Lek in private collections
Historical Context of France
France strikes out as one of the most influential agents of modernism. What is today referred to as the avant-garde was pioneered in the first half of the nineteenth century, and involved innovative and ground-breaking movements such as Impressionism, Post-impressionism and Art Nouveau, driven by key figures of the art world. Critically praised and leading French artists from the beginning of the twentieth century include Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, although he originally was a Spanish national who relocated in France, as well as Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Le Corbusier, to name a few. Paris was thought to be the most important and intellectual artistic centre at the start of the century and supported the development of such fundamental movements as Cubism, Fauvism, Dadaism and Surrealism, amongst others, which flourished in the post war era.