Francis I of France (1494 – 1547) by Jean Clouet. Crica 1540.

Francis I ( September 1494, – March 1547) was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1515 until his death.  He succeeded his cousin and father-in-law Louis XII, who died without a male heir.  A prodigal patron of the arts, he initiated the French Renaissance by attracting many Italian artists to work on the Château de Chambord, including Leonardo da Vinci, who brought the Mona Lisa with him, which Francis had acquired.

For his role in the development and promotion of a standardized French language, he became known as le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres (the “Father and Restorer of Letters”).[1] He was also known as François au Grand Nez (“Francis of the Large Nose”), the Grand Colas, and the Roi-Chevalier (the “Knight-King”)[1] for his personal involvement in the wars against his great rival Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.


Father:  Charles, Count of Angoulême
Mother: Louise of Savoy
Spouse(s): Claude, Duchess of Brittany, Eleanor of Austria

Referring entries

Further reading


  • Wikipedia for background, portrait.