France has famously enjoyed a long and storied cultural
heritage. The French affinity for art has produced some of the
greatest masters ever known, as well as a number of original
schools of art. Some of these painters include such names as
Impressionists August Renoir and Claude Monet, post-impressionists
Paul Cezanne and Paul Gauguin. and realist Edgar Degas. Literature
also has its part to play in French culture, with notable works by
famous authors such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Alexandre Dumas, Jules
Verne and Voltaire.
France is also the nation of many well-known composers and
musicians across a variety of genres, with Claude Debussy, Maurice
Ravel and Paul Dukas as well as gypsy-jazz creator Django Reinhardt
all hailing from the country. In the theatres and cinemas, French
drama includes the talents of figures such as Brigitte Bardot,
Vincent Cassel and Gérard Depardieu.
A big part of the French lifestyle is sport. Like much of
Europe, the national sport of France is football, which was
introduced by the English in 1872. Cycling is also important, with
the Tour de France considered one of the most prestigious in the
international cycling calendar. Other major sports include
basketball and rugby.