Detail from “Portrait de Louis XII, roi de France.” by Jean Perréal. 1514.

Louis XII (1462 –1515) was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1498 to 1515 and King of Naples from 1501 to 1504.

The son of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and Maria of Cleves, he succeeded his cousin Charles VIII, who died without a closer heir in 1498.  Before his accession to the throne of France, he was known as Louis of Orléans and was compelled to be married to his handicapped and supposedly sterile cousin Joan by his uncle, king Louis XI. By doing so, Louis XI hoped to extinguish the Orléans cadet branch of the House of Valois.  Louis of Orléans was one of the great feudal lords who opposed the French monarchy in the conflict known as the Mad War. At the royal victory in the Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier in 1488, Louis was captured, but Charles VIII pardoned him and released him. He subsequently took part in the Italian War of 1494–1498 as one of the French commanders.



Father: Charles, Duke of Orléans
Mother: Marie of Cleves
Consorts:Joan of France, Anne, Duchess of Brittany, Mary of England
Offspring:  Claude, Queen of France, Renée, Duchess of Ferrara

Referring entries

Further reading


  • Wikipedia for background, portrait.