Antonin Anzil in private collections
Historical Context of France
France stands out as one of the most prominent agents of modernism. What is today known as the avant-garde was pioneered in the first half of the nineteenth century, and involved progressive and cutting-edge movements such as Impressionism, Post-impressionism and Art Nouveau, led by key figures of the art world. Applauded and dominant French artists from the early years of the twentieth century include Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, although he originally was a Spanish national who settled in France, as well as Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Le Corbusier, to name a few. Paris was considered to be the most important and intellectual artistic centre at the onset of the century and contributed to the development of such vital movements as Cubism, Fauvism, Dadaism and Surrealism, amongst others, which appeared in the post war era.