-5. A PARADISE for AUTHORS and ARTISTS
Literary and artistic creativity have generally been highly valued by the French people, and these activities have flourished, spreading the influences of French culture throughout the world. Such 18th-century author-philosophers as Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were instrumental in shaping the ideas of modern France, and the works of Jean Racine, Moliere and other neoclassical playwrights are still widely performed. Victor Hugo, Honore de Balzac, and Marcel Proust were among the literary giants of the 19th century. French authors have won eleven Nobel prizes for literature, far more than those of any other nation. Painting has also long been a vital art form in France. Artists often enjoyed the patronage of the nobility, producing works of quality and variety. During the 1800s, the impressionist movement was largely the inspiration of such French artists as Edgar Degas, Pierre Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet, and many art trends of the 20th century also originated in France. In addition, the atmosphere of free inquiry and artistic integrity that generally has been present in France has attracted many artists and writers from other countries.
We learn from the passage that no nation other than France ------ .
has centres where artists meet and exchange ideas
followed artistic trends that originated in France
has had patrons of the arts
has allowed neoclassical playwrights to perform their work
has had so many authors winning Nobel prizes for literature
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