Historical Context of France
France has been a significant country in the unfolding of modernism. During the 19th century, France established the beginnings of what is today known as the avant-garde, including movements such as Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Art Nouveau, led by internationally famed artists. During the first part of the twentieth century, Paris was a fundamental intellectual and cultural hub, establishing cutting-edge movements such as Cubism, Fauvism, Dadaism and Surrealism, amongst others. These movements blossomed at the beginning of the century, in the period immediately preceding the Second World War. Dominant French creative figures from the beginning of the century include Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque (Spanish national who settled in France) Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Le Corbusier amongst many of others.