French Artist of the 16th Century

Born: French art of the 16th century saw the transition from the High Renaissance into the periods of late Located in: The Cinquecento Corridor

This included King François I (1494 – 1547), who invited Italian artists to the châteaux, including the Mannerist architect, Sebastiano Serlio (1475 – 1554) and the high Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519). Though more prominently were the artists, Rosso Fiorentino (1494 – 1540), Francesco Primaticcio (1505 – 1570) and Niccolò dell’Abbate (1507 – 1571), all Italian artists who painted extensive decorations for the châteaux, known as the first School of Fontainebleau. The Italians influenced what would become a period of French mannerism seen in native artists such as the sculptors Jean Goujon (1510 – 1565) and Germain Pilon (1537 – 1590).

When François I died, the succession of his reign in the 16th century was fulfilled by his son Henry II (1519 – 1559) and grandsons, François II (1544 – 1560), Charles IX (1550 – 1574), Henry III (1551 – 1589), then a distant cousin, Henry IV (1553 – 1610). In what is considered the second School of Fontainebleau, Henry II brought Flemish artists to the court, including Ambroise Dubois (1542 – 1614), which saw its influence in the native court painters, Toussaint Dubreuil (1561 – 1603) and Martin Fréminet (1567 -1619).

France in the 16th century was impacted by the architecture of Philibert de l’Orme (1510 – 1570), Pierre Lescot (1510 – 1578) and Barthélemy Prieur (1536 – 1611). François I was an important supporter of architectural projects, as were Henry II and his wife, Catherine de’ Medici. Two of the most prominent French painters under royal patronage where Jean Clouet (1480 – 1541) and his son François Clouet (1510 – 1572), both painting numerous portraits of the royal family in the 16th century. The potter, Bernard Palissy was also an important artist in France during the 16th century, his works a favorite of the royal family.

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