The question of Figurative art reoccurs frequently during the 20th century. It was shaken by the tragic episodes in world history as well as the temptation of Abstract art which was a major phenomenon in Modern and Contemporary painting. Between the two wars Jean Hugo's art (1894-1984) expressed the uneasiness of a turbulent epoch and the quest for a healing spiritual solution.
The work by the sculptor Germain Richier (1904-1959) continually questioned human identity, shocked by the Second World War and scrutinised to its deepest core. Abstraction appeared in the 20th century as a new path which enabled the expression of a modernity comprised of speed, passion and colourful emotions. At the end of World War II the second Paris School marked the global triumph of a generation of painters (De Staël, Poliakoff, Vieira da Silva) touched by the lyrical and spontaneous use of colour.