Francis I
(1494-1547)
   King of France from 1515. His reign is associated with the flowering of Renaissance culture in France. Born to the duke of Angoulême and his wife Louise of Savoy, he and his sister Marguerite (usually known in English as Margaret of Navarre) were educated in the new Renaissance learning that was being introduced from Italy. Unlike his intellectual sister, Francis did not pursue learning closely and was more attracted to the usual avocations of the high nobility, sports and hunting. After succeeding his cousin Louis XII in 1515, Francis pursued his hereditary claim to the duchy of Milan and reopened the struggle against Spain for hegemony in Italy that filled his reign with costly wars. In the long run, these turned out to the advantage of his rival, the Emperor Charles V. From the early 1530s, his government faced the rapid spread of Protestantism in many parts of France, and despite his sympathy for some moderate reform humanists such as Lefèvre d'Etaples, he attempted to suppress the new heresy, though with only partial success.
   Francis has a reputation as a great patron of Renaissance art and scholarship. He was an active builder of palaces, and his new chateaux in the Loire valley at Amboise, Blois, and Chambord show strong traces of Italian Renaissance architectural influence. In 1519 he invited the elderly Leonardo da Vinci to France, where he died in 1521. The ruler later acquired several works of Leonardo, notably the Mona Lisa. Francis employed the sculptor Benvenuto Cellini and continued to patronize traditional Flemish and French painters, especially for portraits.
   Francis was a patron of the new humanist learning, making the leading French humanist of his time, Guillaume Budé, a member of his household and an adviser on cultural matters. The king acquired a large library, including many classical works in Greek and Latin. He attempted without success to persuade the greatest humanist of the age, Erasmus, to settle in France. Urged on by Budé, he repeatedly promised to found a special college devoted to classical studies, but perhaps because of his costly wars, he took no action to fulfill these promises until 1530, when he agreed to subsidize two lecturers in Greek and two in Hebrew, soon supplemented by a lecturer in Latin language and literature and one in mathematics. Although the king provided no institutional framework or facilities for their lectures, these lectureships did encourage the spread of humanism among educated Frenchmen and are conventionally regarded as the origin of the later Collège Royal.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Francis I — • King of France; b. at Cognac, 12 September, 1494; d. at Rambouillet, 31 March, 1547 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Francis I     Francis I      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Francis I — may refer to:* Francis I, Duke of Brittany (1414 1450, reigned 1442 1450) * Francis I, Duke of Lorraine (1517–1545, reigned 1544–1545) * Francis I of France (1494 1547, reigned 1515 1547) * Francesco I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1541 1587 …   Wikipedia

  • FRANCIS I° — FRANCIS I°, Austrian emperor 1792–1835, last Holy Roman Emperor (as Francis II) until 1806. In 1792 Francis ordered the Judenamt (office for Jewish affairs) to enforce the numerous restrictions on Jewish settlement in vienna and raised the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Francis I — 1. 1494 1547, king of France 1515 47. 2. 1768 1835, first emperor of Austria 1804 35; as Francis II, last emperor of the Holy Roman Empire 1792 1806. * * * I French François born Sept. 12, 1494, Cognac, France died March 31, 1547, Rambouillet… …   Universalium

  • Francis I — (1494 1547) (François I)    king of France    King of France from 1515 to 1547, and remembered for his rivalry with the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Charles v, for his governmental reforms, and for his patronage of arts and letters, Francis I was… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Francis I — 1. 1494 1547, king of France 1515 47. 2. 1768 1835, first emperor of Austria 1804 35; as Francis II, last emperor of the Holy Roman Empire 1792 1806. * * * Francis I see Franccedois Premier …   Useful english dictionary

  • Francis (I) — ▪ grand duke of Tuscany original name  Francesco de Medici  born March 25, 1541, Florence died Oct. 19/20, 1587, Poggio a Caiano, near Florence       second grand duke (granduca) of Tuscany, a tool of the Habsburgs and father of Marie de Médicis …   Universalium

  • Francis I — Fran•cis I [[t]ˈfræn sɪs[/t]] n. 1) big 1494–1547, king of France 1515–47 2) big 1768–1835, first emperor of Austria 1804–35; as Francis II, last emperor of the Holy Roman Empire 1792–1806 …   From formal English to slang

  • Francis I — /ˈfrænsəs/ (say fransuhs), /ˈfransəs/ (say frahnsuhs) noun 1. 1494–1547, king of France 1515–47. 2. title of Francis II as emperor of Austria …   Australian English dictionary

  • Francis I — biographical name 1494 1547 king of France (1515 47) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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