famous French artists of the time of Baroque era, Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, lived in Italy. The 17th century was the period where French painting became proeminent and individualized itself through classicism. Louis XIV's prime minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert founded in 1648 the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture to protect these artists, and in 1666 he created the still-in-activity French Academy in Rome to have direct relations with Italian artists.
French artists developed the rococo style in the 18th century, as a more intimate imitation of old baroque style, the works of court-endorsed artists Antoine Watteau, François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard being the most representative in the country. The French Revolution brought great changes, as Napoleon favoured artists of neoclassic style as Jacques-Louis David and the highly influential Académie des Beaux-Arts defined the style known as Academism. At this time France had become a center of artistic creation, the first half of the 19th century being dominated by two successive movements, at first Romanticism with Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix, and Realism with Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet and Jean-François Millet, a style that eventually evolved into Naturalism.
In the second part of the 19th century, France's influence over painting became even more important, with the development of new styles of painting like Impressionism and Symbolism. The most famous impressionist painters of the period were Camille Pissarro, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir. Second generation of impressionist-style painters Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec and Georges Seurat were also at the avant-guarde of artistic evolutions, as well as fauvist artists Henri Matisse, André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck. At the beginning of 20th century, Cubism was developed by Georges Braque and Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, living in Paris. Other foreign artists