France

Ceci n’est-ce pas une Pipe – Reality and Fraud with Rene Magritte

Ceci n’est-ce pas une Pipe – Reality and Fraud with Rene Magritte

On November 21, 1898, Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte was born. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fall under the umbrella of surrealism. His paintings have become student poster classics and his work challenges observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality. Personally, I really like the paintings of Rene Magritte and I always refer to that special one above in my lectures on semantics. Actually there is…
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Claude Monet and the Invention of Impressionism

Claude Monet and the Invention of Impressionism

On November 14, 1840, French painter Claude Monet was born. He is considered the founder of French impressionist painting as well as the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement‘s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature. “I want the unattainable. Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat and that’s it. I want to paint the air that surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat, the beauty of the air that…
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Maria Skłodowska Curie – Truly an Extraordinary Woman

Maria Skłodowska Curie – Truly an Extraordinary Woman

On November 7, 1867, Marie Curie was born, French-Polish physicist, chemist, pioneer in research of radioactivity.  She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, is the only woman to win the Nobel prize twice, and is the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields. “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” — Marie Curie, Letter to her…
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Alphonse Laveran’s Discovery and the Fight against Malaria

Alphonse Laveran’s Discovery and the Fight against Malaria

On November 6, 1880, while working in the military hospital in Constantine, Algeria, French military surgeon Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran discovered that the cause of malaria is a parasite. For this work and later discoveries of protozoan diseases Laveran was awarded the 1907 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Alphonse Laveran Laveran was born on 18 June 1845 as the son of the military doctor and professor at the École de Val-de-Grâce, Louis Théodore…
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André-Jacques Garnerin and the First Parachutes

André-Jacques Garnerin and the First Parachutes

On October 22, 1797, French balloonist and inventor André Garnerin, made the first safe descent with a silk parachute from a ballon at Parc Monceau, Paris. Bold Garnerin went up  Which increased his Repute  And came safe to earth  In his Grand Parachute. André Garnerin was a student of Jaques Charles. Charles was a well known ballooning pioneer and launched along with the Robert brothers the very first unmanned hydrogen filled balloon…
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Camille Saint-Saëns – a Musical Renaissance Man

Camille Saint-Saëns – a Musical Renaissance Man

On October 9, 1835, French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist of the Romantic era Camille Saint-Saëns was born. He was something of an anomaly among French composers of the nineteenth century in that he wrote in virtually all genres, including opera, symphonies, concertos, songs, sacred and secular choral music, solo piano, and chamber music. Moreover, his interests also exceeded the musical genre as being an expert in mathematics and maintaining strong interests in…
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Georges Cuvier and the Science of Paleontology

Georges Cuvier and the Science of Paleontology

On August 23, 1769, French naturalist and zoologist Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier aka Georges Cuvier was born. He was a major figure in natural sciences research in the early 19th century, and was instrumental in establishing the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology through his work in comparing living animals with fossils. “Why has not anyone seen that fossils alone gave birth to a theory about the formation of the earth, that without…
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Making Photography Really Operational – Louis Daguerre

Making Photography Really Operational – Louis Daguerre

On August 19, 1839, French artist and physicist Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, after announcing his invention to the French Academy of Sciences, went public with his newly developed photographic process called Daguerrotype, the wold‘s first practicable photographic process. The Invention of Photography Actually, Louis Daguerre did not invent photography, but, in 1829, he partnered with Nicéphore Niépce,[4] an inventor who had produced the world’s first heliograph in 1822 and the first permanent…
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The Affair of the Diamond Necklace – Harbinger of the French Revolution

The Affair of the Diamond Necklace – Harbinger of the French Revolution

On August 15, 1785, the Cardinal de Rohan was arrested and the ‘Affair of the Diamond Necklace‘, an extraordinary expensive piece of jewelry intended for Madame du Barry,[5] the maitresse of King Louis XV of France, became a public scandal that led to the French populace’s disillusionment with the monarchy, which, among other causes, eventually culminated in the French Revolution. Actually, the reputation of the Queen, which was already tarnished by gossip,…
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Jean-François de La Pérouse and his Voyage around the World

Jean-François de La Pérouse and his Voyage around the World

On August 1, 1785, French Navy officer Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse with 2 ships, the Astrolabe and the Boussole, and 200 men left Brest to lead an expedition around the world. The objectives of the journey were to complete the Pacific discoveries of James Cook (whom La Pérouse greatly admired), correct and complete maps of the area, establish trade contacts, open new maritime routes and enrich French science and scientific…
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