Renaissance politician


Francis 1 was a great Renaissance politician.


Francis 1 was born on September 4, 1494, in Cognac, France. He lived in Fontainebleau after he built it. He was the son of Charles of Angoulene and Louis of Savory. He married Claude, daughter of Anne of Brittany. He was taken hostage by Charles V in a war, and one year later he was released.

Francis 1 was considered a Renaissance gentleman. He was vigorous, sensual, generous and cultivated. He learned Latin, much moral instruction, music, some history and geography. He was also a skilled hunter and wrestler.

In 1547, he was weakened by an ulcer and vertigo. He was stricken by fever and died on March 13, 1547, in Rambouillet.


His court glittered with scholars, writers and artists. He brought Guillaume Bude a humanist, Raphael, Titian and Michelangelo to his court. He also brought Andre del Sarto to spend a year in France. Francis 1 brought Leonardo de Vinci to teach. He freed Florentine Benvenuto Cellini and brought him to his school.

Francis 1 founded the University of France and put a school in Fontainebleau. He gave complete academic liberty and free courses to whomever would benefit at Fontainebleau.

He started a royal library and was the first ruler outside of Italy to start a collection of paintings and sculptures by Italian masters.

Francis 1 was generous with praise and money. He surrounded himself with humanists. He became a patron to anyone that could bring fame to France.

King Francis left a lasting impression by building the Chateaus of Chambord and Fontainebleau.


He allowed the Renaissance to flourish during his reign.

Francis I often assembled courtiers
for readings from noted works.


1. Bailey, Donald A. World Book Encyclopedia.1994, vol. 7 p. 480.

2. Chase, Marilyn. The Northern European Renaissance. St. Louis, Milliken Publishing Co., pp. 6-7.

3. Kendall, Paul Murray. The Renaissance: Maker Of Modern Man. Washington D.C., National Geographic, 1970, pp. 255-285.

4. Samon, J.H.M. "Francis 1." Grolier's Multimedian Encyclopedia. 1995.

This page was prepared by JJ and Ethan, Grade 8, Riverdale Junior. Secondary School.