France A HISTORY IN ART – Bradley Smith (Introduction by Pierre Rosenberg, The LOUVRE)



The life and art of France through 20 centuries as seen and recorded by her artists.
The history of France is not only seen.This interest erectinetcohe-se art treasures photographed in colour by a great American photographer, but it is supplemented by a comprehensive and lucid historical narrative.
Exquisite art from French museums great and small, cathedrals, churches and private collections are carefully reproduced unretouched. Each work of art was chosen to contribute to the overall scenic montage allowing the viewer to participate in the dramatic rise and fall of empires; the beginnings of the Celtic people who become the Gauls; the conquest of the Gauls by the Romans and their absorption of Roman culture; the evolution of the state from barbarism, through the early Christian era and ancient kings; the social and political changes; the splendour and glory of the emerging French nation.
Artists show gods and goddesses in ancient Druidic rites which include human sacrifices.
The rise of Christianity, and the era of Charlemagne are dramatically illustrated.
Sculptures, tapestries, murals, miniatures, and court paintings portray the daily lives of Pagans and Christians, of beggars and bishops, of commoners and kings, and their wives and mistresses. In rich detailed tapestries from the late middle ages, peasants make wine and make love.
Theatrical, literary, political and social trends are followed. At a theatrical event in the mid-17th century, the playwright Molière appears as Mars, the God of War, in a portrait by Pierre Mignard.