Louvre’s François I and Dutch Art Exhibit Chronicles Manuscripts from British Library

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Musée du Louvre currently displays a collection of artworks on the ‘François I and Dutch Art’ exhibit. The collections include two manuscripts belonging originally to the British Library that are on loan at the Louvre Museum. The preeminent museum in Paris pays a tribute to the François I of France with the eponymous exhibit. The King who ruled the French from 1515 until 1547 was a collector of Dutch art especially objet d’art, paintings, tapestries, and miniatures which were considered important during that period.

Compiling all of that together, the ‘François I and Dutch Art’ register the influence of Dutch artists on France at the onset of 16th Century and the patronage of the King for Dutch arts. Some of the artworks, including those by Jean Clouet, Godefroy le Batave and Noël Bellemare, feature on the exhibit, and you can catch them on Louvre museum private tours until January 15, 2018.

Many artists worked on the workshops, which made the renaissance manuscripts displayed in the Louvre exhibit as of now. The first of such manuscripts was made for King François I by his ex-tutor cum almoner François Desmoulins de Rochefort. It shows Julius Caesar and his horse in the middle of a battle, alongside François I drawing parallels with the King of France’s Swiss campaigns and Caesar’s ‘Gallic wars’, which even make the audience feel both conquerors are conversing. The manuscript forms a part of ‘Harley manuscripts’ from the British Library.

It also portrays the ancient villages in Switzerland burning with natives and soldiers dancing. Once Maximilian I, the Roman emperor, passed away in 1519 the François I’s candidature the crown was promoted by his followers. His hopes of gaining the crown of the Roman Empire were ousted when Charles V was chosen as the Roman Emperor in the same year. More humiliation was bound especially when the King of France tasted defeat at the Battle of Pavia many years later causing him to ally with Suleiman the Magnificent who ruled Ottoman Empire.

The manuscripts, which were made some three decades later, glorify Charles V’s victories over both François I and Suleiman the Magnificent. The second manuscript at the British Museum is the ‘Book of Hours’ featuring 15 full-page miniatures all frame in a golden Tabernacle frame.