L’art à la française : France, French and Art

Le musée du Louvre in Paris @Pixabay

Le musée du Louvre, le musée d’Orsay, le Grand Palais, le Palais des beaux-arts, le Musée de Grenoble, le Musée Eugène Delacroix, are only a few from a long list of museums and places to visit in France for art amateurs. As a matter of fact, some people decide to learn French for the beauty of it, some to be able to study abroad, and some others to explore the artistic side of it. Art remains a seducing factor for language learning, especially for French learners. 

Generally, the word art refers to different domains. We can mention the art of music, danse, cinema, literature, architecture, etc. In this context and while speaking of french culture, we can classify the different art by numbers as follows :

  • Le premier art : architecture 
  • Le deuxième art : sculpture 
  • Le troisième art : painting 
  • Le quatrième art : engraving 
  • Le cinquième art : drawing 
  • Le sixième art : photography 
  • Le septième art : cinema 
  • Le huitième art : television 
  • Le neuvième art : comic 

In the present article, we are going to focus on the primary traditional forms of art in France. 

  1. Architecture 
Maisons à Colombage of France @Pixabay

Maisons à Colombage (half-timbered houses) are found mainly in northern France and particularly in Normandy, Champagne and Alsace (where the French architecture style is German influenced). 

The longère is found mainly in Brittany and Normandy though they were also built in Limousin and parts of west France. The name gives a clue to the style: longère translates as long house. A longère is a long one-storey rectangular house, orientated so the  back is to the prevailing winds. Built of local stone, and of granite in Brittany, they have slate or sometimes thatched  roofs. Many of them today have first-floor rooms converted from old attics, and a few still retain the outside stairs to the attics. Most of them were originally built as small farmhouses.

  1. Sculpture 
Penseur (Thinker) by Auguste Rodin @Pixabay

Famous French sculptors were crucial for the experimentation with the traditional art materials, such as clay, marble, and bronze. Along with the famous Italian masters, these French artists are at the center of sculpture production and are responsible for the most thought-provoking and revolutionary ideas regarding three-dimensional creativity. Some of these sculptures are : Jean-Antoine Houdon, Clodion (The Love of Small Scale and Terracotta) and Auguste Rodin (The New Face of Sculpture). 

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