English Reading Practice
France is a country in Western Europe.
It is the third-largest country in Europe and has the fifth-largest
economy in the world. "Economy" means the amount of money a country
France has been one of the most influential countries in the world.
France is admired for its culture including its fashion, food, wine,
French art is also highly admired around the globe. Some of the most
important artists of all time have been French and some of the most
important art works of all time are in French museums.
French Painting and Impressionism
Though there were many French artists over time, French painting became
most influential and popular in the 17th century (1600s).
As the years
passed, the painting styles changed and French painters were often at
the forefront of this change. "At the forefront" means being the
leader or being in charge of making something change. French painters
were responsible for one of the most loved painting styles of all time:
is a style of painting in which artists use color and light to
give the general feeling, rather than exact detail.
Impressionism began in the 19th century (1800s) in Paris. A group of
artists began painting and showing work that was very different from
any kind of painting that had been done before.
of the people in
Paris at the time didn't like the new style of painting. They thought
that it was not conventional enough. "Conventional" means traditional,
not new. Many other people in Paris loved the new style of
art, however, so these painters were able to find success.
What made Impressionist paintings so different from other kinds of
painting was the technique used to paint them and the subject of the
paintings. "Technique" means the way that the paintings were painted.
Until the 19th century, artists painted indoors in their studios. They
would paint from their imagination or paint a person who was sitting in
front of them.
Impressionist painters wanted to paint what they saw in real life. They
developed new tools and made it possible to take their paints, paint
brushes, and canvases outside with them. A "canvas" is the special
paper that paintings are made on. Being able to paint outside
changed painting forever.
The other big difference between Impressionist paintings and
traditional paintings was the subject of the paintings.
painters tried to create a photograph.
This means that they tried to paint what they really saw and not just
what was in their imagination.
Impressionist painters would create
paintings of people doing everyday things like playing in the park or
dancing. They would paint restaurants they found on the street and
ponds (small lakes) with flowers in them.
Because the subjects of the paintings were from everyday life, more
people were able to enjoy the paintings. People looking at the
paintings could see themselves doing what the people in the painting
Today, this doesn't seem like something very innovative
(special and new) but in the 19th century it was very special.
Painting since the 19th century has evolved (changed) but still uses
many of the techniques and subjects that Impressionist painting used.
France and French painters were instrumental (very important) in the
kind of paintings we see and do today.
And now, practice:
France - Exercises
1. What does "economy" mean?
a) the amount of money a
b) the amount of people a country has
c) the amount of land a country has
d) the amount of water a country has
2. What does "conventional" mean?
b) traditional and not new
3. What does "technique" mean?
a) how something was made
b) why something was made
a) when something was made
b) who made something
1. France _______ a country in Western Europe.
c) has been
d) will be
2. Some of _______ most important artists of all time have
3. Some of the people _______ Paris at the time didn't like
the new style
1. What are some parts of French culture that are admired around the
2. When did Impressionism begin?
3. What two things Impressionism so different from other painting?