, Germany
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Fernand Léger
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Joseph Fernand Henri Léger was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style. His boldly simplified treatment of modern subject matter has caused him to be regarded as a forerunner of ...more

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    • Artworks: The Baluster, Woman with a Book, Three Women, Mural Painting, The Divers, + more
    • Birthplace: Argentan, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Modernism, Cubism, Section d'Or
    • Nationality: France, French Third Republic
    • Art Forms: Painting, Printmaking
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    Paul Cézanne
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne's often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly ...more

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    • Artworks: The Basket of Apples, The Large Bathers, Still Life with Apples, Madame Cézanne in a Yellow Chair, Mont Sainte-Victoire seen from Bellevue, + more
    • Birthplace: Aix-en-Provence, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Impressionism
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting, Drawing
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    Yves Klein was a French artist considered an important figure in post-war European art. He is the leading member of the French artistic movement of Nouveau réalisme founded in 1960 by art critic Pierre Restany. Klein was a pioneer in the development of performance art, and is seen as an inspiration to ...more

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    • Artworks: Anthropometry: Princess Helena, Untitled (ANT154), IKB74, Eponge (SE180) (Sponge [SE180]), Eponge, + more
    • Birthplace: Nice, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Monochrome painting, Nouveau réalisme, Conceptual art
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Pierre-Auguste Renoir
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Working closely with Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, and other artists, he helped shape the Impressionism movement.more

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    • Artworks: Bal du moulin de la Galette, Pont Neuf, Paris, By the Seashore, The Canoeist's Luncheon, + more
    • Birthplace: Limoges, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Impressionism
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Jean Metzinger
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Jean Dominique Antony Metzinger was a major 20th-century French painter, theorist, writer, critic and poet, who along with Albert Gleizes, developed the theoretical foundations of Cubism. His earliest works, from 1900 to 1904, were influenced by the Neo-impressionism of Georges Seurat and Henri-Edmond ...more

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    • Artworks: L'Oiseau bleu, Femme assise (Woman with Book), Landscape, Still Life, Woman with Fan, + more
    • Birthplace: Nantes, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Fauvism, Divisionism, Cubism, Neo-impressionism, Section d'Or
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Georges Braque
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Georges Braque was a major 20th-century French painter, collagist, draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor. His most important contributions to the history of art were in his alliance with Fauvism from 1906, and the role he played in the development of Cubism. Braque’s work between 1908 and 1912 is closely ...more

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    • Artworks: Woman with a Guitar, Still Life with a Bottle, Violin and Candlestick, The Guitar (Statue d'epouvante), Man with a Guitar, + more
    • Birthplace: Argenteuil, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Fauvism, Analytic cubism, Cubism
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking, Drawing
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    Robert Delaunay was a French artist who, with his wife Sonia Delaunay and others, cofounded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes. His later works were more abstract, reminiscent of Paul Klee. His key influence related to bold use of colour, and a clear love ...more

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    • Artworks: Simultaneous Contrasts: Sun and Moon, The Three Windows, the Tower and the Wheel, Windows, Champs de Mars: The Red Tower
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Cubism, Section d'Or, Expressionism
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    André Lhote
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    André Lhote was a French sculptor and painter of figure subjects, portraits, landscapes and still life. He was also very active and influential as a teacher and writer on art.more

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    • Artworks: Port de Bordeaux
    • Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Fauvism, Cubism, Section d'Or
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Auguste Herbin
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Auguste Herbin was a French painter of modern art. He is best known for his abstract paintings consisting of colorful geometric figures. He co-founded the groups Abstraction-Création and Salon des Réalités Nouvelles which promoted non-figurative abstract art.more

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    • Artworks: Composition
    • Birthplace: Quiévy, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Impressionism, Abstract art
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Collage, Painting, Printmaking
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    Henri Matisse
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three ...more

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    • Artworks: Woman with a Hat, Blue Nude II, Les toits de Collioure, Green Stripe, Madras Rouge, + more
    • Birthplace: Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Fauvism, Modernism, Impressionism, Neo-impressionism
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Collage, Painting, Printmaking, Drawing
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    Claude Monet
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Oscar-Claude Monet was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term "Impressionism" is derived from the title of ...more

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    • Artworks: Water Lilies, The Japanese Footbridge and the Water Lily Pool, Giverny, Impression, Sunrise, + more
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Impressionism
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Jean Cocteau
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French writer, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles, and the films Blood of a Poet, Les Parents Terribles, Beauty and the Beast and Orpheus. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included ...more

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    • Artworks: Marianne, Harlequin, Les Trois Yeux, Untitled Dancers, Visage, + more
    • Birthplace: Maisons-Laffitte, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Return to order
    • Nationality: France
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    Victor Vasarely, was a Hungarian–French artist, who is widely accepted as a "grandfather" and leader of the short-lived op art movement. His work entitled Zebra, created in the 1930s, is considered by some to be one of the earliest examples of op art.more

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    • Artworks: Folklore planetaire, Granat, Hommage à l'Hexagone, Zebra
    • Birthplace: Pécs, Hungary
    • Associated periods or movements: Hard-edge painting, Op art
    • Nationality: France, Hungary
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Marc Chagall
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Marc Zakharovich Chagall was a Russian-French artist. Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century". An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic medium, including ...more

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    • Artworks: I and the Village, White Crucifixion, The Circus Rider, Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers, La Mariée, + more
    • Birthplace: Vitebsk, Belarus
    • Associated periods or movements: Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism
    • Nationality: France, United States of America, Russia, Belarus
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Edgar Degas
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Edgar Degas was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict dancers. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, although he rejected the term, preferring to be called a ...more

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    • Artworks: Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, Ballet Rehearsal, Arabesque, Young Spartans Exercising, Interior, + more
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Impressionism, Realism
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting, Drawing
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    Francis Picabia
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Francis Picabia was a French avant-garde painter, poet and typographist. After experimenting with Impressionism and Pointillism, Picabia became associated with Cubism. His highly abstract planar compositions were colourful and rich in contrasts. He was one of the early major figures of the Dada movement ...more

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    • Artworks: Portrait of a Couple, "M'Amenez-y", I See Again in Memory My Dear Udnie, Comic Wedlock, This Has to Do with Me, + more
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Surrealism, Section d'Or
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Gustave Doré
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Paul Gustave Louis Christophe Doré was a French artist, printmaker, illustrator and sculptor. Doré worked primarily with wood engraving.more

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    • Artworks: The Creation of Light, The Deluge, The defenestration of Jezebel at Jezreel, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, The first ascent of the Matterhorn, + more
    • Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Romanticism
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting
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