France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Rococo, less roccoco, or "Late Baroque", is a ornamental and theatrical style of decoration which combines asymmetry, scrolling curves, gilding and pastel colors, sculpted molding, trompe l'oeil frescoes to create the illusions of surprise and drama. It first appeared in France and Italy in the 1730s and spread to Central Europe in the 1750s and 1760s, it is described as the final expression of the Baroque movement. The Rococo style began in France in the first part of the 18th century in the reign of Louis XV as a reaction against the more formal and geometric Style Louis XIV, it was known as the style rocaille style. It soon spread to other parts of Europe northern Italy, Austria, other parts of Germany, Russia, it came to influence the other arts sculpture, furniture and glassware, painting and theatre. The word rococo was first used as a humorous variation of the word rocaille. Rocaille was a method of decoration, using pebbles and cement, used to decorate grottoes and fountains since the Renaissance.
In the late 17th and early 18th century rocaille became the term for a kind of decorative motif or ornament that appeared in the late Style Louis XIV, in the form of a seashell interlaced with acanthus leaves. In 1736 the designer and jeweler Jean Mondon published the Premier Livre de forme rocquaille et cartel, a collection of designs for ornaments of furniture and interior decoration, it was the first appearance in print of the term "rocaille" to designate the style. The carved or molded seashell motif was combined with palm leaves or twisting vines to decorate doorways, wall panels and other architectural elements; the term rococo was first used in print in 1825 to describe decoration, "out of style and old-fashioned." It was used in 1828 for decoration "which belonged to the style of the 18th century, overloaded with twisting ornaments." In 1829 the author Stendhal described rococo as "the rocaille style of the 18th century."In the 19th century, the term was used to describe architecture or music, excessively ornamental.
Since the mid-19th century, the term has been accepted by art historians. While there is still some debate about the historical significance of the style, Rococo is now considered as a distinct period in the development of European art. Rococo features exuberant decoration, with an abundance of curves, counter-curves and elements modeled on nature; the exteriors of Rococo buildings are simple, while the interiors are dominated by their ornament. The style was theatrical, designed to impress and awe at first sight. Floor plans of churches were complex, featuring interlocking ovals; the style integrated painting, molded stucco, wood carving, quadratura, or illusionist ceiling paintings, which were designed to give the impression that those entering the room were looking up at the sky, where cherubs and other figures were gazing down at them. Materials used painted or left white; the intent was to create an impression of surprise and wonder on first view. Rococo was influenced by chinoiserie and was sometimes in association with Chinese figures and pagodas.
The Rocaille style, or French Rococo, appeared in Paris during the reign of Louis XV, flourished between about 1723 and 1759. The style was used in salons, a new style of room designed to impress and entertain guests; the most prominent example was the salon of the Princess in Hôtel de Soubise in Paris, designed by Germain Boffrand and Charles-Joseph Natoire. The characteristics of French Rococo included exceptional artistry in the complex frames made for mirrors and paintings, which sculpted in plaster and gilded; the furniture featured sinuous curves and vegetal designs. The leading furniture designers and craftsmen in the style included Juste-Aurele Meissonier, Charles Cressent, Nicolas Pineau; the Rocaille style lasted in France until the mid-18th century, while it became more curving and vegetal, it never achieved the extravagant exuberance of the Rococo in Bavaria and Italy. The discoveries of Roman antiquities beginning in 1738 at Herculanum and at Pompeii in 1748 turned French architecture in the direction of the more symmetrical and less flamboyant neo-classicism.
Artists in Italy Venice produced an exuberant rococo style. Venetian commodes imitated the curving lines and carved ornament of the French rocaille, but with a particular Venetian variation. Notable decorative painters included Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, who painted ceilings and murals of both churches and palazzos, Giovanni Battista Crosato who painted the ballroom ceiling of the Ca Rezzonico in the quadraturo manner, giving the illusion of three dimensions. Tiepelo travelled to Germany with his son during 1752–1754, decorating the ceilings of the Würzburg Residence, one of the major landmarks of the Bavarian rococo. An earlier celebrated Venetian painter was Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, who painted several notable church ceilings; the Venetian Rococo featured exceptional glassware Murano glass, ofte
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Palais Rohan, Strasbourg
The Palais Rohan in Strasbourg is the former residence of the prince-bishops and cardinals of the House of Rohan, an ancient French noble family from Brittany. It is a major architectural and cultural landmark in the city, it was built next to Strasbourg Cathedral in the 1730s, from designs by Robert de Cotte, is considered a masterpiece of French Baroque architecture. Since its completion in 1742, the palace has hosted a number of French monarchs such as Louis XV, Marie Antoinette and Joséphine, Charles X. Reflecting the history of Strasbourg and of France, the palace has been owned successively by the nobility, the municipality, the monarchy, the state, the university, the municipality again, its architectural conception and its iconography were intended to indicate the return of Roman Catholicism to the city, dominated by Protestantism for the previous two centuries. Thus the prelate's apartments face the cathedral, to the north, many of the statues and paintings reflect the Catholic dogma.
Since the end of the 19th century the palace has been home to three of Strasbourg's most important museums: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts. The municipal art gallery, Galerie Robert Heitz, in a lateral wing of the palace, is used for temporary exhibitions; the Palais Rohan has been listed since 1920 as a Monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. In 1727 Armand Gaston Maximilien de Rohan, bishop of Strasbourg since 1704 and cardinal since 1712, commissioned the architect Robert de Cotte to design the palace. Seven years prior, in 1720, Cardinal de Rohan had charged de Cotte with renovation and embellishment works on his castle in Saverne, the predecessor of the current Rohan Castle. De Cotte had previously designed the Hôtel du grand Doyenné, the first hôtel particulier in Louis Quinze style built in Strasbourg; the Palais Rohan was built on the site of the former residence of the bishop, the "bishop's demesne", recorded since at least 1262.
The area itself is near the heart of the ancient Argentoratum, first mentioned in 12 BC. Diverse archaeological excavations on Place du Château, the square facing the palace, have unearthed many remains of the Roman camp. Building work on the Palais Rohan took place from 1732 until 1742 under the supervision of the municipal architect Joseph Massol, who worked on the Hôtel de Hanau and the Hôtel de Klinglin during the early years of the project. Massol was assisted by the architects Laurent Étienne Le Chevalier; the sculptures, including statues as well as reliefs, were provided by Robert Le Lorrain, assisted by Johann August Nahl, Gaspard Pollet, Laurent Leprince, the paintings by Pierre Ignace Parrocel and Robert de Séry. The ébéniste Bernard Kocke and the ironworkers and locksmiths Jean-François Agon and his son Antoine Agon worked on the furnishings of the apartments, while the stucco was the work of the Italians Castelli and Morsegno. A budget of 344,000 French livres had been established for the construction – 200,000 livres lent from the Cathedral chapter and 144,000 raised as local taxes over a period of twelve years – but the final cost is estimated at one million French livres.
The palace is built in yellow sandstone from Wasselonne, with pink sandstone for the less visible parts. The House of Rohan owned the palace until the French Revolution, when it was confiscated, declared bien national, auctioned off on 8 August 1791. Bought by the municipality, it became the new town hall the same year. Much of the furniture and many of the works of art in the Palais were sold, in 1793 the eight life-sized mural portraits of prince-bishops decorating the Salle des évêques were destroyed, they were replaced in 1796 by allegories of civic virtues painted by Joseph Melling. Only the portrait of Armand Gaston, the builder of the palace, was restored to its original place with a 1982 replica of Hyacinthe Rigaud's lost painting. Melling replaced the overdoor portraits of kings of France, decorating the same room with paintings of vases; the Palais Rohan remained the hôtel de ville until 1805. That year, the municipality presented it to Napoleon. Like the palace, the hôtel had been state-owned since the Revolution.
The 1805 arrangement proved favourable for the municipality: the maintenance of the Hôtel de Hanau was less costly than that of the larger Palais Rohan. It pleased Napoleon; as for the palace, imperial ownership meant renewed splendour. The present to Napoleon was accepted by decree on 21 January 1806. In the years before the Franco-Prussian War and the return of Alsace to Germany, the Palais Rohan was the property of the French state, in turn an empire, a kingdom, a monarchy, a republic, again an empire; the year 1871 signified the end of French rule and the beginning of German rule over Alsace, which had until 1681 been linked to Germany through the Holy Roman Empire. Having lost the Franco-Prussian War, France had to cede the departments of Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Moselle to the newly created German Empire. Now under new administration and having lost its residential purpose, the Palais Rohan had to be assigned a new role. Between 1872 and 1884, until the opening of the Palais
Strasbourg astronomical clock
The Strasbourg astronomical clock is located in the Cathédrale Notre-Dame of Strasbourg, France. It is the third clock on that spot and dates from the time of the first French possession of the city; the first clock had been built in the 14th century, the second in the 16th century, when Strasbourg was a Free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. The current, third clock dates from 1843, its main features, besides the automata, are a perpetual calendar, an orrery, a display of the real position of the Sun and the Moon, solar and lunar eclipses. The main attraction is the procession of the 18 inch high figures of Christ and the Apostles, which occurs every day at solar noon, while the life-size cock crows thrice; the first astronomical clock of Strasbourg cathedral was erected between 1352–1354, against the south transept. The name of its maker is not known; this clock was known as the "Three Kings clock" and had several automata. One of them was the gilded rooster reused in the second clock and which now is part of the collections of the Strasbourg Museum for Decorative Arts and is considered the oldest preserved automaton worldwide.
This bird, a symbol of Christ's passion, was made of iron and wood. At noon it spread out its feathers, it opened its beak, put out its tongue, by means of a bellows and a reed, crowed. In the top compartment at noon, to the sound of a small carillon, the Three Kings bowed before the figure of The Virgin Mary and the Christ Child; the clock most had an astrolabe dial and a calendar dial. It was standing on the wall opposite the current clock, a staircase led to its various levels. Supports for former balconies can still be seen today, suggest that the height of the clock was about 18 m, with a width of about 7.70 m at the base. At the base a painted figure of a zodiacal man showed the relationship between the signs of the zodiac and parts of the human body. There is a big circle engraved in the wall, but this circle is not a remnant of the first clock, it was added at a stage, for some unclarified reason. The entire structure was dismantled in 1572–4 when the second and more ambitious clock was mounted on the opposite wall of the south transept.
The first clock stopped a new one was started in the 16th century. It was designed by the mathematician Christian Herlin. During a first phase, the stone case and the staircase were built, around 1547, the dial and iron framework were being constructed when work halted, due to the various political problems - the cathedral became Catholic - and due to the deaths of Herlin and his associates. Construction was resumed in 1571 by a pupil of and successor to Herlin. Dasypodius enrolled the Swiss clockmakers Isaac Habrecht and Josia Habrecht, as well as the astronomer and musician David Wolckenstein, Swiss artists Tobias Stimmer and his brother Josias; the clock was completed in 1574. This clock was remarkable both for its complexity as an astronomical device and for the range and richness of its decorations and accessories; as well as the many dials and indicators - the calendar dial, the astrolabe, the indicators for planets, eclipses - the clock was well endowed with paintings, moving statues and musical entertainment in the form of a six tune carillon.
The Stimmers painted large panels that depicted the three Fates, Colossus, Nicolaus Copernicus, various sacred themes, including the Creation, the resurrection of the Dead, the last judgment, the rewards of virtue and vice. At the base of a clock there was an 86 cm diameter celestial globe, accompanied by the figure of a pelican; the globe was connected to the clock movement, set for the meridian of Strasbourg. A popular feature of the new clock was the golden cockerel, a relic of the first clock, which perched on the top of the cupola and entertained the onlookers at noon every day until 1640, when it was struck by lightning. Most of the works are still preserved in the Museum of Decorative Arts; the second clock stopped working around 1788 and stood still until 1838, when Jean-Baptiste Schwilgué started to build the current clock. He designed new mechanisms to replace the old ones. Schwilgué had wanted to work on the clock since his boyhood, but he only got the contract 50 years later. In the meantime, he had become acquainted with clockmaking and mechanics.
He spent one year preparing his 30 workers before starting construction. Construction lasted from 1838 until June 24, 1843; the clock, was inaugurated on December 31, 1842. The gold hands of the clock show mean solar time, or "temps moyen". In winter, mean solar time is 30½ minutes behind Central European Time; this clock contains the first perpetual mechanical Gregorian computus, designed by Schwilgué in 1816. In the 1970s, Frédéric Klinghammer built a reduced replica of it. In 1887, a 25-year-old Sydney watchmaker named Richard Smith built a working model of the third clock in the scale 1:5. Having never seen the original, Smith had to work from a pamphlet which described its timekeeping and astronomical functions; this model is now on show in the Powerhouse Museum, Australia. Astronomical clock Henry King: "Geared to the Stars: the evolution of planetariums and astronomical clocks", University of Toronto Press, 1978 Alfred Ungerer and Théodore Ungerer: "L'horloge astronomique de la cathédrale de Strasbourg", Strasbourg, 1922 Henri Bach, Jean-Pierre Rieb, Robert Wilhelm: "Les trois horloges astronomiques de la cathédrale de Strasbourg", 1992 Günther Oest
The Baroque is a ornate and extravagant style of architecture, painting and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th until the mid-18th century. It preceded the Rococo and Neoclassical styles, it was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a means to counter the simplicity and austerity of Protestant architecture and music, though Lutheran Baroque art developed in parts of Europe as well. The Baroque style used contrast, exuberant detail, deep colour and surprise to achieve a sense of awe; the style began at the start of the 17th century in Rome spread to France, northern Italy and Portugal to Austria and southern Germany. By the 1730s, it had evolved into an more flamboyant style, called rocaille or Rococo, which appeared in France and central Europe until the mid to late 18th century; the English word baroque comes directly from the French, may have been adapted from the Portuguese term barroco, a flawed pearl. Both words are related to the Spanish term berruca; the term did not describe a style of music or art.
Prior to the 18th century, the French baroque and Portuguese barroco were terms related to jewelry, An example from 1531 uses the term to describe pearls in an inventory of Charles V's treasures. The word appears in a 1694 edition of Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française, which describes baroque as "only used for pearls that are imperfectly round." A 1728 Portuguese dictionary describes barroco as relating to a "coarse and uneven pearl."The French term for the artistic style may have had roots in the medieval Latin word baroco, a philosophical term, invented in the 13th century by scholastics to describe a complicated type of syllogism, or logical argument. In the 16th century the philosopher Michel de Montaigne associated the term'baroco' with "Bizarre and uselessly complicated." In the 18th century, the term was used to describe music, was not flattering. In an anonymous satirical review of the première of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie in October 1733, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734, the critic wrote that the novelty in this opera was "du barocque", complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was unsparing with dissonances changed key and meter, speedily ran through every compositional device.
In 1762, Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française wrote that the term could be used figuratively to describe something "irregular, bizarre or unequal."Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a musician and composer as well as philosopher, wrote in 1768 in the Encyclopédie: "Baroque music is that in which the harmony is confused, loaded with modulations and dissonances. The singing is harsh and unnatural, the intonation difficult, the movement limited, it appears that term comes from the word'baroco' used by logicians."In 1788, the term was defined by Quatremère de Quincy in the Encyclopédie Méthodique as "an architectural style, adorned and tormented". The terms "style baroque" and "musique baroque" appeared in Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française in 1835. By the mid-19th century, art critics and historians had adopted the term as a way to ridicule post-Renaissance art; this was the sense of the word as used in 1855 by the leading art historian Jacob Burkhardt, who wrote that baroque artists "despised and abused detail" because they lacked "respect for tradition."Alternatively, a derivation from the name of the Italian painter Federico Barocci has been suggested.
In 1888, the art historian Heinrich Wölfflin published the first serious academic work on the style, Renaissance und Barock, which described the differences between the painting and architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque. The Baroque style of architecture was a result of doctrines adopted by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1545–63, in response to the Protestant Reformation; the first phase of the Counter-Reformation had imposed a severe, academic style on religious architecture, which had appealed to intellectuals but not the mass of churchgoers. The Council of Trent decided instead to appeal to a more popular audience, declared that the arts should communicate religious themes with direct and emotional involvement. Lutheran Baroque art developed as a confessional marker of identity, in response to the Great Iconoclasm of Calvinists. Baroque churches were designed with a large central space, where the worshippers could be close to the altar, with a dome or cupola high overhead, allowing light to illuminate the church below.
The dome was one of the central symbolic features of baroque architecture illustrating the union between the heavens and the earth, The inside of the cupola was lavishly decorated with paintings of angels and saints, with stucco statuettes of angels, giving the impression to those below of looking up at heaven. Another feature of baroque churches are the quadratura. Quadratura paintings of Atlantes below the cornices appear to be supporting the ceiling of the church. Unlike the painted ceilings of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, which combined different scenes, each with its own perspective, to be looked at one at a time, the Baroque ceiling paintings were created so the viewer on the floor of the church would see the entire ceiling in correct perspective, as if the figures were real; the interiors of baroque churches became more and more ornate in the High Baroque, an