The Art in Video Games: French Inspiration

By Chris Dickman
Founding Editor, Graphics.com

Just because Paris is awash in art galleries and museums doesn't mean there isn't room for more. And one of the more notable to open its doors in recent years is Art Ludique – The Museum, which specializes in artwork created for the production of animation, movies, comics, manga and games. It was launched in 2013 by Jean-Jacques Launier and his wife, Diane, known for their Arludik gallery, which specializes in this kind of work (ludique meaning literally "playful"). The museum, shown glowing below, has a permanent collection but also curates an ambitious series of temporary exhibitions, the most recent of which is The Art in Video Games – French Inspiration, which is running until March 6, 2016.

It's perhaps not widely known that French involvement in gaming goes way back. Its origins in the 1980s are well documented in Tristan Donovan's book, Replay: The History of Video Games, with this excerpt covering some early game creators. These days France remains in the forefront, thanks to developers and publishers such as Ubisoft. The Art in Video Games features the artists behind the creation of recent French games via more than 800 artworks and installations of everything from pencil, watercolors and traditional painting, through digital illustration, sculpture and animation. Judging from the examples below, this looks like a must-see both for gaming fans and those into concept art. More information and tickets are available on the Art Ludique – The Museum site.

Faery: Legends of Avalon. Copyright Spiders Studio

Mars: War Logs. Copyright Spiders Studio

Syberia. Copyright Anuman Interactive

Syberia. Copyright Anuman Interactive

Dishonored. Copyright Arkane Studios

Dishonored. Copyright Arkane Studios

Dishonored. Copyright Arkane Studios

Remember Me. Copyright Dontnod Entertainment

Remember Me. Copyright Dontnod Entertainment

Remember Me. Copyright Dontnod Entertainment

Beyond: Two Souls. Copyright Quantic Dream

Beyond: Two Souls. Copyright Quantic Dream

Beyond: Two Souls. Copyright Quantic Dream

Beyond: Two Souls. Copyright Quantic Dream

Assassin's Creed. Copyright Ubisoft

Rayman. Copyright Ubisoft

Far Cry. Copyright Ubisoft