Historical Context of France
France strikes out as one of the most prominent agents of modernism. What is today referred to as the avant-garde was pioneered in the first half of the nineteenth century, and included progressive and ground-breaking movements such as Impressionism, Post-impressionism and Art Nouveau, driven by key figures of the art sphere. 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 thought to be the most influential and intellectual artistic centre at the start 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.