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King Francis I of France

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King Francis I by Jean Clouet

King Francis I by Jean Clouet

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This profile of Francis I is part of
Who's Who in Medieval History

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

King Francis I was also known as:

Francis of Angoulême (in French, François d'Angoulême)

King Francis I was known for:

His sponsorship of the arts; he has been called France's first "Renaissance King." Francis is also known for his bitter rivalry with Emperor Charles V.

Occupations and Role in Society:

Places of Residence and Influence:

Important Dates:

    Born: Sept. 12, 1494
    Crowned: Jan. 1, 1515
    Cloth of Gold Meeting Ends: June 24, 1520
    Treaty of Madrid ends imprisonment: Jan. 14, 1526
    Captured at Battle of Pavia: Feb. 24, 1525
    Died: March 31, 1547

About Francis I:

Known as Francis of Angoulême (in French, François d'Angoulême) until he succeeded his cousin at age 20, Francis was a passionate, intelligent, chivalrous knight who loved life. His trusting nature made him a poor politician, but he nevertheless saw success as a conqueror and a peacemaker before the accession of his bitter rival, Emperor Charles V, made his life and reign a tragedy. Late in his reign, Francis' wish to diffuse the fanaticism of Reformation conflict was overrun by his staunchly Catholic ministers, and France became the site of severe persecutions of Protestants.

As a young man, Francis was also a humanist and sponsor of the arts, and is sometimes considered France's first "Renaissance King." He supported and encouraged many fine artists, among them Leonardo da Vinci, who died at Cloux (now called 'le Clos-Lucé'), the summer residence of the French king.

More About Francis I:

Francis I on the Web

    Catholic Encyclopedia: Francis I
    Lucid bio by Georges Goyau.

    Francis I
    Extensive, multipage biography at Infoplease.

Francis I in Print

    Renaissance Warrior and Patron: The Reign of Francis I
    by R. J. Knecht

    French Renaissance Monarchy: Francis I and Henry II
    by R. J. Knecht

Related Resources

Medieval France
Renaissance Studies



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