Anatole France was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie française, and won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament".
Laetitia Marie Laure Casta is a French actress and supermodel. Casta became a "GUESS? Girl" in 1993 and gained further recognition as a Victoria's Secret Angel from 1998 to 2000 and as a spokesperson for cosmetics company L'Oreal. She has appeared on over 100 covers of such popular magazines as Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Elle and Glamour, and modeled for designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, J. Crew, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Roberto Cavalli, Lolita Lempicka, and Vivienne Westwood. Casta became an established actress, appearing in the films Gainsbourg , Face and Blue Bicycle, as well as the play Ondine at the theatre Antoine.
Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage actress who starred in some of the most popular French plays of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including La Dame Aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas, fils, Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo, Fédora and La Tosca by Victorien Sardou, and L'Aiglon by Edmond Rostand. She also played male roles, including Shakespeare's Hamlet. Rostand called her "the queen of the pose and the princess of the gesture", while Hugo praised her "golden voice". She made several theatrical tours around the world, and was one of the first prominent actresses to make sound recordings and to act in motion pictures.
Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet was a French painter who led the Realism movement in 19th-century French painting. Committed to painting only what he could see, he rejected academic convention and the Romanticism of the previous generation of visual artists. His independence set an example that was important to later artists, such as the Impressionists and the Cubists. Courbet occupies an important place in 19th-century French painting as an innovator and as an artist willing to make bold social statements through his work.