Around 1600, Italian, Flemish and Dutch painters were still dominating the French art scene. As France rose to the status of European superpower under the absolutist kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV, interest
focused on indigenous art and artists. In 1648 the Paris Académie
Royale was founded to train painters. Only those who submitted to the strict
rules were granted royal commissions or a place to study. At the beginning of
the 18th century, French painting was liberated from the precepts of the Académie. Genre and landscape painting
became very popular. Towards the mid-18th century, interest in strict academic
training revived, bringing about the end of the romantically idealised view and
the transition to Classicism.