Jacques-Louis David, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp are some famous French artists. They contributed to various international art movements over the past three centuries.
Jacques-Louis David was one of the prime practitioners of Neoclassicism, an art style that emphasized sharp lines, sculpted surfaces and classical subject matter. He painted for kings, anti-monarchical revolutionaries and the emperor Napoleon, but his artistic style stayed remarkably consistent. Among his famous works are "Napoleon Crossing the Alps" and "Death of Socrates."
Claude Monet is one of the exemplars of the Impressionist school. This movement emphasized the use of color to capture the transitory nature of light as it played over natural surfaces. Monet is famous for producing multiple versions of the same scene in different light. He is famous for his "Water Lilies" and "Rouen Cathedral" series.
Henri Matisse was one of the artists who defined modern art in the 20th century. His bold use of color and dramatic images helped shape the Fauvist school of painting in the early years of that century. He gradually expanded his palette, making both more traditional paintings and radical cutouts that sometimes veered into the entirely abstract and decorative. His famous works include "L'Atelier Rouge" and "Blue Nude II."
Marcel Duchamp was one of the primary practitioners of Dadaism, and his work prefigured the conceptual art movement of the 1960s. He relentlessly subverted artistic tradition in such famous works as "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2," "Fountain" and "L.H.O.O.Q."