Fifteen Stunning French Works of Art

French artistry from the 17th and 18th centuries is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the world. Although we are grossly familiar with many of the artists that have come to be a part of mass culture, there are artists that are no tin fact so well known to the wider public. Of course what I mean by this is that these artists’ popularity, although perpetual amid art historians and art lovers, have not reached the continuance of other great artists.

15.  “Aegina Visited by Jupiter” by Jean-Baptiste Greuze

Date: ca. 1767–69 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 57 7/8 x 77 1/8 in. (147 x 195.9 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: Gift of Harry N. Abrams and Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, Pfeiffer, Fletcher, and Rogers Funds, 1970
Date: ca. 1767–69
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 57 7/8 x 77 1/8 in. (147 x 195.9 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Gift of Harry N. Abrams and Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, Pfeiffer, Fletcher, and Rogers Funds, 197010.  Aegina Visited by Jupiter http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Jean-Baptiste Greuze painted portraits of Benjamin Franklin and Mozart.

14.”Allegory of Winter” by Jacques de La Joue the Younger

Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: Irregular, 39 1/4 x 41 5/8 in. (99.7 x 105.7 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1906
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Irregular, 39 1/4 x 41 5/8 in. (99.7 x 105.7 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1906 http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Jacques de La Joue the Younger worked as painter of architectural ornaments.

13.”The Abduction of the Sabine Women” by Nicolas Poussin

Date: probably 1633–34 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 60 7/8 x 82 5/8 in. (154.6 x 209.9 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1946 Accession Number: 46.160 http://www.metmuseum.org/
Date: probably 1633–34
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 60 7/8 x 82 5/8 in. (154.6 x 209.9 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1946
Accession Number: 46.160
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Nicolas Poussin was ordered by Cardinal Richelieu to serve as The First Painter of The King.

12.”Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and His Wife” by Jacques Louis David

Date: 1788 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 102 1/4 x 76 5/8 in. (259.7 x 194.6 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gift, in honor of Everett Fahy, 1977.http://www.metmuseum.org/
Date: 1788
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 102 1/4 x 76 5/8 in. (259.7 x 194.6 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gift, in honor of Everett Fahy, 1977.http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Jacques-Louis David was very active during the French Revolution and effectively became the dictator of arts under the New Republic.

11.”The Fair at Bezons” by Jean-Baptiste Joseph Pater

Date: ca. 1733 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 42 x 56 in. (106.7 x 142.2 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: The Jules Bache Collection, 1949 http://www.metmuseum.org/
Date: ca. 1733
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 42 x 56 in. (106.7 x 142.2 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Pater was the son of sculptor Antoine Pater.

10.  “Double Portrait Presumed to Represent François de Jullienne and His Wife” by Charles Antoine Coypel

Date: 1743 Medium: Pastel, black chalk, watercolor, and traces of black chalk underdrawing on four joined sheets of handmade blue laid paper, mounted on canvas and adhered to a keyed stretcher Dimensions: 39 3/8 x 31 1/2 in. (100 x 80 cm) Classification: Pastels & Oil Sketches on Paper Credit Line: Purchase, Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gift, in honor of Annette de la Renta, 2011 http://www.metmuseum.org/
Date: 1743
Medium: Pastel, black chalk, watercolor, and traces of black chalk underdrawing on four joined sheets of handmade blue laid paper, mounted on canvas and adhered to a keyed stretcher
Dimensions: 39 3/8 x 31 1/2 in. (100 x 80 cm)
Classification: Pastels & Oil Sketches on Paper
Credit Line: Purchase, Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gift, in honor of Annette de la Renta, 2011
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Antoine was also a playwright as well as a tapestry designer?

9.  “The Annunciation” by Philippe de Champaigne

Date: ca. 1644 Medium: Oil on wood Dimensions: Overall, 28 x 28 3/4 in. (71.1 x 73 cm); painted surface, 27 1/4 x 27 3/4 in. (69.2 x 70.5 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: Wrightsman Fund, 2004 http://www.metmuseum.org/
Date: ca. 1644
Medium: Oil on wood
Dimensions: Overall, 28 x 28 3/4 in. (71.1 x 73 cm); painted surface, 27 1/4 x 27 3/4 in. (69.2 x 70.5 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Wrightsman Fund, 2004
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Philippe worked with Nicolas Poussin on the decoration of the Palais du Luxembourg

8.  “The Nation Is in Danger, or the Enrollment of Volunteers at the Place du Palais-Royal in July 1792” by Auguste-Hyacinthe Debay

Date: 1832 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 20 3/4 in. (29.2 x 52.7 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: The Whitney Collection, Promised Gift of Wheelock Whitney III, and Purchase, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. McVeigh, by exchange, 2003 http://www.metmuseum.org/
Date: 1832
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 20 3/4 in. (29.2 x 52.7 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: The Whitney Collection, Promised Gift of Wheelock Whitney III, and Purchase, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. McVeigh, by exchange, 2003
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

After years of painting Auguste gave up his craft to take up sculpture.

7. “Louis XV (1710–1774) at the Age of Five in the Costume of the Sacre” by Hyacinthe Rigaud

Date: ca. 1716–24 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 77 x 55 1/2 in. (195.6 x 141 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: Purchase, Mary Wetmore Shively Bequest, in memory of her husband, Henry L. Shively, M.D., 1960 http://www.metmuseum.org/
Date: ca. 1716–24
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 77 x 55 1/2 in. (195.6 x 141 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Purchase, Mary Wetmore Shively Bequest, in memory of her husband, Henry L. Shively, M.D., 1960
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Rigaud was not full French, but rather a Frenchman of Catalan origin.

6. “The Death of Socrates” by Jacques Louis David

ate: 1787 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 51 x 77 1/4 in. (129.5 x 196.2 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1931 http://www.metmuseum.org/
ate: 1787
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 51 x 77 1/4 in. (129.5 x 196.2 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1931
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Louis David was the author of the famous National Convention in France of 1792

5.”The French Comedians” by Antoine Watteau

Date: 1720–21 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 22 1/2 x 28 3/4 in. (57.2 x 73 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: The Jules Bache Collection, 1949 http://www.metmuseum.org/
Date: 1720–21
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 22 1/2 x 28 3/4 in. (57.2 x 73 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Watteau is credited with inventing the genre of fêtes galantes.

4.”Dog Guarding Dead Game” by Jean-Baptiste Oudry

Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 25 1/2 x 31 3/4 in. (64.8 x 80.6 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: Purchase, 1871 http://www.metmuseum.org/
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 25 1/2 x 31 3/4 in. (64.8 x 80.6 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Purchase, 1871
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Jean-Baptiste Oudry was both an artist and art dealer.

3.”Madame Élisabeth de France (1764–1794)” by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

Date: ca. 1787 Medium: Pastel on blue paper, seven sheets joined, laid down on canvas Dimensions: Oval, 31 x 25 3/4 in. (78.7 x 65.4 cm.) Classification: Pastels & Oil Sketches on Paper Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Frederick M. Stafford, 2007 http://www.metmuseum.org/
Date: ca. 1787
Medium: Pastel on blue paper, seven sheets joined, laid down on canvas
Dimensions: Oval, 31 x 25 3/4 in. (78.7 x 65.4 cm.)
Classification: Pastels & Oil Sketches on Paper
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Frederick M. Stafford, 2007
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard was born in Paris, the youngest of eight children.

2.”The Death of Harmonia” by Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre

Date: ca. 1740–41 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 77 1/2 x 58 1/4 in. (196.9 x 148 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harry N. Abrams, by exchange, 1969 http://www.metmuseum.org/
Date: ca. 1740–41
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 77 1/2 x 58 1/4 in. (196.9 x 148 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harry N. Abrams, by exchange, 1969
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre was a French painter, draughtsman and administrator.

1. “The Triumph of Aemilius Paulus” by Carle (Antoine Charles Horace) Vernet

Date: 1789 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 51 1/8 x 172 1/2 in. (129.9 x 438.2 cm) Classification: Paintings Credit Line: Gift of Darius O. Mills, 1906 http://www.metmuseum.org/
Date: 1789
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 51 1/8 x 172 1/2 in. (129.9 x 438.2 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Gift of Darius O. Mills, 1906
http://www.metmuseum.org/

Did you know?

Carle Vernet was the youngest child of Claude Joseph Vernet, and the father of Horace Vernet.


Disclaimer: The Art of Polemics does not claim ownership of these images.All fifteen works of art shown in this article are the property of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, whom have given permission to use these particular  images for non-profit, non-commercial and educational purposes. For more information visit:

http://www.metmuseum.org/

http://www.metmuseum.org/research/image-resources

Do not under any circumstances re-distribute these pieces without conforming to The Metropolitan Museum’s guidelines on sharing and using these images.

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