Anatole France (16 April 1844—12 October 1924), born François-Anatole Thibault, was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie française, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
André Paul Guillaume Gide (22 November 1869 – 19 February 1951) was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (26 August 1743 – 8 May 1794)), the father of modern chemistry, was a French noble prominent in the histories of chemistry and biology. He stated the first version of the law of conservation of mass, recognized and named oxygen (1778) and hydrogen (1783), abolished the phlogiston theory, helped construct the metric system, wrote the first extensive list of elements, and helped to reform chemical nomenclature.
Auguste Rodin (born François-Auguste-René Rodin; 12 November 1840 – 17 November 1917) was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past. He was schooled traditionally, took a craftsman-like approach to his work, and desired academic recognition, although he was never accepted into Paris's foremost school of art.
Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot (pronounce "Bardoe") (born 28 September 1934) is a French animal rights activist and a former actress, fashion model, and singer. In her early life Bardot was an aspiring ballet dancer. She started her acting career in 1952 and after appearing in 16 films became world-famous due to her role in the controversial film And God Created Woman. During her career in show business Bardot starred in 48 films, performed in numerous musical shows, and recorded 80 songs.
Claude Monet, born Oscar Claude Monet (14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant).
Jacques-Louis David (30 August 1748 – 29 December 1825) was a highly influential French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward a classical austerity and severity, heightened feeling chiming with the moral climate of the final years of the ancien régime.
Édouard Manet, 23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883, was a French painter. One of the first nineteenth century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism. His early masterworks The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia engendered great controversy, and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today these are considered watershed paintings that mark the genesis of modern art.
François-Eugène, Prince of Savoy-Carignan (18 October 1663 – 21 April 1736), was one of the most prominent and successful military commanders in modern European history. Born in Paris to aristocratic Savoyard parents, Eugene grew up around the French court of King Louis XIV. He was initially prepared for a career in the church, but by the age of 19 he had determined on a military career.
Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun (16 April 1755 - 30 March 1842) was a French painter, and is recognized as the most famous woman painter of the eighteenth century. Her style is generally considered Rococo and shows interest in the subject of neoclassical painting. Vigée-Le Brun cannot be considered a purely Neoclassist in that she creates mostly portraits in Neoclassical dress rather than the History painting.
François Roland Truffaut (6 February 1932 – 21 October 1984) was an influential filmmaker and one of the founders of the French New Wave. In a film career lasting over a quarter of a century, he remains an icon of the French film industry. He was also a screenwriter, producer, and actor working on over twenty-five films.
Gilles Deleuze, (18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French philosopher of the late 20th century. From the early 1960s until his death, Deleuze wrote many influential works on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. His most popular books were the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), both co-written with Félix Guattari.
Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis or Gustave Coriolis (21 May 1792 – 19 September 1843) was a French mathematician, mechanical engineer and scientist. He is best known for his work on the supplementary forces that are detected in a rotating frame of reference, and one of those forces nowadays bears his name. See the Coriolis Effect. Coriolis was the first to coin the term "work" for the transfer of energy by a force acting through a distance.
Henri-Louis Bergson (18 October 1859–4 January 1941) was a French philosopher, influential especially in the first half of the 20th century. Bergson convinced many young people through his writing that immediate experience and intuition were as important as rational and scientific thinking for understanding reality.
Jacques Marie Émile Lacan (April 13, 1901 – September 9, 1981) was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who made prominent contributions to psychoanalysis, philosophy, and literary theory. He gave yearly seminars, in Paris, from 1953 to 1981, mostly influencing France's intellectuals in the 1960s and the 1970s, especially the post-structuralist philosophers.
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, existentialism, and Marxism, and his work continues to influence fields such as Marxist philosophy, sociology and literary studies.
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (10 July 1871 – 18 November 1922) was a French novelist, critic and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past). It was published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927.
Pierre Curie (15 May 1859 – 19 April 1906) was a French physicist, a pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity and radioactivity, and Nobel laureate. In 1903 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics with his wife, Maria Skłodowska-Curie, and Henri Becquerel, "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel."
Pierre Frédy, Baron de Coubertin (1 January 1863 – 2 September 1937) was a French pedagogue and historian, founder of the International Olympic Committee, and considered father of the modern Olympic Games. Born into a French aristocratic family, he became an academic and studied a broad range of topics, most notably education and history.
Stéphane Mallarmé (18 March 1842 – 9 September 1898), whose real name was Étienne Mallarmé, was a French poet and critic. He was a major French symbolist poet, and his work anticipated and inspired several revolutionary artistic schools of the early 20th century, such as Dadaism, Surrealism, and Futurism.
François-Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, essayist, and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and free trade. Voltaire was a prolific writer and produced works in almost every literary form including plays, poetry, novels, essays, historical and scientific works, more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets.
Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto (15 July 1848 – 19 August 1923), born Wilfried Fritz Pareto, was an Italian industrialist, sociologist, economist, and philosopher. He made several important contributions to economics, particularly in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals' choices. "His legacy as an economist was profound.
William Somerset Maugham, CH (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was an English playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era, and reputedly, the highest paid author during the 1930s.
Yeardley Smith (born July 3, 1964) is a French-born American actress, voice artist, writer and painter. She is best known for her long-running role as Lisa Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons. Born in Paris, France, her family moved to Washington, D.C. in 1966. As a child, Smith was often mocked because of her unusual first name and her voice.