Hugo, Eiffel, Monet and other great people of French art

French culture is one of the most prolific. Many founders of genres, canons, styles, trends are the sons and daughters of France, or rather, “les fils et les filles de France”. Let us suppose that the innate sense of beauty in the French was shaped by their revolutionary spirit. Although the first revolution took place there in 1793. And France becomes the center of high art since the 18th century.

Gustave Eiffel (1832 – 1923)

Gustave Eiffel

Of course, we start with a person who is directly associated with the “city of love.” Gustave Eiffel was known as a talented engineer long before the legendary tower was built. In 1876, he designed the Bon Marche supermarket in Paris. Interesting fact: the frame of the Statue of Liberty in America was also designed by Eiffel.

The construction of the Eiffel Tower began in 1887 and lasted a little over 2 years (the opening took place on May 15, 1889). At the World Exhibition, dedicated to the centenary of the French Revolution, Gustave won with his project of organizing the space of the Champ de Mars. He was given the green light to build a “temporary” three-hundred-meter metal structure above the central entrance, but the “old lady,” as the French call the tower, has been standing for more than 100 years and is visible day and night from different parts of Paris.

You can learn more about the construction of the Eiffel Tower by watching the film “Eiffel” from our selection of film premieres for autumn 2021. The picture does not claim to be historically accurate, but very atmospheric.


Francois Boucher (1703 – 1770)

Francois Boucher

Court painter of the Rococo period. Francois Boucher was a member of the best houses in Paris, was considered the favorite of the king and his legendary mistress Madame de Pompadour, whom the artist portrayed in almost all of his portraits.

Madame de Pompadour

Boucher’s paintings were distinguished by airiness, lightness and liveliness. In the image of love, he used “French” shades: sensuality and seduction. The artist did not limit himself to one genre: he painted paintings on mythological subjects, depicted urban and rural life, devoted time to portraits and landscapes.

Denis Diderot, a French philosopher and writer, criticized many of Boucher’s paintings. He was outraged that the painter paints only girls, and, in his opinion, immoral. Yes, Francois Boucher often depicted women naked as goddesses and nymphs. What is outrageous and immoral in this?

Diana Bush

Alexandr Duma (1802 – 1870)

Alexandre Dumas Senior

The most famous and widely read novelist. Master of French palace gossip and intrigue. Many mistakenly take his works for historical truth. Yes, some of the heroes of his novels really existed and historical events took place, but we can only guess about the details of the love affairs of royal people. In just 4 years, he created his famous works: The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, Queen Margo, Forty-five and others. Many of them will easily brighten up a long journey, as will these 10 best books for a long journey.

Three Musketeers

By the way, the famous writer loved to travel. He dreamed of visiting Russia, and when he succeeded, he was pleasantly surprised that Russians know and love his novels. Alexandre Dumas was also a real gourmet and gourmet fan. In 1870, he published 800 culinary short stories, and after the writer’s death, his “Great Culinary Dictionary” was published.

George Sand (1804 – 1876)

George Sand

In one of her interviews, Nastya Ivleeva called George Sand a man. Nastya is a woman! A woman who managed to gain recognition and respect from the male literary world. The eternal classic Victor Hugo after the death of the writer said: “I mourn the dead, I salute the immortal.”

George Sand’s most famous novel is Consuelo. “Countess Rudolstadt” is its continuation. The books tell about the difficult life of the singer. The prototype of the main character was the opera singer Pauline Viardot. This name is familiar to fans of Russian classics: Polina was the muse and lover of Ivan Turgenev. You can read about the rich love relationships of the classics of Russian literature here.

George Sand was known for high-profile novels with famous people of art. She inspired Prosper Merimee, met with Alfred de Musset, Frederic Chopin was her lover for several years. The novel with the composer caused the writer a serious injury – he left Georges, believing the vile gossip of the writer’s daughter.

Last years

George Sand spent the last years of her life away from the bustle of the city in her own estate. All the time the woman devoted to writing new works, she continued to create until the last day of her life.

Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885)

Victor Hugo

French Leo Tolstoy. The longest sentence in the world came from Hugo’s pen in Les Misérables, which he wrote for 20 years. Despite the fact that Victor Hugo is mainly known for his novels, his first literary success came at the age of 16 in a poetry competition. King Louis XVIII gave the poet a substantial cash prize.

The most famous work of Hugo – “Notre Dame Cathedral” – had a huge impact not only on literature, but also on world architecture. At the time of writing the novel, Notre Dame de Paris was in a deplorable state, and they even wanted to demolish it. However, the writer’s book attracted public attention, and the national landmark was brought into proper form. “Notre Dame Cathedral” Victor wrote when he was 29 years old.

Cathedral of Notre Dame

Hugo has publicly stated more than once that he knows French better than anyone, and that only he has the right to be called a classic of the century. Well, in the nomination “the most modest writer” he definitely had no equal.

Jules Verne (1828 – 1905)

Jules Verne

An icon of the adventure novel, the founder of the science fiction genre. What child did not read books by Jules Verne as a child? Underwater landscapes, uninhabited islands, outer spaces, unexplored lands have delighted many children around the world. The Frenchman described each individual literary world in detail and accurately. Vern spent several hours in the library, examining maps, atlases, travel notes of travelers. He transferred all knowledge to the pages of novels.

Jules Verne’s passion for travel manifested itself in childhood. At the age of 11, he ran away from home and got a job as a cabin boy on a ship to take a sea cruise. His plans failed, but subsequently the writer had to sail on ships several times. Of course, reading his books, one gets the impression that this man has traveled the whole world and more than once.

Captain Nemo

One of the favorite countries of the French writer was Russia, although he had never been there. The Russian Empire appears in Verne’s nine books. Russian contemporaries of Jules Verne highly revered his literary and prophetic talent. Leo Tolstoy drew illustrations for his books, read adventure novels to children. Dmitri Mendeleev was sure that Jules Verne was a “scientific genius”. Indeed, many of the Frenchman’s predictions regarding technical and scientific progress came true.

Fun fact: the dystopia “Paris in the 20th century” was returned to the writer by one publishing house – it …

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