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Transcript of French Renaissance
Furnishings & Decorative Arts
resemble castles and feature large entry gates, round turrets with conical roofs and central courtyards.
(town houses) exhibit Gothic half-timbered construction, but with the addition of arches, brackets and larger windows.
irregular silhouette/asymmetrical, Gothic and Mannerist details
a style of architecture developed in northern France that spread throughout Europe between the 12th and 16th centuries; characterized by slender vertical piers and counterbalancing buttresses and by vaulting and pointed arches.
An artistic style of the late 16th century characterized by distortion of elements such as scale and perspective.
1515 - 1643
Early French Renaissance combines:
Gothic forms in architecture, interiors, and furniture
Mannerist elements (Late Renaissance) that are motifs with characteristics such as:
Elaborate decorations, or
Abrupt scale changes
Mid 15th century
France unites as one kingdom
End of the 15th century
Charles VIII invades Naples and Milan.
During the 16th century, the French developed their own unique classical style.
Three kings influenced French Renaissance Art
Chateau de Chaumont
1465-late 15th century; Loire Valley
Chaumont was constructed from 1465 on the site of a much older 10th century fortress castle, that had been burned down by Louis XI in a reprisal for the actions of its owner Pierre d'Amboise - he had been involved in the anti-Royal revolt known as the 'Ligue du bien public'. After Pierre had his properties reinstated he started (and his son completed) the construction of the current chateau.
The design started in 1465 it had many elements of a defensive castle, but as time progressed the parts added are much more in the style of a renaissance chateau, with a decorative renaissance design, much more typical of the castles of the Loire Valley, rather than protective.
The appearance of the castle, originally of the Gothic style, was later transformed into a Gothic-Renaissance style, with deep ditches, a fortified door with a drawbridge and a parapet walk. The castle is covered with black slate towers, chimneys, gables and buttresses adorned with a vast array of drums and statues, with a double spiral staircase.
Inside the castle is very large and spacious, with some rooms equipped with magnificent tapestries, and finely crafted floors. Among the beautifully furnished rooms are those of Catherine de Medici, where there are some mysterious cabalistic symbols on the fireplace. The Council Room is also exceptional with a collection of seventeenth century majolica. More austere, but no less enjoyable, is surely the halls of the Guards, with a rustic fireplace, rustic furniture and some armours.
The room of Diane de Poitiers is less sumptuous than that of Catherine de Medici, although the furnishings, tapestries and the fireplace are a very elegant and refined. Among the private apartments of great sophistication is the dining room of the De Broglie, the extraordinary Library and Great Hall, very tastefully and opulently decorated. The private chapel, with its polychrome windows, may conclude the visit inside the castle.
The most enjoyable part of the castle by tourists is surely the outside, where each year the ‘International Festival of Chaumont’ takes place with the realization of the best contemporary gardens design, as selected in an international competition. Those selected represent a remarkable panorama of international landscapes, unusual, fascinating and entertaining for visitors
Paris, 1546, By: Lescot
The Old Louvre occupies the site of the 12th-century fortress of King Philip Augustus, also called the Louvre. Its foundations are viewable in the basement level as the "Medieval Louvre" department.
This structure was razed in 1546 by King Francis I in favor of a larger royal residence which was added to by almost every subsequent French monarch. King Louis XIV, who resided at the Louvre until his departure for Versailles in 1678, completed the Cour Carrée, which was closed off on the city side by a colonnade.
The Old Louvre is a quadrilateral approximately 160 m (520 ft) on a side consisting of 8 ailes (wings) which are articulated by 8 pavilions (pavilions).
Starting at the northwest corner and moving clockwise, the pavilions consist of the following:
Pavilion de Beauvais
Pavilion de Marengo
Pavilion des Arts
Pavilion du Roi
Pavilion Sully (formerly, Pavilion de l'Horloge)
Between the Pavilion du Roi and the Pavilion Sully is the aile Lescot ("Lescot Wing"): built between 1546 and 1551, it is the oldest part of the visible external elevations and was important in setting the mold for later French architectural classicism.
Between the Pavilion Sully and the Pavilion de Beauvais is the aile Lemercier ("Lemercier Wing"): built in 1639 by Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu, it is a symmetrical extension of Lescot's wing in the same Renaissance style. With it, the last external vestiges of the medieval Louvre were demolished.
Palais des Tuleries
Paris, 1546, By: Philibert de I'Orme
A royal and imperial palace in Paris, which stood on the right bank of the River Seine. It was the usual Parisian residence of most French monarchs, from Henry IV to Napoleon III, until it was destroyed in the upheaval of the Paris Commune in 1871.
Built in 1564, it was gradually extended until it closed off the western end of the Louvre courtyard and displayed an immense façade of 266 meters. Since the destruction of the Tuileries, the Louvre courtyard has remained open and the site is now the location of the eastern end of the Tuileries Garden forming an elevated terrace between the Place du Carrousel and the gardens proper.
The Tuileries was extensively refurbished and redecorated after the looting and damage that occurred during the Revolution of 1848. Some imposing staterooms were designed and richly decorated, serving as the center stage of the ceremonies and pageantry of the Second Empire, such as on the occasion of Queen Victoria's state visit to France in 1855.
The Second Empire also completed the northern wing of the Louvre along the rue de Rivoli, linking the Tuileries Palace with the rest of the Louvre, and thus finally achieving the huge complex of the Louvre-Tuileries, whose master plan had been envisioned three centuries earlier.
The prominent roof-lines of the palace and especially its squared central dome were influential prototypes in the Second Empire style adopted for hotels and commercial buildings as well as residences in the United Kingdom and North America.
Site Plan, Louvre & Palais des Tuleries
September 6, 1475 - 1554
Italian Mannerist architect
Part of the Italian team Building the Palace of Fontainebleau.
Helped canonize the classical orders of architecture in his influence treatise.
"I sette libri dell'architecttura"
(aka "Tutte l'opere d'architettura et prospettiva")
French Renaissance architect
Best known as the designer of the Square Court of the Louvre palace in Paris
Bbegun in 1546 for King Francis I.
This palace is the finest surviving example of the "classic" phase of French Renaissance architecture and represents a successful synthesis of Italian influences with the older French style of chateau.
The building had sculptures by Jean Goujon, with whom Lescot collaborated closely.
Other surviving works are the Fontaine des Innocents in Paris and the Hôtel de Ligneris (Musée Carnavalet).
Period covers Gothic & Italian Renaissance 16th C.
Francois I was in throne
He was a patron of the arts
Invited Andrea del Sarto and Leonardo da Vinci to France (Brought the Mona Lisa, Sainte Anne, and Saint Jean Baptiste along with him)
Gothic and Renaissance designs were often placed side by side, in panels and furniture
After various Greek and Roman antiquities were discovered, French craftsmen created furniture with deeply carved ornate design
Renaissance palaces were particularly ornamental
French copied the symmetrical appearance of classic architecture from Greek and Romans
Buffets and Cabinets resembled small buildings with columns, balustrades, windows and panels, reminiscent of Roman and Greek temples and colosseums.
Furniture often featured ornamentation inspired by Michaelangelo and Raphel, or biblical themes
Furniture became less heavy, more comfortable and more decorated.
Woodwork tended to be more lighter and more delicate than the Italian style, with more floral forms
Sideboard/Dressoir 16th C.
Exterior is made entirely of walnut with a sturdy oak interior
Rich carving abounds the entire Dressoir, including the protective chimeras at all four corners
71 ¾” Wide X 23 ½” Deep X 65 3/8” High
France, Late 18th C. Renaissance Table or Writing Desk
Width 34” X 22” Deep X Height 29”
Legs on furniture may be
Usually connected with stretchers
Turns left to right or in opposite direction for symmetry
Feet may be Ball or Bun
High and low relief carvings highlight most pieces
Allégorie de la Peinture et de la Sculpture, Ambroise Dubois
The Four Seasons, Hotel Del Carnavalet in Paris, French Sculptor Jean Goujon
Two Important Schools of Furniture Design
Refers to two periods of artistic production in France during the late Renaissance 1530-1610 C.
First School of Fontainebleau (From 1531)
Hugues Sambin, Jean Goujon
Second School of Fontainebleau (From 1594)
Toussaint Dubreuil, Martin Freminet, Ambroise Dubois
Renaissance = Rebirth
Reawaking of classical art/ classical age.
The renaissance is more than just the rebirth of classical art it rejects the values of the middle ages which was mostly concerned with religion and little importance was given to life on earth except as preparation for the next world.
The notion of humanism was established during the Renaissance period.
It took 100 years after the renaissance was established in Italy for the renaissance to flourish in France
Among the reasons the renaissance movement was delayed in northern Europe were:
Less exposure to trade and new ideas
Black death/plague and 100 year war
During the early years of the 16th century the French were involved in wars in Italy and as a result they were exposed to and eager to embraced renaissance stylistic ideas and art.
The French developed their own classical style featuring less emphasis on rules and correct proportions and more on inventiveness and surface richness.
Classical elements are grafted onto gothic forms in architecture, interiors, and furniture.
The gothic style fades as classical ones assert themselves.
French renaissance design differs from Italian renaissance design in that it is more lively and picturesque through its mixture of renaissance, gothic, roman and Flemish characteristics.
It’s the French kings of these eras that help the renaissance movement flourish.
Francis 1 (1515-1547)
Supporter of the arts and promoted its learning
Invited well known Italian artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Benvenuto Cellini
They decorated his Chateau (castle) at Fontainebleau.
Helped establish the magnificent art collection of the Kings, which can still be seen at the Louvre.
Funded many buildings in the renaissance style during his reign.
Kings of France that preceded Francis 1 were Henry IV and Louis XIII
They also contributed to the renaissance taking a stronger hold on France
All this paved the way to the 1st French academy L’Academie Francaise which was meant to promote literature and standardize the French language in 1635.
Created by Italian Artists:
Fosso Fiorentino & Francesco Primaticcio
1530s - 1540s
Known as "Fontainebleau style"
Similar to the exteriors; classical as dominant
Gold, Yellow, White, Deep Blue, Olive Green, Cream, & Rust
Style mostly consists:
sculpture, metalwork, painting, stucco, & woodwork
Refined and detailed engravings
Commonly white plaster or wood panelings
Wood plank, Parquet, Marble, Tile
Focal Point - Fireplace mantel
First Interior - Palace of Fontainebleau
Ceiling - Chapelle de la Trinite By: Martin Freminet
The Throne Room
Bedroom of Napoleon I
Gallery of Henry II
Bedroom of Marie Antoinette
Motifs & Symbols
Pilasters, columns, arches, pediments, pinnacles, brackets, scrolls, linenfold, grotesques, caryatids, fruit, flowers, fleur-de-lis, stars, strapwork, diamonds
Crowns & Initials: F, H, C, L
Symbols of Royalty
Entrance, Ceilings, Furnishings
Salamander - Francois I
Porcupine - Louis XII
Salamander of Francois I at Chateau de Chambord
Porcupine of Louis XII at Chateu de Blois
The King's Bed in the Royal appartments at Chambord
I Weng Karen Ma
Francios I's Reign:
A wealthy, leisured class arises
Supported & promoted arts & learning
Attracted Italian artists & scholars
Leonardo da Vinci
Built palaces in the Loire Valley & Ile de France
Increased power & prestige of the French monarchy
Henry IV's Region:
His reign marked are turning point in French cultural development
He brought artisans to France tocrate new industries such as:
production of silk
But during the last half of the 16th century, religious civil wars between Catholics & Protestants disrupted peace.
There was an economic decline
Henry IV converts to Catholicism
Promoted economic recovery
Fostered the development of French arts & crafts
Louis XIII's Regin:
Becomes king & with the help of Cardinal Richelieu:
The power of nobility decreased
Crown's power increased, which ultimately created an absolute monarchy
Richelieu establishes the L'Academie Francasise (French Academy) to promote literature & standardize the French language
Richlieu laid the foundation for great luxury, grandeur, & magnificence in court life