Famous French Artists

Find out more about the greatest French Artists, including Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Brittany, Marcel Duchamp and Henri Matisse.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite French Artists

 1 Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 30, 1853
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zundert
Died: July 29, 1890

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter and is said to be one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. However, he was not commercially successful in his lifetime and died by suicide at 37 after years of mental health issues and poverty. He gained recognition and respect in the 20th century.

 2 Claude Monet

Claude Monet
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 14, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris
Died: December 5, 1926

Claude Monet was a French painter. The founder of French Impressionist painting, Monet's painting Impression, soleil levant gave rise to the term Impressionism. Often dubbed the driving force behind Impressionism, Monet mastered the art of painting the same scene several times so as to capture the changing of the light. Since his death, his paintings have sold for record prices.

 3 Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse
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Famous As: Painter, Sculptor
Birthdate: December 31, 1869
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord
Died: November 3, 1954

Henri Matisse was a French artist. Although he was known for his skills as a painter, Matisse was also a renowned sculptor, printmaker, and draughtsman. Along with Picasso, Matisse is regarded as one of the artists who contributed immensely to the revolutionary developments in visual arts. His works also influenced other painters who would adopt a technique called intense colorism.

 4 Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin
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Famous As: Artist - Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Engraving
Birthdate: June 7, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris
Died: May 8, 1903
French Post-Impressionist artist, sculptor, and writer Paul Gauguin was a major figure in the Symbolist movement. He had worked as a stockbroker and businessman before gaining fame as an artist. He influenced the French avant-garde and modern artists such as Pablo Picasso and also led the way for Primitivism.
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 5 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 24, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Albi
Died: September 9, 1901
French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was one of the most significant figures of the Post-Impressionist period. He was also an illustrator and poster painter, who was known for his colorful depictions of cabaret from Paris's Moulin Rouge. His painting The Laundress sold for US$22.4 million at a 2005 Christie’s auction.

 6 Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne
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Famous As: French artist
Birthdate: January 19, 1839
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aix-en-Provence
Died: October 22, 1906

French artist Paul Cézanne was a prominent Post-Impressionist painter and influenced much of the early-20th-century movement known as Cubism. Some of his notable works include The Card Players, The Bathers, and Pyramid of Skulls. He experimented with water colors and had created a host of still-life paintings.

 7 Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas
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Famous As: Impressionist Painter
Birthdate: July 19, 1834
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 27, 1917

French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas is best remembered for his oil paintings and pastel drawings and for his signature use of dancers and bathing women as themes in his works such as Fin d'Arabesque and Woman in a Tub. He had also experimented with bronze sculptures and called himself a realist.

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 8 Édouard-Henri Avril

Édouard-Henri Avril
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 21, 1849
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Algiers, Algeria
Died: July 28, 1928

Before he revolutionized 19th-century erotica as Paul Avril, Édouard-Henri Avril was a soldier. An injury sustained in the Franco-Prussian War cut short his military life, and he was pushed into Paris sex salons to study art. His most notable works, such as the illustrations for Fanny Hill, were largely banned.

 9 Henri Rousseau

Henri Rousseau
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 21, 1844
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Laval, France
Died: September 2, 1910

 10 François Boucher

François Boucher
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 29, 1703
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 30, 1770

 11 Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin
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Famous As: Painter, Artist
Birthdate: November 2, 1699
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris
Died: December 6, 1779

 12 Tarrare

Tarrare
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Famous As: Showman
Birthdate: 1772 AD
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: 1798 AD

 13 Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: October 6, 1887
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: La Chaux-de-Fonds
Died: August 27, 1965

Le Corbusier was a Swiss-French designer, painter, architect, writer, and urban planner. He was one of the pioneers of modern architecture. During his illustrious career, which spanned 50 years, Le Corbusier designed buildings in India, Japan, Europe, and North and South America. He is also credited with revolutionizing urban planning.  

 14 Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: July 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Blainville-Crevon
Died: October 2, 1968
French-American painter and sculptor Marcel Duchamp is remembered for his association with movements such as Cubism and Dadaism. A significant figure in conceptual art, he was against art that was meant to just cater to the eyes. He was also a skilled chess player and carved his own chess set.

 15 Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: July 6, 1887
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lizona, Belarus
Died: March 28, 1985

Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, a key figure of modernism, had explored a wide range of media as an artist, from paintings and drawings to stained glass and ceramics. His major projects included the ceiling of the Paris Opéra, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Jerusalem Windows of Israel.

 16 Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 25, 1841
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Limoges
Died: December 3, 1919

French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, father of actor Pierre Renoir and director Jean Renoir, was a key Impressionist painter. His best-known works include The Swing, Diana, and Seated Girl. He was known for his use of vibrant colors and feminine sensuality in his works. He also painted landscapes and portraits.

 17 Édouard Manet

Édouard Manet
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 23, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 30, 1883

Édouard Manet was a French painter who played a key role in the transition to Impressionism from Realism in the 19th-century. Manet was one of the first artists from his generation to paint modern life. His early masterworks, such as Olympia, served as rallying points for young and aspiring impressionist painters. His works continue to influence painters around the world.

 18 Eugène Delacroix

Eugène Delacroix
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 26, 1798
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Charenton-Saint-Maurice, Île-de-France, France
Died: August 13, 1863

Eugène Delacroix was a French Romantic artist who is widely regarded as the patriarch of the French Romantic school. As a muralist and painter, Delacroix's study of the optical effects of color inspired the work of the Impressionists. In fact, his work inspired a generation of impressionists.

 19 Jacques-Louis David

Jacques-Louis David
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Famous As: Neoclassical Style Painter
Birthdate: August 30, 1748
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris
Died: December 29, 1825

Jacques-Louis David was a French painter. Widely regarded as the greatest painter of the Neoclassical era, David's works had a strong influence in France in the early-19th century. His works are often linked to the birth of Romanticism. Many of his pupils, such as Antoine-Jean Gros and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, went on to become successful and popular painters.

 20 Jean Cocteau

Jean Cocteau
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Famous As: Novelist, Poet, Artist & Filmmaker
Birthdate: July 5, 1889
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Maisons-Laffitte
Died: October 11, 1963
While Jean Cocteau preferred calling himself a poet, his multidimensional works consisted of novels such as Les Enfants Terribles and films directed by him such as La Belle et la Bête. Cocteau relied on motifs such as eyes, blood, and mirrors, and mingled mythology and modernism.

 21 Françoise Gilot

Françoise Gilot
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Famous As: Painter, Choreographer, Model
Birthdate: November 26, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine

 22 Camille Pissarro

Camille Pissarro
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Famous As: Painter, Printmaker
Birthdate: July 10, 1830
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, Danish West Indies (now US Virgin Islands)
Died: November 13, 1903

Camille Pissarro was a Danish-French painter best remembered for his contributions to Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism. He is credited with establishing a group of 15 aspiring artists, for which he served as a pivotal figure. He was regarded as a father figure to several important painters, including Vincent Willem van Gogh.

 23 Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson
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Famous As: Photographer and Painter
Birthdate: August 22, 1908
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chanteloup-en-Brie, France
Died: August 3, 2004

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French humanist photographer. Considered a master of candid photography, he pioneered the genre of street photography. He was among the earliest users of the 35 mm film. In 1947, he became one of the founding members of Magnum Photos, an international photographic cooperative. In his later years, he explored drawing and painting. 

 24 Gustave Doré

Gustave Doré
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 6, 1832
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: January 23, 1883

 25 Amanda Lear

Amanda Lear
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Famous As: Painter, Singer, Actor, Model, Composer
Birthdate: November 18, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ho Chi Minh City

 26 Paloma Picasso

Paloma Picasso
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Famous As: Entrepreneur, Choreographer, Painter, Jewellery designer, Designer, Socialite
Birthdate: April 19, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vallauris

 27 Dora Maar

Dora Maar
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Famous As: Photographer, Artist, Painter, Poet, Choreographer, Sculptor, Model
Birthdate: November 22, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris
Died: July 16, 1997

Born to a French mother and a Croatian father, Dora Maar spent her childhood in Argentina and later studied art in Paris. The renowned surrealist artist and photographer later gained fame as Pablo Picasso’s lover and muse, and was featured in his paintings such as Weeping Woman.

 28 Georges Braque

Georges Braque
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 13, 1882
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Argenteuil, France
Died: August 31, 1963

 29 Marie Tussaud

Marie Tussaud
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 1, 1761
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: April 16, 1850

Marie Tussaud was a French artist and sculptor best remembered for her wax sculptures. She founded Madame Tussauds, a wax museum, in London in 1835. The museum is a major tourist attraction today. As a young girl, she learned wax modeling from doctor cum wax modeler Philippe Curtius. In the ensuing years, she became a prominent sculptor.

 30 Mr. Brainwash

Mr. Brainwash
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: 1966 AD
Birthplace: Garges-lès-Gonesse, France

 31 Berthe Morisot

Berthe Morisot
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 14, 1841
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bourges
Died: March 2, 1895

 32 Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 29, 1780
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montauban, France
Died: January 14, 1867

 33 Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
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Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: August 2, 1834
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colmar, France
Died: October 4, 1904

 34 Jean-Léon Gérôme

Jean-Léon Gérôme
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Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Vesoul

 35 Théodore Géricault

Théodore Géricault
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 26, 1791
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rouen, France
Died: January 26, 1824

 36 Nicolas Poussin

Nicolas Poussin
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Famous As: French Painter
Birthdate: June 15, 1594
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Near Les Andelys, Normandy, Kingdom of France (now France)
Died: November 19, 1665

The founder of the French Classical tradition, painter Nicolas Poussin was initially influenced by Venetian art but later deviated to antiquity. Most of his paintings showcased historical, mythological, biblical elements but some were also inspired by landscapes and poetry. The Death of the Virgin remains one of his best-known works.

 37 Jean-François Millet

Jean-François Millet
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: October 4, 1814
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gréville-Hague, La Hague, France
Died: January 20, 1875

 38 Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Jean-Honoré Fragonard
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Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Grasse

 39 René Goscinny

René Goscinny
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Famous As: Editor, Film director, Comics writer, Film producer, Writer, Screenwriter
Birthdate: August 14, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris
Died: November 5, 1977

 40 Raymond Loewy

Raymond Loewy
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Famous As: Designer, Automotive designer, Postage stamp designer
Birthdate: November 5, 1893
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris
Died: July 14, 1986

 41 Joseph Ducreux

Joseph Ducreux
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 26, 1735
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nancy
Died: July 24, 1802

 42 Jean Marais

Jean Marais
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Famous As: Film actor, Actor, Sculptor, Painter, Theatre director, Film director, Autobiographer
Birthdate: December 11, 1913
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cherbourg-Octeville
Died: November 8, 1998

 43 Balthus

Balthus
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Famous As: Biography
Birthdate: February 29, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 18, 2001

 44 Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 20, 1840
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: July 6, 1916

 45 André Le Nôtre

André Le Nôtre
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Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Paris

 46 Robert Delaunay

Robert Delaunay
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: April 12, 1885
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 25, 1941

 47 Andre Derain

Andre Derain
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: June 10, 1880
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Garches, France
Died: September 8, 1954

 48 Rosa Bonheur

Rosa Bonheur
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Famous As: Painter, Sculptor
Birthdate: March 16, 1822
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bordeaux
Died: May 25, 1899

 49 Suzanne Valadon

Suzanne Valadon
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 23, 1865
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bessines-sur-Gartempe, France
Died: April 7, 1938

 50 Fernand Léger

Fernand Léger
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Famous As: Cubist Painter
Birthdate: February 4, 1881
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Argentan
Died: August 17, 1955

Fernand Léger was a French sculptor, painter, and filmmaker. Widely regarded as the forerunner of pop art, Léger was also active as a teacher for several years. He is also credited with establishing his own Académie Fernand Léger, where he taught for many years. Many of his pupils went on to establish themselves as successful artists.