The history of France is not only seen through an unprecedented number of art treasures photographed in color by a great American photographer, but it is supplemented by a comprehensive and lucid historical narrative.
Exquisite art from French museums great and small, cathedrals, churches and private collections are carefully reproduced unretouched. Each work of art was chosen to contribute to the overall scenic montage allowing the viewer to participate in the dramatic rise and fall of empires; the beginnings of the Celtic people who became the Gauls; the conquest of the Gauls by the Romans and their absorption of Roman culture; the evolution of the state form barbarism, through the early Christian era and ancient kings; the social and political changes; the splendor and glory of the emerging French nation.
Artists show gods and goddesses in ancient Druidic rites which include human sacrifices. The rise of Christianity, and the ea of Charlemagne are dramatically illustrated. Sculptures, tapestries, murals, miniatures, and court paintings portray the daily lives of Pagans and Christians, of beggars and bishops, of commoners and kings, and their wives and mistresses. In rich detailed tapestries form the late middle age, peasants make wine and make love.
Theatrical, literary, political and social trends are followed. France: A History in Art is divided into ten historical periods beginning with e the Gauls and continuing to the France of today. Each chapter opens with a detailed art and history chronology while an appendix includes complete references on every work of art reproduced.
But the heart of this history of France is the 268 pages of sculpture and painting by the artists who, with 'profondeur et sensibilite', illustrated the period n which they live. The outstanding photographs of their sculpture, murals, and paintings were made possible through he cooperation of the French government.