The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. In 2018, the Louvre was the world's most visited art museum; the museum is housed in the Louvre Palace built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to the urban expansion of the city, the fortress lost its defensive function and, in 1546, was converted by Francis I into the main residence of the French Kings; the building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre as a place to display the royal collection, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons.
The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces; the museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801; the collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown through donations and bequests since the Third Republic; the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities. The Louvre Palace, which houses the museum, was begun as a fortress by Philip II in the 12th century to protect the city from English soldiers which were in Normandy.
Remnants of this castle are still visible in the crypt. Whether this was the first building on that spot is not known. According to the authoritative Grand Larousse encyclopédique, the name derives from an association with wolf hunting den. In the 7th century, St. Fare, an abbess in Meaux, left part of her "Villa called Luvra situated in the region of Paris" to a monastery.. The Louvre Palace was altered throughout the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence and in 1546, Francis I renovated the site in French Renaissance style. Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre's holdings, his acquisitions including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, constructions slowed. Four generations of Boulle were granted Royal patronage and resided in the Louvre in the following order: Pierre Boulle, Jean Boulle, Andre-Charles Boulle and his four sons, after him. André-Charles Boulle is the most famous French cabinetmaker and the preeminent artist in the field of marquetry known as "Inlay".
Boulle was "the most remarkable of all French cabinetmakers". He was commended to Louis XIV of France, the "Sun King", by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as being "the most skilled craftsman in his profession". Before the fire of 1720 destroyed them, André-Charles Boulle held priceless works of art in the Louvre, including forty-eight drawings by Raphael'. By the mid-18th century there were an increasing number of proposals to create a public gallery, with the art critic La Font de Saint-Yenne publishing, in 1747, a call for a display of the royal collection. On 14 October 1750, Louis XV agreed and sanctioned a display of 96 pieces from the royal collection, mounted in the Galerie royale de peinture of the Luxembourg Palace. A hall was opened by Le Normant de Tournehem and the Marquis de Marigny for public viewing of the Tableaux du Roy on Wednesdays and Saturdays, contained Andrea del Sarto's Charity and works by Raphael. Under Louis XVI, the royal museum idea became policy; the comte d'Angiviller broadened the collection and in 1776 proposed conversion of the Grande Galerie of the Louvre – which contained maps – into the "French Museum".
Many proposals were offered for the Louvre's renovation into a museum. Hence the museum remained incomplete until the French Revolution. During the French Revolution the Louvre was transformed into a public museum. In May 1791, the Assembly declared that the Louvre would be "a place for bringing together monuments of all the sciences and arts". On 10 August 1792, Louis XVI was imprisoned and the royal collection i
Tourism in France
Tourism in France directly contributed 77.7 billion euros to gross domestic product, 30% of which comes from international visitors and 70% from domestic tourism spending. The total contribution of travel and tourism represents 9.7% of GDP and supports 2.9 million jobs in the country. Tourism contributes to the balance of payments. France was visited by 85.7 million foreign tourists in 2013, making it the most popular tourist destination in the world. France ranks fifth in tourist spending behind the United Kingdom, United States and Spain. France has 37 sites inscribed in the UNESCO's World Heritage List and features cities or sites of high cultural interest and seaside resorts, ski resorts, rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity. Small and picturesque French villages of quality heritage are promoted through the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France; the "Remarkable Gardens" label is a list of the over two hundred gardens classified by the French Ministry of Culture.
This label is intended to promote remarkable gardens and parks. Most tourists arriving to France in 2014 came from the following countries or territories: Most nights spent in France in 2014 by tourists from following countries: Paris, the capital city of France, is the third most visited city in the world, it has some of the world's largest and renowned museums, including the Louvre, the most visited art museum in the world, but the Musée d'Orsay which, like the nearby Musée de l'Orangerie, is devoted to impressionism, Centre Georges Pompidou, dedicated to Contemporary art. Paris hosts some of the world's most recognizable landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the most-visited paid monument in the world, the Arc de Triomphe, the cathedral of Notre-Dame, or the Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre; the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, located in Parc de la Villette, is the biggest science museum in Europe. Near Paris are located the Palace of Versailles, the former palace of the Kings of France, now a museum, the medieval village of Provins.
Both attractions are protected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With more than 10 million tourists a year, the French Riviera, in southeastern France, is the second leading tourist destination in the country, after the Parisian region. According to the Côte d'Azur Economic Development Agency, it benefits from 300 days of sunshine per year, 115 kilometres of coastline and beaches, 18 golf courses and 3,000 restaurants; each year the Côte d'Azur hosts 50% of the world's superyacht fleet, with 90% of all superyachts visiting the region's coast at least once in their lifetime. Main cities on the French Riviera include Nice and Cannes. Cannes hosts the annual Cannes Film Festival. Tourists often visit the Port-Cros National Park, east of Toulon, Monaco, near the Italian border. A large part of Provence, with Marseille as its leading city, was designed as the 2013 European Capital of Culture. Numerous famous natural sites can be found in the region, as the Gorges du Verdon, the Camargue, the Calanques National Park and the typical landscape of Luberon.
Provence hosts dozens of renowned historical sites like the Pont du Gard, the Arles' Roman Monuments or the Palais des Papes in Avignon. Several smaller cities attracts a lot of tourists, like Aix-en-Provence, La Ciotat or Cassis, on the Mediterranean Sea coastline. An other major destination are the Châteaux of the Loire Valley; the French Revolution saw a number of the great French châteaux destroyed and many ransacked, their treasures stolen. The overnight impoverishment of many of the deposed nobility after one of its members lost his or her head to the guillotine, saw many châteaux demolished. During World War I and World War II, some chateaux were commandeered as military headquarters; some of these continued to be used this way after the end of the Second World War. This World Heritage Site is noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage, in its historic towns such as Amboise, Blois, Nantes, Orléans and Tours, but in particular for its castles, such as the Châteaux d'Amboise, de Chambord, d'Ussé, de Villandry and Montsoreau, which illustrate to an exceptional degree the ideals of the French Renaissance.
The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are in France, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy. More than 20 skiing resorts make it a popular destination among Europeans in the winter. Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily and Cyprus, it is a popular attraction for tourists with geographical features. The Calanques de Piana and Scandola Nature Reserve are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List; the island is 183 kilometres long at longest, 83 kilometres wide at widest, has 1,000 kilometres of coastline, more than 200 beaches, is mountainous, with Monte Cinto as the highest peak at 2,706 metres and around 120 other summits of more than 2,000 metres. Mountains comprise two-thirds of the island. Forests make up 20% of the island. France has many cities of
Aix-en-Provence, or Aix, is a city and commune in Southern France, about 30 km north of Marseille. A former capital of Provence, it is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which it is a subprefecture; the population of Aix-en-Provence numbers 143,000. Its inhabitants are called Aixois or, less Aquisextains. Aix was founded in 123 BC by the Roman consul Sextius Calvinus, who gave his name to its springs, following the destruction of the nearby Gallic oppidum at Entremont. In 102 BC its vicinity was the scene of the Battle of Aquae Sextiae, where the Romans under Gaius Marius defeated the Cimbri and Teutones, with mass suicides among the captured women, which passed into Roman legends of Germanic heroism. In the 4th century AD it became the metropolis of Narbonensis Secunda, it was occupied by the Visigoths in 477. In the succeeding century, the town was plundered by the Franks and Lombards, was occupied by the Saracens in 731 and by Charles Martel in 737.
Aix, which during the Middle Ages was the capital of Provence, did not reach its zenith until after the 12th century, under the houses of Barcelona/Aragon and Anjou, it became an artistic centre and seat of learning. Aix passed to the crown of France with the rest of Provence in 1487, in 1501 Louis XII established there the parliament of Provence, which existed until 1789. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the town was the seat of the Intendance of Provence. Current archeological excavations in the Ville des Tours, a medieval suburb of Aix, have unearthed the remains of a Roman amphitheatre. A deposit of fossil bones from the Upper Continental Miocene gave rise to a Christian dragon legend. Aix-en-Provence is situated in the south of France, in a plain overlooking the Arc river, about a mile from the right bank of the river; the city slopes from north to south and the Montagne Sainte-Victoire can be seen to the east. Aix's position in the south of France gives it a warm climate, though more extreme than Marseille due to the inland location.
It has an average January temperature of 5 °C and a July average of 23 °C. It has an average of only 91 days of rain. While it is protected from the Mistral, Aix still experiences the cooler and gusty conditions it brings. Unlike most of France which has an oceanic climate, Aix-en-Provence has a Mediterranean climate; the Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare, planted with double rows of plane trees, bordered by fine houses and decorated by fountains. It follows the line of the old city wall, divides the town into two sections; the new town extends to the west. Situated on this avenue, lined on one side with banks and on the other with cafés, is the Deux Garçons, the most famous brasserie in Aix. Built in 1792, it was frequented by the likes of Émile Zola and Ernest Hemingway; the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour is situated to the north in the medieval part of Aix. Built on the site of a former Roman forum and an adjacent basilica, it contains a mixture of all styles from the 5th to the 17th century, including a richly decorated portal in the Gothic style with doors elaborately carved in walnut.
The interior contains 16th-century tapestries, a 15th-century triptych, depicting King René and his wife on the side panels, as well as a Merovingian baptistery, its Renaissance dome supported by original Roman columns. The archbishop's palace and a Romanesque cloister adjoin the cathedral on its south side; the Archbishopric of Aix is now shared with Arles. Among its other public institutions, Aix has the second most important Appeal Court outside of Paris, located near the site of the former Palace of the Counts of Provence; the Hôtel de Ville, a building in the classical style of the middle of the 17th century, looks onto a picturesque square. It contains tapestries. At its side rises a handsome clock-tower erected in 1510. On the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville is the former Corn Exchange; this ornately decorated 18th-century building was designed by the Vallon brothers. Nearby are the remarkable thermal springs, containing lime and carbonic acid, that first drew the Romans to Aix and gave it the name Aquae Sextiae.
A spa was built in 1705 near the remains of the ancient Roman baths of Sextius. South of the Cours Mirabeau is the Quartier Mazarin; this residential district was constructed for the gentry of Aix by Archbishop Michele Mazzarino brother of Cardinal Jules Mazarin in the last half of the 17th century and contains several notable hôtels particuliers. The 13th-century church of Saint-Jean-de-Malte contains valuable pictures and a restored organ. Next to it is the Musée Granet, devoted to European sculpture. Aix is referred to as the city of a thousand fountains. Among the most notable are the 17th-century Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins in the Quartier Mazarin, designed by Jean-Claude Rambot, three of the fountains down the central Cours Mirabeau: At the top, a 19th-century fountain depicts the "good king" René holding the Muscat grapes that he introduced to Provence in the 15th century.
Marie Alexandre Lenoir was a French archaeologist. Self-taught and devoted to saving France's historic monuments and tombs from the ravages of the French Revolution, notably those of Saint-Denis and Sainte-Geneviève; the ravages of the Revolution caused the birth of the Musée des monuments français. Thanks to support from Jean Sylvain Bailly, Alexandre Lenoir demanded that all art objects from state properties be gathered together in this museum; these objects were confiscated at different religious houses and stored in a single place to avoid their dispersal and destruction. Mandated by the National Constituent Assembly in 1791, he brought together the various objects he sought to conserve in the Couvent des Petits Augustins, a building, converted to become the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. On 1 August 1793, the National Convention decreed that the tombs of "former kings" should be destroyed. Alexandre Lenoir witnessed the destruction of the royal tombs, with the bones thrown into a ditch.
He struggled against revolutionary vandalism and managed to save statues and loot which he stored at the couvent des Petits-Augustins. In 1795, he opened the Musée des monuments français to the public — he was its administrator for 30 years. In October 1796, Lenoir was among a number of artists who signed a petition supporting plans to seize works of art from Rome, in response to an early artists' petition orchestrated by Quatremère de Quincy that remonstrated against these plans. In 1816, under the Bourbon Restoration, he had to return the majority of his collections to their former public and private owners, his wife, Adélaïde Binart, exhibited at the Salons under the name Adélaïde Lenoir. Lenoir is buried in Montparnasse Cemetery. By Marie-Geneviève Bouliard, exhibited at the 1796 salon, bought by the musée Carnavalet in 1899 By Pierre-Maximilien Delafontaine, dated 1799, given by Alexandre's grandson Alfred Lenoir to the musée national du château de Versailles By Jacques-Louis David - begun in France and completed in 1817 in Brussels, acquired in 1921 by the Louvre Bresc-Bautier, Geneviève.
Un musée révolutionaire: le musée des Monuments français d’Alexandre Lenoir. Paris: Louvre éditions. ISBN 978-2-75410-937-6. Louis Courajod, Alexandre Lenoir, son journal et le Musée des monuments français, H. Champion, Paris, 3 vol. 1878–1887 Froissart, Jean-Luc, Albert et Angéline Lenoir: Une dynastie en A majeur, Paris: J.-L. Froissart, ISBN 978-2-9522836-3-2 Stara, Alexandra; the Museum of French Monuments 1795–1816: "Killing art to make history". Farnham: Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4094-3799-4. Biography on insecula.com The Musée des monuments français on the Réunion des musées français site Jean Tulard, Jean-François Fayard and Alfred Fierro, Histoire et dictionnaire de la Révolution française. 1789-1799, Robert Laffont, Bouquins collection, Paris, 1987
Regions of France
France is divided into 18 administrative regions, which are traditionally divided between 13 metropolitan regions, located on the European continent, 5 overseas regions, located outside the European continent. The 13 metropolitan regions are each further subdivided into 2 to 13 departments, while the overseas regions consist of only one department each and hence are referred to as "overseas departments"; the current legal concept of region was adopted in 1982, in 2016 what had been 27 regions was reduced to 18. The overseas regions should not be confused the overseas collectivities, which have a semi-autonomous status; the term région was created by the Law of Decentralisation, which gave regions their legal status. The first direct elections for regional representatives took place on 16 March 1986. In 2016, the number of regions was reduced from 27 to 18 through mergers. In 2014, the French parliament passed a law reducing the number of metropolitan regions from 22 to 13 effective 1 January 2016.
The law gave interim names for most of the new regions by combining the names of the former regions, e.g. the region composed of Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes and Limousin was temporarily called Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes. However, the combined region of Upper and Lower Normandy is called "Normandy". Permanent names were proposed by the new regional councils by 1 July 2016 and new names confirmed by the Conseil d'État by 30 September 2016; the legislation defining the new regions allowed the Centre region to change its name to "Centre-Val de Loire" with effect from January 2015. Two regions, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, opted to retain their interim names. Between 1982 and 2015, there were 22 regions in Metropolitan France. Before 2011, there were four overseas regions. Regions therefore can not write their own statutory law, they levy their own taxes and, in return, receive a decreasing part of their budget from the central government, which gives them a portion of the taxes it levies.
They have considerable budgets managed by a regional council made up of representatives voted into office in regional elections. A region's primary responsibility is to furnish high schools. In March 2004, the French central government unveiled a controversial plan to transfer regulation of certain categories of non-teaching school staff to the regional authorities. Critics of this plan contended that tax revenue was insufficient to pay for the resulting costs, that such measures would increase regional inequalities. In addition, regions have considerable discretionary power over infrastructural spending, e.g. education, public transit and research, assistance to business owners. This has meant that the heads of wealthy regions such as Île-de-France or Rhône-Alpes can be high-profile positions. Proposals to give regions limited legislative autonomy have met with considerable resistance. Number of regions controlled by each coalition since 1986. Overseas region is a recent designation, given to the overseas departments that have similar powers to those of the regions of metropolitan France.
As integral parts of the French Republic, they are represented in the National Assembly and Economic and Social Council, elect a Member of the European Parliament and use the euro as their currency. Although these territories have had these political powers since 1982, when France's decentralisation policy dictated that they be given elected regional councils along with other regional powers, the designation overseas regions dates only to the 2003 constitutional change; the following have overseas region status: in the Indian Ocean Mayotte Réunion in the Americas French Guiana in South America Guadeloupe in the Antilles Martinique in the Antilles Saint Pierre and Miquelon, once an overseas department, was demoted to a territorial collectivity in 1985. Ranked list of French regions Administrative divisions of France List of French regions and overseas collectivities by GDP List of regions of France by population Flags of the regions of France ISO 3166-2:FRGeneral: Decentralisation in France Budget of France Regional councils of France Administrative divisions of FranceOverseasOutremer Overseas collectivity Overseas department Overseas departments and territories of France Regions of France at Curlie Guide to the regions of France Local websites by region Will 2010 regional elections lead to political shake-up?
Radio France Internationale in EnglishOverseas regionsMinistère de l'Outre-Mer some explanations about the past and current developments of DOMs and TOMs
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne's repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are characteristic and recognizable, he used planes of small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne's intense study of his subjects. Cézanne is said to have formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne "is the father of us all." The Cézannes came from the commune of Saint-Sauveur. Paul Cézanne was born on 19 January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence. On 22 February, he was baptized in the Église de la Madeleine, with his grandmother and uncle Louis as godparents, became a devout Catholic in life, his father, Louis Auguste Cézanne, a native of Saint-Zacharie, was the co-founder of a banking firm that prospered throughout the artist's life, affording him financial security, unavailable to most of his contemporaries and resulting in a large inheritance.
His mother, Anne Elisabeth Honorine Aubert, was "vivacious and romantic, but quick to take offence". It was from her that Cézanne got his vision of life, he had two younger sisters and Rose, with whom he went to a primary school every day. At the age of ten Cézanne entered the Saint Joseph school in Aix. In 1852 Cézanne entered the Collège Bourbon in Aix, where he became friends with Émile Zola, in a less advanced class, as well as Baptistin Baille—three friends who came to be known as "les trois inséparables", he stayed there for six years. In 1857, he began attending the Free Municipal School of Drawing in Aix, where he studied drawing under Joseph Gibert, a Spanish monk. From 1858 to 1861, complying with his father's wishes, Cézanne attended the law school of the University of Aix, while receiving drawing lessons. Going against the objections of his banker father, he committed himself to pursuing his artistic development and left Aix for Paris in 1861, he was encouraged to make this decision by Zola, living in the capital at the time.
His father reconciled with Cézanne and supported his choice of career. Cézanne received an inheritance of 400,000 francs from his father, which rid him of all financial worries. In Paris, Cézanne met the Impressionist Camille Pissarro; the friendship formed in the mid-1860s between Pissarro and Cézanne was that of master and disciple, in which Pissarro exerted a formative influence on the younger artist. Over the course of the following decade their landscape painting excursions together, in Louveciennes and Pontoise, led to a collaborative working relationship between equals. Cézanne's early work is concerned with the figure in the landscape and includes many paintings of groups of large, heavy figures in the landscape, imaginatively painted. In his career, he became more interested in working from direct observation and developed a light, airy painting style. In Cézanne's mature work there is the development of a solidified architectural style of painting. Throughout his life he struggled to develop an authentic observation of the seen world by the most accurate method of representing it in paint that he could find.
To this end, he structurally ordered. His statement "I want to make of impressionism something solid and lasting like the art in the museums", his contention that he was recreating Poussin "after nature" underscored his desire to unite observation of nature with the permanence of classical composition. Cézanne was interested in the simplification of occurring forms to their geometric essentials: he wanted to "treat nature by the cylinder, the sphere, the cone". Additionally, Cézanne's desire to capture the truth of perception led him to explore binocular vision graphically, rendering different, yet simultaneous visual perceptions of the same phenomena to provide the viewer with an aesthetic experience of depth different from those of earlier ideals of perspective, in particular single-point perspective, his interest in new ways of modelling space and volume derived from the stereoscopy obsession of his era and from reading Hippolyte Taine’s Berkelean theory of spatial perception. Cézanne's innovations have prompted critics to suggest such varied explanations as sick retinas, pure vision, the influence of the steam railway.
Cézanne's paintings were shown in the first exhibition of the Salon des Refusés in 1863, which displayed works not accepted by the jury of the official Paris Salon. The Salon rejected Cézanne's submissions every year from 1864 to 1869, he continued to submit works to the Salon until 1882. In that year, through the intervention of fellow artist Antoine Guillemet, he exhibited Portrait de M. L. A. Portrait of Louis-Auguste Cézanne, The Artist's Father, Reading "L'Événement", 1866, his first and last successful submission to the Salon. Before 1895 Cézanne exhibited twice with the Impressionists. In years a few individual paintings were shown at various venues, unti