King Francis I ruled France from 1515-1547, during the period known as the French Renaissance, which coincided with the Tudor period in England. Francis I and Henry VIII were occasional allies against Charles V, Emperor of Spain… an awkward alliance considering Henry’s first wife (Catherine of Aragon) was Charles’ aunt. Henry liked to play both sides for the benefit of England.
When Francis wasn’t battling over territories with Spain, he invested a great deal into the arts; decorating his palaces with paintings and sculptures, employing the most famous artists of the time, increasing the collection of books in the royal library with rare finds from all over Europe, and building several magnificent châteaux, including Palace of Fontainebleau and Château de Chambord.
He also set his sights on colonizing North America, sending French explorers, like Jacques Cartier, to claim Canada for France.
“Francois I” was a commissioned acrylic painting from my series of cat portraits inspired by the Medieval Renaissance period, an extension of my “Tudor Cats Collection”.
Archival prints of King Francis can be purchased in my shop, and from me personally at shows.