Raphael and Leonardo were barely dead when Charles V, the Holy Roman
Emperor, sacked Rome and imprisoned the pope, Clement VII. Francis I, meanwhile,
who was at war with the Emperor (and had only recently been released by Charles
from prison in Spain), solaced himself by returning home to France, importing
3 Italian architects, and building a sumptuous palace just outside Paris—Fontainebleau.
He also had built several opulent chateaux—Chambord among them—that
served as discreet hunting lodges for the king and his companions. Francis'
wish was to import the magnificence of the Italian Renaissance into France
by hiring its artists. Indeed, he had already brought both Leonardo da Vinci
and Andrea del Sarto to one of his lodges.
Southgate MT. Tazza and Cover: Allegory of Fortune. JAMA. 1998;279(1):4. doi:10.1001/jama.279.1.4
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