King Francis I of France

King Francis I

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King Francis I was also known as

Francis of Angoulême (in French, François d'Angoulême)

King Francis I was known for

His sponsorship of the arts; he has been called France's first "Renaissance King." Francis is also known for his bitter rivalry with Emperor Charles V.

Occupations and Role in Society

Places of Residence and Influence

Important Dates

  • Born: Sept. 12, 1494
  • Crowned: Jan. 1, 1515
  • Cloth of Gold Meeting Ends: June 24, 1520
  • Treaty of Madrid ends imprisonment: Jan. 14, 1526
  • Captured at Battle of Pavia: Feb. 24, 1525
  • Died: March 31, 1547

About Francis I

Known as Francis of Angoulême (in French, François d'Angoulême) until he succeeded his cousin at age 20, Francis was a passionate, intelligent, chivalrous knight who loved life. His trusting nature made him a poor politician, but he nevertheless saw success as a conqueror and a peacemaker before the accession of his bitter rival, Emperor Charles V, made his life and reign a tragedy. Late in his reign, Francis' wish to diffuse the fanaticism of Reformation conflict was overrun by his staunchly Catholic ministers, and France became the site of severe persecutions of Protestants.

As a young man, Francis was also a humanist and sponsor of the arts, and is sometimes considered France's first "Renaissance King." He supported and encouraged many fine artists, among them Leonardo da Vinci, who died at Cloux (now called 'le Clos-Lucé'), the summer residence of the French king.