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France can fairly be said to have been a leader in the development of Romanesque art and Gothic art, before the Renaissance led to Italy becoming the main source of stylistic developments until France matched Italy's influence during the late Baroque and Neoclassicism and then regained the leading role in the Arts from the 19th to the mid-20th century.
Currently, the earliest known European art is from the Upper Palaeolithic period of between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago and France has a large selection of extant pre-historic art from the Châtelperronian, Aurignacian, Solutrean, Gravettian, and Magdalenian cultures.
The great broken menhir of Er-Grah, now in four pieces was more than 20 meters high originally, making it the largest menhir ever erected.
France has also numerous painted stones, polished stone axes, and inscribed menhirs from this period. 1300–800 BC, and, in a transition to the Iron Age, Hallstatt culture of c. For more on Prehistoric sites in Western France, see Prehistory of Brittany.
In this area there is wide variety of these monuments that have been well preserved, like menhirs, dolmen, cromlechs and cairns.
The plans for them probably were copied from Roman basilicas.) came under the rule of the Roman Empire from the first century BC to the fifth century AD.