French Painting in the Golden Age

World of Art

French Painting in the Golden Age

  1. Christopher Allen
  • ISBN 9780500203705
  • 21.00 x 15.00 cm
  • Paperback
  • 224pp
  • 182 Illustrations, 79 in colour
  • First published 2003
  • See more books in theWorld of Art Series
‘A brilliant, concise account … a grasp of the overall picture and an ability to strike the write note are constants in this book … a valuable and indispensable research tool for countless students and art lovers’ – Apollo

The 17th century has always been considered the golden age – the grand siècle – of French culture. The reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV witnessed an unprecedented flowering of literature and philosophy, of music, architecture and art. The poetic history painting of Poussin, the landscapes of Claude Lorrain, the portraits of Philippe de Champaigne, and the celebratory art of Le Brun at the court of Louis XIV at Versailles were among its greatest achievements. Yet the subject-matter and formal conventions most prized at the time can make it difficult for the modern viewer to appreciate the artists’ aims and to judge success or failure.

Thanks to new research, it is now possible to set the major figures within the framework of the concerns and theoretical debates of the grand siècle itself. Christopher Allen, one of the few authorities on the subject outside the French-speaking world, brilliantly enables us to see beyond mere form to the meanings the artists intended us to enjoy.

See the List of Contents