French Renaissance architecture

The French Renaissance architecture is a historiographical denomination which designates the architectural production of the early Modern Age in what is today France, – mostly in the kingdom of France, although also parts of Flanders, Lorraine, Alsace, Savoia, Cerdanya, Brittany and Provence.

It corresponds to the French architecture at the Renaissance era – which gradually replaced gothic architecture – that had been born in the country in the 12th century – from the import and adaptation of the models of the Italian Renaissance. It appeared at the beginning of the 16th century, more than half a century later than in Italy, in different French regions, especially in the Loire Valley and the Ile de France, and continued until the beginning of the seventeenth, when it goes To be succeeded by Baroque architecture.

Periodization: the four phases of the French Renaissance
The Renaissance in France is commonly considered divided into four parts. The first act corresponds to the style Luis XII -1495-1530 approximately -, that forms the transition between the gothic one and the Renaissance. This first style blooms from 1515, especially in the Loire Valley, where the full acceptance of the Italian Renaissance was felt with greater rapidity. As in Italy, although later, three phases follow later until the beginning of the 17th century, a First and a Second Renaissance that end in Mannerism.

In each stage of its development, the art of the French Renaissance remained as an original art, born of the encounter between Italian models, flamenco artists and French peculiarities. The models, however, changed greatly between 1495 and 1610, as the French subsequently admired the final art of the Quattrocento, the High Renaissance and later the Mannerism. From these successive encounters an abundant, disordered, and sometimes difficult to understand, artistic production originated. When the balance is made, two basic facts emerge: modern French art has taken shape through the great works of the mid-16th century, while near the royal palace of Fontainebleau, «true new Rome», was born under the will of kingFrancesc I was an important artistic center, which was the only one in Europe capable of competing with the great Italian centers and which will be called the Fontainebleau school.

The new situation thus created controlled the future: announcing the affirmation of a national style already in the middle of the 17th century and the future role played by Versailles.

The style of Louis XII: transition between the Gothic and the first Renaissance (1495-1525/1530)
The style of Louis XII (1495-1525/1530), is a transition style, a very short passage between two bright periods, the Gothic period and the Renaissance. Describes a moment in which the decorative arts starting from the ogival arch and gothic naturalism will be moving towards the mid – point arch and the soft and rounded forms mixed with old stylized motifs typical of the first Renaissance: there is still one great amount of gothic in the castle of Blois, and there is nothing in the tomb of Saint Louis XII in Saint-Denis.

From 1495, a colony of Italian artists was installed in Amboise and worked in collaboration with French masters masters. This date is generally considered as the starting point of this new artistic movement. In general, the building remains French and only the decoration changes and becomes Italian. It would be inadequate therefore to determine this style with the only contribution of Italy: the relations existing between the French architectural production and that of the Plateresque Spanish architecture, and the influence of the North, especially Antwerp, also They are noticed in the decorative arts as well as in thestained glass.

The limits of the style Luis XII are quite variable, especially when it comes to the regions outside the valley of the Loire. In addition to the seventeen years of the reign of Louis XII (1498-1515), this period includes the reign of Charles VIII and the beginning of that of Francesc I, initiating the artistic movement in 1495 to make it finish in 1525/1530: in 1530 corresponds to a true stylistic change, which, after the creation by Francesc I of the School of Fontainebleau, is generally considered as the full acceptance of the Renaissance style.

In architecture, the use of “brick and stone”, still present in the buildings of the fourteenth century, tends to become generalized. High French ceilings with corner towers and facades with helical stairs make the tradition perpetuate, but the systematic overlay of voids, the rupture of attics and the appearance of lodges influenced by the Poggioreale villa and the Castell Nou de Naples is the manifesto of a new decorative art where the building remains deeply gothic. The propagation of ornamental vocabulary arrived from Pavia and Milan played an important role in being perceived as the arrival of a certain modernity.

In this art in full mutation, the gardens became as important as the same architecture. The arrival in Amboise of Italian artists, such as Pacello da Mercogliano, was originally under Charles VIII for the creation of the largest gardens of the French Renaissance thanks to the new landscape creations, in the installation of a ménagerie (collection of wild beasts) and the agronomic acclimatization work carried out since 1496 in the “Jardins du Roy”, then located in the royal domain of Château-Gaillard. In 1499, Louis XII entrusted the realization of the castle gardens of Blois to the same team that was later hired by Georges d’Amboise for parterres at different levels in his castle of Gaillon.

In conclusion, the style of Louis XII shows that he wanted to surprise both French and Italian: it was from the fantasy with which Italian novelties were incorporated into buildings that were still all French medieval ones as it will be born around 1515 / 1520 the First Renaissance or early Renaissance.

First Renaissance (1515 to 1530/1540)
As in the preceding period, the most obvious manifestation of the First Renaissance in France is expressed by the construction of residential castles, not only in the Loire valley and the Ile de France, but in some provinces but to the south such as Berry, the Carcí and the Perigord -Castell d’Assier and Montal- who, after recovering from the aftermath of the one hundred-year-old War, saw their great families indebted for several generations to modernize the pre-existing medieval buildings.

If, since the end of the fifteenth century, the transient process of the style of Louis XII gradually imposed the forms of the First Renaissance, from the years 1515/1520, the arrival of a new wave of ” Italian artists, more numerous than before, will have a great influence on French art, creating a true rupture: the Gothic forms, finally, gradually dilute Italian dignity. This evolution is particularly sensitive in the portal of the church of Saint-Maurille de Vouziers, where a classic ornamentation masked a still gothic building.

Unlike the previous period, the main protagonist was no longer around but the king himself King Francis I, who behave as a monarch humanist becomes one of the primary actors of this stylistic evolution, imposing – Be in the arts, as patrons and guide of his people and of Christianity, without renouncing his military role. That’s why it attracted Italian artists to build their castles. These learned craftsmen will then have a great aura about the masters of French works: the presumed architect of Chambord, Domenico Bernabei da Cortona (c. 1465/1470 – 1549) would have been said in Italian named “Boccador”, in the I heard that he spoke with “golden words”.

However, throughout the First French Renaissance, the plant of the buildings will continue to be traditional and the architectural elements will be freely inspired by the new art arriving from Lombardy. Never, perhaps, the French architecture will have shown more elegance, lightness and fantasy than during this artistic period. There is a special taste in the buildings of the Loire Valley, where traditional French masters, full of eloquence, accept no more than the new architecture by always agreeing to the construction with the appropriate form the bold and picturesque silhouettes of the Middle Ages with the Renaissance Italian décor. For that reason in the tradition of the style Luis XII the national traditions are conserved throughout the period, like the high ceilings – only the castle of Saint-Germain-in-Fangui was covered with terraces. Although the progress of the artillery had returned any useless defense device – whether they were towers, crannies, or curtains of castles -, were still traditionally preserved, but being empty of content to be transformed into many others decorative elements Thus, in many buildings, such as the castles of Chenonceau, La Rochefoucauld, Villandry or, as was the case in Azay-le-Rideau -refreshed in the 19th century- the permanence of the donjonit was justified more than by the stately symbol he represented; Its military function was then replaced by that of prestige and apparatus.

In this movement, the watchtowers of the medieval castles become, in Azay-le-Rideau, into graceful corner turrets coming out, while the battlements of the round paths turn into small windows, transforming this space into a pleasant gallery of circulation Features featured in the style of Louis XII, the windows of the facades have their “chambranle”, which connect floor to floor, forming a kind of stretch completed in skylight worked. This grid, which is located in the castle of Blois or the castle of Chambord, gives rise to a sensation of regularity, often “fictitious”, underlining horizontal and vertical, while the proliferation of chimneys and pinnacles seem to form a crown in the building, being a last reflection of medieval magic.

This interpretation of the achievements of Bramante, also if it does not respect the old orders in any way, is found in the superimposition of arches framed by pilasters that adorn the patios of the castle of La Rochefoucauld and then the one of Chambord. First performance Ex nihilo, the castle of Chambord is a meeting place for hunts and celebrations of the court, conceived as an uninhabited theater site. The presence of Leonardo da Vinci and Domenico da Cortona (Boccador), ask questions about the castle in French in contact with the Italian Renaissance. While the towers of the Middle Ages did not have other times more than the windows of the archers, a superposition of windows with pilasters come here to illuminate the building extensively, while the crumbling crown disappears for the first time.

The lush decoration is then related especially to the roofs of chimneys, skylights and turrets, all decorated with slabs or slate discs, tabernacles and penguins treated to the liking of Northern Italy, always evoking the black marble encasing of the Charterhouse of Pavia, where Francesc I had been a prisoner. If the development of symmetrical apartments with residential destiny was a novelty, the organization of the plant was still traditional, remembering the castle of Vincennes, with a donjoncentral surrounded by a wall where the patio and common dependencies are located.3 The initial project of 1519, however, was modified since 1526 to transfer the King’s apartment into a side wing: the centered dock is incompatible with the new ritual of the court that required a royal apartment in a row. As in Villa Mèdici, each level now has its apartments spread around a central axis for the double stairway, designed in collaboration with Leonardo da Vinci. However, the work was slowed down: after the defeat of Pavia, Francesc I was forced to return to Paris.

On his return from captivity, in 1527, although the patronage of the royal environment continued to be important, the king was no less the protagonist of the stylistic developments in his country, due to the changes he made to a whole series of castles near the capital to Villers-cotterêt and La Muette. While in the Island of France new innovations were emerging, the valley of the Loire became the conservatory of the First Renaissance.

The castle of Madrid, now destroyed, reflects this evolution: the Palacio de los Vargas de la Casa de Campo, the residence of a great Spanish financier located in front of where he was the prison of Francesc I in Madrid, inspired the accomplishment of this palace without pit the collected plant which is against the French tradition. Made as a new holiday residence, the symmetrical apartments are organized near a central dance hall, while two floors of lodges form the tower of the building, presenting an unpublished decoration of enameled pottery made by Della Robbia. The height of the castle was marked by the advanced pavilions, replacing here the medieval still-towers of Chambord, whose new rhythm was obtained by separating the attic. The use of a geometrical plant and the presence of lodges, announcing the Farnese Palace, are a distant reflection of Poggio Reale in Naples and the Medical Villa.

Immediately afterwards, an event of great importance took place in the castle of Fontainebleau, converted between 1530 and 1540 into the main residence of the sovereign. Although there is a great contrast between the average quality of architecture and the splendor of interior decoration, the achievements directed by Gilles le Breton mark a profound change that highlights the end of the period. Although the 12th century donjon is preserved, the oval patio corresponding to the old medieval fortress was adorned by Rosso and Serliowith a porch that opens on a double flush staircase. The “golden door pavilion”, built for the occasion, retakes the provisions observed since 1509 in the castle of Gaillon. But contrary to what is observed in the Loire Valley, an austere architecture based on masonry stone and coated stones is chosen in future. If overlapping pilasters of the facades, but nothing commands respect in ancient overlapping loggias, the scansion levels by pediments triangular and rectangular flags on rooftops cut an impression classical transforming this architecture, in a triumphal entrance, as in the Castel Nuovo in Naples. But before the buildings of the new castle were completed, Francesc I brought a large group of Italian artists to embellish the palace. Create according to his wishes, a sort of “new Rome”, which will be called the School of Fontainebleau, with an influential intellectual and artistic circle. Until his death in 1540, Rosso plays the leading role in what is happening by Francesco Primaticcio: the decoration of the Francesc I Gallery, a vast complex dedicated to the exaltation of the French monarchy is the most beautiful expression. In the following years, the acquisition of the next abbeyof the Trinitarians, allowed to leave the medieval heart of the castle and create a modern ex nihilo work around an imposing courtyard of honor. Inspired by the Medical Villa, the union with the old castle was made through a new porticated wing, which allowed the completion of the Francesc I Gallery, superimposed in luxurious en suite apartments. Regarding the central body with square pavilions of the new wing of the palace, it was inspired by the castle of Bury, writing down, by its rectilinear plant and its skylights with purified triangular pediments, the classicistic evolution that marked the Second Renaissance

High Renaissance
The art of the period between the reign of Francis I and Henry IV was heavily influenced by the Italian Cinquecento, already in his Mannerist phase, associated with painters such as Michelangelo or Parmigianino. The Mannerism displays a visual rhetoric is characterized by elongated and elegant, being the history painting considered the most important genre in the hierarchy of genres. The painters Jean Clouet and their son François Clouet and the Italians Rosso Fiorentino, Francesco Primaticcio and Niccolò dell’Abbate – the so-called Fontainebleau School of 1531 – stand out. Leonardo da VinciHe lived in France in his last years (1516-1519) under the patronage of Francesc I, but except for the works he carried on, he did not perform any commission for the monarch. In architecture, emphasizes the presence (between 1496-1508) of Giovanni Giocondo who, demanded by Carlos VIII, conditioned and rehabilitated different constructions (Pont Nôtre-Dame) ; as well as that of Sebastiano Serlio, both for his constructions and his treatise, The Seven Books of Architecture (1537-1551), which will condition the most important French architects, such as Philibert de l’Orme and Pierre Lescot.

In sculpture, Benvenuto Cellini (Saler de Francesc I of France, 1539-1543) will leave a classicist influence that remained until the 17th century. Among the local sculptors stood out Jean Goujon and Germain Pilon.

While working in the castles of the Loire, in Paris the old fortress of the Louvre was rebuilt as an urban palace under the direction of Pierre Lescot. To the west of the Louvre, Caterina de Mèdici was built the Palace of the Tulleries with extensive gardens and a grotto.

The wars of religion eclipsed the artistic production, but they fomented the intellectual reflection and the religious and political propaganda.

Under Renaissance
The ascension to the throne of Henry IV led to a period of intense urban development in Paris, which included the construction of the Pont Neuf, the Place Dauphine 19, the Palais des Vosges, the Palais Royal and parts of the Louvre Palace. The same king brought together the artists of the so-called Second School of Fontainebleau: Toussaint Dubreuil, Martin Fréminet and Ambroise Dubois. Maria de Medici, his second wife and regent of France at his death, called Rubens, who painted large-scale works for the Luxembourg Palace. Another flamenco painter who worked for his court was Frans Pourbus el Vell.

In the court of the Dukes of Lorraine – at that time outside the kingdom of France – a very differentiated late Mannerism was developed: artists such as Jacques Bellange, Claude Deruet and Jacques Callot, excellent engravers, with a slight contact with the artists French of the period, characterized by an intense and extreme style, often erotic, including nocturnal scenes and images of nightmares.

The Second Renaissance: Classicism (1540 to 1559/1564)
The Second Renaissance marks from 1540 the maturation of the style appeared at the beginning of the century as well as its naturalization while the Loire Valley ends up relegated as a conservatory of the forms of the First Renaissance. This new period was developed later, mainly during the reigns of Enric II, Francesc II and Carlos IX, not to be completed until around 1559-1564, at the moment in which the Religious wars in France, which will be marked by the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew’s Day and the Catholic counter-reform.

Although the First Renaissance gradually accepted in provinces, a whole series of innovations are felt in Ille-de-France. From 1540 the classicism progresses, after the arrival in France of Serlio (1475-1555): although its architectural work was limited, its influence was considerable for the publication of Sette libri dell’architettura (1537 -1551). Thanks to his recorded works, he was one of the first to start other artists in the beauty of ancient monuments, contributing to make plants and decorations evolve towards more sobriety and regularity.

The architects who, at the time of the style of Louis XII and the First Renaissance, were traditional and eloquent masters of masters, then become scholars and scholars, doing some of them studying in Italy. However, French architecture continues to maintain its own characteristics that seduce the same Serlio: there are large ornements for commemorative commemorative buildings [are large ornaments for buildings as a crown] and the large attics are covered with blue slate from choses très plaisantes et nobles [very nice and noble things].

Marking a real change of style, this new generation of artists operates an original synthesis between the lessons of antiquity, that of the Italian Renaissance and national traditions. Among the most famous, Philibert Delorme is the author of the Hôtel Bullioud in Lyon, the castles of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés and Anet as well as the Villers-Cotterêts chapel; Pierre Lescot built the renaissance wing of the Louvre Palace and the Hôtel de Jacques de Ligneris (Carnavalet Museum); Jean Bullant built the castles of Ecouen and Fère-en-Tardenois as well as thesmall castle of Chantilly.

These architects collaborated closely with the sculptors and defined an architecture and decoration studied, preferring the beauty of the lines to the richness of ornamentation: Cellini sculpted for the Golden Gate, the bronze relief of the Nymph of Fontainebleau ; His work normally “Mannerist” caused a great impression in France and probably influenced Jean Goujon, author of the Source of the Innocents and the decoration of the Louvre’s façade. The Mannerist influence also permeates the work of Pierre Bontemps, in charge of the tomb of Francis I in Saint-Denis, and the monument to the heart of Francis I.

In Burgundy, the castle of Ancy-le-Franc (1538-1546) was one of the first projects that responded to this new ideal. Designed by the architect Serlio, this castle built by Antoine III de Clermont, from 1538 to 1546, marks an evolution towards classicism in France. With this building, the modular architecture was named on the French ground. Only here are the light frontons of the first floor windows, they remember the First Renaissance. Outside this, nothing distracts the uniform arrangement of gaps in arcades or windows, separated by a section of twin pilasters, closing a niche and mounted on a high style. This alternation of a main void and a secondary void – simulated here later represented by a niche – framed by pilasters represents one of the first examples in France of the rhythmic stretch treated with frankness and rigor.

The Lescot du Louvre wing, a company starting in 1546, was the masterpiece of the Second Renaissance. This work by Pierre Lescot, an antiquarian architect, was decorated by Jean Goujon. The scale originally planned at the center of the Logis corps was displaced at the request of Enric II in order to create a large room where the Greek caryatids, vacant at the request of Jean Goujon, of the Erechthe at ‘ Acropolis of Athens. In the manner of a French style manifesto preached by Lescot, the facade presents a superposition of new classical orders without achieving Italian regularity: as it grows, the proportions are becoming increasingly fine and the idea of crowning the two orders superimposed with a wide band decorated, dedicated to acclimating in France, the attic floor so appreciated in Italy, using for the first time split attics in France, to give the illusion of an attic straight on. In spite of its small outing, the avant-bodies, the last memory of the medieval towers, are enough to “encourage” the facade. The admirable sculptures of Goujon help make this building a unique work. On the ground floor, the midpoint archesFramed by pilasters cause the accentuation of the vertical and horizontal while the game of double supports framing a niche decorated with a medal, represents a disposition that will become typical of French architecture.

Another important achievement of this period, the castle of Anet, was directed by Philibert Delorme, at the expense of the king, for Diana de Poitiers, the lover of Enric II. Destroyed during the French Revolution, today it is not conserved without alterations more than the chapel and the three superimposed orders conserved in the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris. Converted into typical of the Second Renaissance, the quadrangular plant has a logis located in front of the entrance. Fortified pitches, such as Écouen, have guns for the apparatus and the parties. The entrance of a pyramidal shape is an Italian reminiscence that represents an arc of triumphagain interpreted by Delorme. Four Ionic columns support an arch that falls on an architrave, while the columns of the lateral passages are inspired by Antonio Fornese’s Palace of the Sangallo el Jove. Under the trimming of the balustrades, a game of polychromy of materials, frames the Nymph of Fontainebleau made by Cellini through the golden door of Fontainebleau. At the top, a group of robots, disappearing, marked the hours. Philibert Delorme expresses his taste for the strange inventions inspired by Michelangelo’s whims, everywhere: The chapel of the Anet castle is the most innovative success. This was the first time that the central plant was used in France. If the niche cut surrounded by pilasters is influenced by the contemporary achievements of Bramante and Miquel Àngel, the frieze that the crown is inspired by Sangallo. The sculptures are, perhaps, of Jean Goujon. The building serves as a jewel of the enamel of Francesc I and the apostles of Scibec de Carpi. The vault of the domeIt develops a decoration that involves a bundle of circles that are reflected, octagonal, on the floor of the floor. This motif, inspired by the elements found frequently in Roman mosaics, shows the desire to overcome the Italian model when referring directly to the ancient achievements, in order to create an original architecture in the French.

Along with these important royal projects, the city ‘s major residences take part in the naturalization of this new style: under the impetus of the Second Renaissance, all the sumptuous decoration of foliage and exquisite medallions that adorned the Gallery of the ” Hotel de Chabouillé de Moret-sur-Loing, disappear in front of the system of “modular proportions”, strictly applied to the opening of the house of Jean d’Alibert in Orleans, where the curved brackets, inspired by the School of Fontainebleau surpass The windows.

Mannerism (1559/1564 – early seventeenth century)
Forming a last echo of the Renaissance and of humanism in France, this last phase is deviated from the years 1559/1564, of the atmospheric classicism by its creative fantasy, that can justify for this style the name of manierista. Just when religious wars begin, marked by the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew’s Day, pessimism and skepticism invaded men and artists of mere humanist formation. The old reference thinkers will be the Stoics, preferably Plato. If humanism survives, its deep philosophy evolves, being resumed and rethought by the Catholic counter- reform.

From the clarity of the forms and the classicism of the Second Renaissance, there is a Mannerist architecture. Emerging again with a renewed force, the game of volumes and searches on light and shadow, already Baroque, is mixed with fragmented pediments, pilasters, grotesques, scrolls or other masks, exits from the Renaissance culture. Windows and attics often invade the entablature: this is known as walkways. Thus, at the Hôtel d’Angoulême Lamoignon in Paris – around 1584 -, a colossal order was marked as large as in the Palacio Valmarana by Andrea Palladio, the entablature is broken with attics descending to the architrave. The architects have a predilection marked by the back-to-back columns, striated, ornate, being the most spectacular French columns of curved trunks invented by Philibert Delorme and appeared in the previous period. This invention is part of a general taste for ornament, which also manifests itself in clothing, jewelry and embroidery. It is therefore an expression of the new maturity in French architecture. Delorme justifies it: “If it has been allowed to the ancient architects in several countries and nations to invent new columns (…), who will empire new French, inventions, quelques-unites et appelions françaises “.

In spite of a significant fall in royal patronage, linked to the political situation, Caterina de Mèdici and the social elites continued to commission works to artists: Philibert Delorme was commissioned from 1564 to complete the castle of Saint-Maur and to build the palace of the Tulleries, constructions that will continue later by Jean Bullant, an architect who will also crown the Chenonceau castle bridge with a gallery (1576-1577). To connect the new palace of the Tulleries with the old Louvre, Jacques II Androuet du Cerceau begins, around 1594, the construction of that of the water-side gallery, later completed by Louis Métezeau while performing in parallel toDiana de France, the Hôtel Lamoignon.

The great construction of this time, the palace of the Tulleries initiated by Delorme had to articulate around three patios with pavilions crowned by domes and with the creation of gardens. In the part overlooking the park, the central pavilion flanked by two uniform longitudinal wings has a height only of a ground floor that is finished by a plant with attics on the roof. The central pavilion offers a rhythm made by well-decorated columns, which houses a helical staircase near a large emptiness filled with columns -complete only under Henry IV-. It is the most Manierist work of Delorme related to the latest productions of Florentines and Miquel Àngel. But Delorme died in 1570. Bullant, his successor, did not manage to finish more than a part. This work is a testament to “French” architecture.

The wing of the “Bella Chimenea” of the castle of Fontainebleau is representative of the result of the French Renaissance, although stained by Italian mannerism. Designed in a grandiose way by Francesco Primaticcio, around 1565-1570, it has the peculiarity of having two stairs in divergent ramps that magnified the entrance to the apartments of Carlos IX. Primaticcio may have found the idea of the two stairs on the right ramp in the great achievements of Bramante at the Vatican or Michelangelo in the Capitol, inverting the sense of the ramps. The façade is decorated with large bronzes of mythological themes, executed between 1541 and 1543 by Primaticcio, sent to Rome at the request of Francesc I, to make plaster copies obtained on the marble sculptures that were preserved there. A foundry workshop installed in the castle of Fontainebleau, in the yard of the White Horse, allowed to carry out the smelting work under the direction of the Italian architect Jacopo Vignola.

At the same time, with regard to a “forced exchange” with Diana de Poitiers, Caterina de Mèdici, new owner of the castle of Chenonceau, built on the “bridge of Diana” two superimposed galleries that form a unique reception area in the world, giving the castle its current appearance, the works began in 1576 and were completed in 1581. The gallery is probably Bullant’s work that replaced Delorme in the royal favor. This new construction forms two superimposed spaces 60 m long and 5.85 m wide, illuminated by 18 windows. The ground floor consists of a succession of turrets in the middle of the moon, inspired by the exedrals of the terms of antiquity, which will compress the point of the platform carvings. These turrets end up in a balcony on the noble floor, the first one, with the most ornate walls on the ground floor. Typical of this Mannerist architecture, The facades have tall windows that are finished with wide curved pediments, connected by horizontal divisions with molded frames. Caterina de Mèdici also wanted to have a more classic finish with this castle that was still too gothic for its taste. It was with this intention that the central section, at the entrance to the castle, was decorated with two busts and that four new windows were pierced in the lateral sections; to accommodate the four caryatids inspired by the achievements of Giulio Romano, which is now conserved in the garden.

Marking a last artistic evolution of this late Renaissance, Pierre Lescot developed the castle of Vallery (1562), in which French rustic style can be named: constructed from 1548 for Marshal Jacques d’Albon de Saint -André, the building is characterized by a system of brick walls and toothed stone chains marking the angles of the building bodies and framing the sections of windows, cut by one or two bands of stone. The low cost, and also the charm of the polychrome of this “three-shaped” architecture, probably explains its success since the reign of Enric III and was developed widely at the beginning of the seventeenth century, in which it goes say the Louis XIII style:Wideville castle (1580-1584) in the Yvelines, the abbey palace of Saint-Germain-des-Prés or the castle of Rosny-sur-Seine (1595-1606).

Religious architecture
In religious domination in France, churches built in the Renaissance are less numerous than civil buildings, but a good name is still preserved. Even Gothic architecture continued to be widely used during the first part of the century as in the royal monastery of Brou. Some significant examples of Renaissance architecture are found in the Church of Saint Eustache in Paris – which marked the beginning of the transition between Gothic and Renaissance – and in the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, in Paris, in the church of Sant Acceul d’Ecouen, in the church of Sant Miquel de Dijon, in the Abbey of Fontevraud -especially in the cloister and the chapter room-, in the cathedral of Sant Lluís de Blois and in the cathedral of Le Havre. Finally, there is a specific peculiarity of many churches built in the 16th century west of Brittany and that are surrounded by what is called the parochial enclosure, the enclosure that it incorporates in general, besides the church, a triumphal door, a bush, an ordeal and a built in a local Renaissance but very rich.

French Renaissance Revival styles
Napoleon III style
Second Empire (architecture)

Other French Revival styles
Empire style (neoclassical)

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