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By Anthony F. Blunt

The 16th and 17th centuries in France have been an epoch of awesome creative job, exemplified through the chateaux of the Loire valley, the palace of Versailles, the work of Poussin and Claude, and the sculpture of Coysevox, which echo the political and cultural value of France and the "Sun King." Anthony Blunt offers significant artists and their important works chronologically, offers an summary of the most initiatives of the interval and of the inventive personalities at the back of them, and obviously units the ancient context.

This new version, of 1 of the classics of the Pelican heritage of artwork sequence, has been revised and up-to-date with colour illustrations and a brand new bibliography.

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But then it swept everything aside and founded a totally new school without hnks with any local tradition. i\ 20 CHAPTER 2 THE MIDDLE YEARS OF FRANCIS I 1525-1540 Historical Background The short period with which we are now concerned was one of almost continuous dis- turbance. Beginning with the defeat of Francis captivity of the French King King and the Emperor through France Francis I at in Spain, it I by Charles V Pavia (1525) and the at closed inconclusively with the interview of the Aigues Mortes (1538) and the curious journey of Charles V of the burghers of Ghent (1540).

Here, for the first time in France, inherited humanist erudition is used by a writer who had a positive attitude philosophy, to propose and who, though soaked in the is original classics and towards hfe, even a in ItaHan hterature, and wholly French. In the visual arts, as we shall see, the same stage was reached happily with no figure of the cahbre of Rabelais to focus the genius. 22 at this time, movement into but un- works of madrid fontainebleau : Architecture The Chateaux built for Francis I in the Ile-de-France Madrid, Fontainebleau, The fact that necessarily on his return from Madrid Francis I brought about a change of centre for etc.

This simphcity was no doubt gres, I partly imposed on the architect by his material, which of great beauty and variety in colour but resistant to fine carving. 26 is the hard local MADRID FONTAINEBLEAU : The most striking of the Porte Doree feature is open bays one above the series of three may be an echo of certain Itahan gates, such as Luciano Castel Nuovo at Naples, of which drawings might well have the other in the middle. This Laurana's entrance to the been brought back to France, or of the same architect's facade to the palace at Urbino.

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