French Renaissance

23 Mar

The French Renaissance covers various stages such as the French invasion of Italy in 1494 when Charles VIII was the king. It also covers the death of Henry IV, 1610. Many artistic, literary and technological developments that can be traced back to Italian Renaissance arrived in France. These developments from Italian Renaissance arrived in France from Burgundy Court and the Papal Court in Avignon.

The French Renaissance architecture of the Chambord Palace is stunning.  The palace is intricately designed with many steeples, balconies, spiral staircases and chimneys.

Chateau de Chenonceau


The French Renaissance of furniture can be divided into two stages. First was a period of transition and adaptation; during the reign of Louis XII and the first part of the reign of Francis I, the pieces were basically Gothic in form, and Gothic ornament was mixed with the cupids, medallion heads, and grotesque decorations of the incoming Renaissance style.

Caquetoire Chairs (above and below)


During the second phase, from the end of the reign of Francis I, the new style displaced the Gothic. The more exuberant arabesque shapes of Renaissance decoration, however, gave way to increasingly architectural design, and oak was almost entirely superseded by walnut.


André-Charles Boulle Furniture

French Renaissance Manuscript Illumination of a Tournament

Limbourg Brothers



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