Everyone knows that art is a universal language. But the French do seem to be ahead of others with new techniques and paving the way for future artists. In this article, we talk about three amazing French artists who made a huge impact in their field.
French artists who made an impact in their field!
French artists have always had a special flair but not one of them was as special as Serge Gainsbourg. He was a singer, songwriter, pianist, film composer, poet, painter, screenwriter, writer, actor and director. However, his most important work was in the field of music. He was known for his quite scandalous music. In his lyrics, he incorporated clever wordplay but also humorous, satirical and provocative lines, which was part of his poet lifestyle. He often used wordplay like onomatopoeia, rhyme, dysphemism and many more.
Another reason which made Serge Gainsbourg one of the most influential French artist was the variety of music styles he used. He embodied every genre from jazz, mambo to rock and roll, new wave and funk. Throughout his career, Serge Gainsbourg wrote over 550 songs. He may have been difficult to categorize, but his legacy was firmly established and still lives on until this day.
An important French writer, who has also gone down in history as the starter of the French Revolution is François-Marie Arouet or better known as Voltaire. Besides being an enlightenment writer, he was also an essayist, historian, and philosopher. His works were known for his wit, criticism of Christianity and his advocacy for freedom of speech, religion and a separation of state and church.
Just as Serge Gainsbourg, Voltaire was also one of the versatile French artists. He wrote anything from plays and poems to novels and scientific works. He wrote over 20.000 letters, 2.000 books and pamphlets during his lifetime. In France, he is seen as one of the most influential and outspoken advocates of civil rights to this day, which always reflected in his work. However, his work was not without danger, he was sentenced to prison twice and even temporarily exiled to England.
Je ne suis pas d’accord avec ce que vous dites, mais je me battrai pour que vous ayez le droit de le dire.
(I don’t agree with what you say, but I will fight for you so you have the right to say it)
Voltaire on civil rights
The French aristocracy may not have liked him but many royals in Europe did. He was always welcome to visit the kings and queens in Prussia, England, and Russia. After his death, his works didn’t get lost but were bought by Catherine the Great of Russia and can still be found in the Hermitage in Saint- Petersburg till this day.
Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès or better known as Georges Méliès was a cinématique genius. He was the first to implement technical and narrative developments in movies. He invented a lot of different kinds of special effects, for example, substitution splices, multiple exposures, time-lapse photography and many more. He was also among the first to use storyboards when filming a movie. His work was not only influential for French artists but also on an international level because his techniques are still being used today.
Georges Méliès filming style is categorized as science-fiction and his works, which are often compared to the style of Jules Verne, Le voyage dans la lune and Le voyage à traversl’impossibleare seen as the most important works of early science fiction movies.
Georges Méliès made in total around 500 movies, which was a lot at the time for French artists. From the 500 movies only roughly 200 are still preserved. This number is so low because many films that were used for the movies were confiscated by the French army during the Second World War to be melted and become heels for their army boots.