Taking its name from medieval troubadours, the Troubadour Style (French : Style troubadour) is a rather derisive term,  in English usually applied to French historical painting of the early 19th century with idealised depictions of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In French it also refers to the equivalent architectural styles. It can be seen as an aspect of Romanticism and a reaction against Neoclassicism, which was coming to an end at the end of the Consulate, and became particularly associated with Josephine Bonaparte and Caroline Ferdinande Louise, duchesse de Berry. In architecture the style was an exuberant French equivalent to the Gothic Revival of the Germanic and Anglophone countries. The style related to contemporary developments in French literature, and music, but the term is usually restricted to painting and architecture. 
The rediscovery of medieval civilization was one of the intellectual curiosities of the beginning of the 19th century, with much input from the Ancien Régime and its institutions, rites (the coronation ceremony dated back to the 16th century) and the medieval churches in which family ceremonies occurred.
Even while exhuming the remains of the kings and putting on the market a multitude of objects, works of art and elements of medieval architecture, the revolutionaries brought them back to life, it could be said. The Musée des Monuments français (Museum of French Monuments), established in the former convent that would become Paris's École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, presented all this glorious debris of the Middle Ages as subjects of admiration for the public and as models of inspiration for students of the departments of engraving, painting and sculpture, but not those of architecture since teaching of this subject had been dissociated from the "beaux-arts" and placed in the École centrale des travaux publics under the direction of J.N.L Durand, a harsh promoter of the neoclassical architecture that characterized the styles of the Convention and Consulate. Later, from the Bourbon Restoration and under the impulse of Quatremère de Quincy and Mérimée, a new tradition of teaching architecture put it back under the fine arts umbrella, in the margins of the declining official school, beginning with private workshops that behaved as diocesan architects working for historic monuments that would give rise to the Société Centrale des Architectes and make Troubador-style architecture possible.
The resurgence of Christian feeling and in Christianity in the arts, with the publication in 1800 of Le Génie du Christianisme ('the Genius of Christianity'), played a major role in favour of edifying painting, sculpture and literature, often inspired by religion.
Artists and writers rejected the neo-antique rationalism of the French Revolution and turned towards a perceived glorious Christian past. The progress of the history and archaeology in the course of the 18th century began to bear fruit, at first, in painting. Paradoxically these painters of the past were unaware of the primitives of French painting, finding it too academic and not sufficiently filled with anecdote.
Napoleon himself did not disdain this artistic current: he took as his emblem the golden beehive on the grave of the Merovingian king Childeric I, rediscovered in the 17th century, and saw himself as the heir of the French monarchy. He also gave official recognition to the Middle Ages in the forms of his coronation, and tried to profit from other trappings of the medieval French kings, perhaps even their miraculous curative powers ( Bonaparte visiting the plague-victims of Jaffa by Antoine-Jean Gros was read as a modern re-envisgaing of the thaumaturgical kings).
Public interest in the Middle Ages in literature first manifested itself in France and above all England. In France, this came with the adaptation and publication from 1778 of ancient chivalric romances by the Comte de Tressan (1707–1783) in his Bibliothèque des romans,  and in England with the first fantastical romances and gothic novels, such as The Castle of Otranto (1764). These English romances inspired late 18th-century French writers to follow suit, such as Donatien de Sade with his Histoire secrete d'Isabelle de Baviere, reine de France . The Le Troubadour, poésies occitaniques (1803) by Fabre d'Olivet popularized the term, and may have led to the naming of the style in art. The Waverley Novels of Walter Scott were hugely popular across Europe, and a major influence on both painting and French novelists such as Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo.
In painting, the troubadour style was represented by history painting portraying edifying historical episodes, often borrowing its smoothness, its minute and illusionistic description of detail, its rendering of fabrics, the intimate character of its familiar scenes and its other technical means from Dutch Golden Age painting. The paintings were typically rather small cabinet paintings, often showing quiet intimate anecdotal moments rather than moments of high drama, though these were both depicted.  As well as figures from political history, famous artists and authors of the past were often shown, especially Raphael and Dante. Ingres' Death of Leonardo da Vinci in the arms of King Francois I of France is one of several works bringing rulers and artists together. A number of paintings by Ingres are in the style, and lesser artists such as Pierre-Henri Révoil (1776–1842) and Fleury-François Richard (1777–1852) specialized in the style. The Belgian Henri Leys painted in a more sombre version of the style much influenced by Northern Renaissance painting. Richard Parkes Bonington is better remembered for his landscapes, but also painted in the style, as did Eugène Delacroix. The peak period was brought to an end by the Revolution of 1848, and later the arrival of Realism, although the style arguably merged into late 19th-century academic painting. The transition can be seen in the work of Paul Delaroche.
Arguably the first troubadour painting was presented at the Salon of 1802, under the French Consulate. It was a work by Fleury-Richard, Valentine of Milan weeping for the death of her husband,  a subject which had come to the artist during a visit to the "musée des monuments français", a museum of French medieval monuments. A tomb from this museum was included in the painting as that of the wife. Thanks to its moving subject matter, the painting was an enormous success – seeing it, David cried "This resembles nothing anyone else has done, it's a new effect of colour; the figure is charming and full of expression, and this green curtain thrown across this window renders the illusion complete". Compositions lit from the back of the scene, with the foreground in semi-darkness, became rather a trademark of the early years of the style.
Fragonard's painting of François Premier reçu chevalier par Bayard ( Francis I knighted by Bayard , Salon of 1819) has to be read not as a rediscovery of a medieval past, but as a memory of a recent monarchic tradition.[ citation needed ]
Reaction to this genre, as to the Pre-Raphaelites in England, has been mixed. It can be seen as overly sentimental or unrealistically nostalgic, treating its subjects in a way "later associated with Hollywood costume dramas.  To its proponents, the archaic details were regarded as a rallying cry for a new, localized nationalism, purged of classical (or neo-classical) and Roman influence.  The small size of many of the canvases was considered a reference to Northern, primitive painting, devoid of Italian influence.  To others, the small canvas sizes represent the artworks' insignificance and lack of vigor. All the brass, gilding, carving and inlaid historical detail of the headboards of the world could not redeem such objects as anything other than interior decoration. 
A fashion for medieval architecture may be seen throughout 19th century Europe, originating in England, and a blooming of the Neogothic style, but in France this remains limited to certain 'feudal' buildings in the parks surrounding châteaux. After the Troubadour style disappeared in painting, around the time of the 1848 French Revolution,  it continued (or re-emerged) in architecture, the decorative arts, literature and theatre.
The Beaux-Arts de Paris is a French grande école whose primary mission is to provide high-level arts education and training. This is classical and historical School of Fine Arts in France. The art school, which is part of the Paris Sciences et Lettres University, is located on two sites: Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris, and Saint-Ouen.
Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, also known as Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson or simply Girodet, was a French painter and pupil of Jacques-Louis David, who participated in the early Romantic movement by including elements of eroticism in his paintings. Girodet is remembered for his precise and clear style and for his paintings of members of the Napoleonic family.
Jean-Honoré Fragonard was a French painter and printmaker whose late Rococo manner was distinguished by remarkable facility, exuberance, and hedonism. One of the most prolific artists active in the last decades of the Ancien Régime, Fragonard produced more than 550 paintings, of which only five are dated. Among his most popular works are genre paintings conveying an atmosphere of intimacy and veiled eroticism.
French art consists of the visual and plastic arts originating from the geographical area of France. Modern France was the main centre for the European art of the Upper Paleolithic, then left many megalithic monuments, and in the Iron Age many of the most impressive finds of early Celtic art. The Gallo-Roman period left a distinctive provincial style of sculpture, and the region around the modern Franco-German border led the empire in the mass production of finely decorated Ancient Roman pottery, which was exported to Italy and elsewhere on a large scale. With Merovingian art the story of French styles as a distinct and influential element in the wider development of the art of Christian Europe begins.
Bon Boullogne was a French painter.
Charles Thévenin was a neoclassical French painter, known for heroic scenes from the time of the French Revolution and First French Empire.
Claude Lefèbvre was a French painter and engraver.
Alexandre-Évariste Coccinelle Fragonard was a French painter and sculptor in the troubadour style. He received his first training from his father and drew from him his piquant subjects and great facility, perfecting them under Jacques-Louis David. His parents were Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Marie-Anne Fragonard.
Elisabeth Henriette Marthe Lorimier was a popular portraitist in Paris at the beginning of Romanticism.
Fleury François Richard, sometimes called Fleury-Richard, was a painter of the École de Lyon. A student of Jacques-Louis David, Fleury-Richard and his friend Pierre Révoil were precursors of the Troubador style.
Pierre Henri Révoil was a French painter in the troubadour style.
Arthena is a French Association pour la diffusion de l'histoire de l'art which regularly publishes art history books and most particularly catalogues.
The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen is an art museum in Rouen, in Normandy in north-western France. It was established by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1801, and is housed in a building designed by Louis Sauvageot and built between 1877 and 1888. Its collections include paintings, sculptures, drawings and objets d'art.
The musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie in the French city of Besançon is the oldest public museum in France. It was set up in 1694, nearly a century before the Louvre became a public museum.
Louis Pierre Henriquel-Dupont was a French engraver. His students included Charles Bellay, Jean-Baptiste Danguin, Adrien Didier, Alphonse and Jules François, Adolphe-Joseph Huot, Achille and Jules Jaquet, Jules Gabriel Levasseur, Aristide Louis, Louis Marckl, Isidore-Joseph Rousseaux, Abel Mignon and Charles Albert Waltner.
Marguerite Gérard was a successful French painter and print-maker working in the Rococo style. She was the daughter of Marie Gilette and perfumer Claude Gérard. At eight years old she became the sister-in-law of Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and when she was 14, she went to live with him. She was also the aunt of the artist Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard. Gérard became Fragonard's pupil in the mid-1770s and studied painting, drawing and printmaking under his tutelage. Gérard and Fragonard created nine etchings in 1778. Historians currently believe Gérard was the sole artist of five of these etchings since many have a duplicate created by her tutor Fragonard. More than 300 genre paintings, 80 portraits, and several miniatures have been documented to Gérard. One of her paintings, The Clemency of Napoleon, was purchased by Napoleon in 1808.
Paul Jean Flandrin was a French painter. He was the younger brother of the painters Auguste Flandrin and Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin.
Jean-Marie Jacomin was a French painter.
Joseph Benoît Guichard was a French painter and art teacher who worked in a variety of styles.
Charles-Caius Renoux was a French painter, lithographer, and illustrator. He first achieved success with paintings of medieval churches, particularly the ruins of cloisters and monasteries destroyed during the French Revolution, works for which he is still best known. Renoux also painted landscapes, large-scale battle scenes, and historical subjects, works which uniquely prepared him for the final phase of his career, the creation of spectacular dioramas, the “moving pictures” of the era. He also taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris; his notable students included Narcisse Berchère and Hector Hanoteau.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Troubadour style .|