Francis I of France
October 20, 2021
Francis I of France (born François d'Orléans; Cognac, 12 September 1494 - Rambouillet, 31 March 1547) was king of France from 1515 until his death. Son of Charles of Valois-Angoulême (1459 - 1 January 1496) and Louise of Savoy (11 September 1476 - 22 September 1531), he was the first of the royal dynasty of the Valois-Angoulême, which died out in 1589 with the death of his nephew Henry III. He succeeded his cousin and father-in-law Louis XII on the throne of France, who had died leaving no sons. Prodigal patron of the arts, he gave a strong impetus to the French Renaissance, attracting many Italian artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, to the castle of Chambord. The reign of Francis saw major cultural changes with the rise of absolute monarchy in France, the spread of humanism and Protestantism, and the beginning of French exploration of the New World. Jacques Cartier, Giovanni da Verrazzano and other explorers claimed lands in the Americas for France and paved the way for the expansion of the first French colonial empire. Because of his role in the development and promotion of a French language he became known as "Le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres" (the "Father and Restorer of Letters"). He was also known as "François du Grand Nez" ("Francis with the big nose") and "Le Roi-Chevalier" ("the King Knight") due to his personal involvement in wars, participation which also cost him his imprisonment in Madrid. following the defeat in the battle of Pavia. Following the policy of his predecessors, Francesco continued the Italian wars. Interested in the territories of the Duchy of Savoy and in the control of the Duchy of Milan, the main objective was to weaken Charles V, king of Spain and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, the latter title disputed between the French and the Habsburgs. In order to face the hegemony of his rival, he first sought the support of Henry VIII of England in the meeting of the field of the Golden Cloth and, subsequently, formed a Franco-Ottoman alliance with the Muslim sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, a controversial move for a Christian king of the time.