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date: 19 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on the last century and a half of the Ancien Régime. However, for art historians, one of the first and most important events in the history of the attempt to transfer the cultural sophistication of the Italian Renaissance courts to France, and in doing so to create a powerful sense of France as culture-state, occurred at an earlier moment with the policy of Francis I, first in the Loire valley and then, most intensely, at the hunting lodge/palace of Fontainebleau (1528 and after). At Fontainebleau, Francis enticed significant artists away from Italy and created the kind of complex architectural, decorative, and iconographic ensembles that he and his entourage knew from the grand courts of Renaissance Florence, thus setting a pattern for complex cultural–political intervention.

Keywords: patronage, Ancien Régime, Italian Renaissance, culture-state, Francis I, art

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