FRENCH PAINTING. SIXTEENTH, SEVENTEENTH, AND EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PAINTING.

Books Recommended: Amorini, Vita del celebre pittore Francesco Primaticcio; Berger, Histoire de l'École Française de Peinture au XVIIme Siècle; Bland, Les Peintres des fêtes galantes, Watteau, Boucher, et al.; Curmer, L'Œuvre de Jean Fouquet; Delaborde, Études sur les Beaux Arts en France et en Italie; Didot, Études sur Jean Cousin; Dimier, French Painting in XVI Century; Dumont,Antoine Watteau; Dussieux, Nouvelles Recherches sur la Vie de E. Lesueur; Genevay, Le Style Louis XIV., Charles Le Brun; Goncourt, L'Art du XVIIIme Siècle; Guibel, Éloge de Nicolas Poussin; Guiffrey, La Famille de Jean Cousin; Laborde, La Renaissance des Arts à la Cour de France; Lagrange, J. Vernet et la Peinture au XVIIIme Siècle; Lecoy de la Marche, Le Roi René; Mantz, François Boucher; Michiels, Études sur l'Art Flamand dans l'est et le midi de la France; Muntz, La Renaissance en Italie et en France; Palustre, La Renaissance en France; Pattison, Renaissance of Art in France; Pattison, Claude Lorrain; Poillon, Nicolas Poussin; Stranahan, History of French Painting.

EARLY FRENCH ART: Painting in France did not, as in Italy, spring directly from Christianity, though it dealt with the religious subject. From the beginning a decorative motive—the strong feature of French art—appears as the chief motive of painting. This showed itself largely in church ornament, garments, tapestries, miniatures, and illuminations. Mural paintings were produced during the fifth century, probably in imitation of Italian or Roman example. Under Charlemagne, in the eighth century, Byzantine influences were at work. In the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries much stained-glass work appeared, and also many missal paintings and furniture decorations.

Fig. 56.—POUSSIN. ET IN ARCADIA EGO. LOUVRE. 
Fig. 56.—POUSSIN. ET IN ARCADIA EGO. LOUVRE.

In the fifteenth century René of Anjou (1408-1480), king and painter, gave an impetus to art which he perhaps originally received from Italy. His work showed some Italian influence mingled with a great deal of Flemish precision, and corresponded for France to the early Renaissance work of Italy, though by no means so advanced. Contemporary with René was Jean Fouquet (1415?-1480?) an illuminator and portrait-painter, one of the earliest in French history. He was an artist of some original characteristics and produced an art detailed and exact in its realism. Jean Péreal (?-1528?) and Jean Bourdichon(1457?-1521?) with Fouquet's pupils and sons, formed a school at Tours which afterward came to show some Italian influence. The native workmen at Paris—they sprang up from illuminators to painters in all probability—showed more of the Flemish influence. Neither of the schools of the fifteenth century reflected much life or thought, but what there was of it was native to the soil, though their methods were influenced from without.