King François I of France: a godfather of the French Renaissance

King François I of France was born on the 12th of September at Cognac, Aquitaine, France.  The only son of Charles d’Orléans, Count d’Angoulême, and his wife, Louise de Savoy, François was a great-great-grandson of King Charles V of France called the Wise (le Sage).  A son of the man with...

Mary Boleyn: a possible mistress of two kings, but not a whore

Mary Boleyn, Anne Boleyn’s elder sister, died on the 19th of July 1543 in her early forties.  In her first marriage to William Carey, she had two children – Catherine and Henry Carey, who are considered by some historians King Henry VIII’s bastards, although it cannot be proved.  After Mary’s...

Isabella de’ Medici: death at the hands of her husband for alleged adultery

Isabella Romola de’ Medici, daughter of Cosimo I de’ Medici and his first wife, Eleanor of Toledo, died on the 16th of July 1576. She was Duchess of Bracciano by marriage.   Born in Florence, the girl was raised with her brothers and sisters in the Palazzo Vecchio and later in...

Marguerite de Valois, Duchess de Berry: birth and late marriage

Marguerite de Valois, Duchess de Berry, was born on the 5th of June 1523 at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye.  She was the youngest daughter and child of King François I of France and his first wife – Queen Claude of France, Duchess de Bretagne.  In a year after her birth,...

Golden Florentine Renaissance: Sandro Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli, born as Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, lived at the time when all things intellectual, humanistic, and progressive flourished in the Florentine Republic.  The city was truly the cradle of the new era dawning.  The artist belonged to the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de’...

Leonardo Da Vinci: a genius’s life in Italy and his last years in France

Leonardo Da Vinci was born on the 14 or 15th of April 1452 in the Tuscan town of Vinci, in the Republic of Florence.  He was undoubtedly the quintessential Renaissance man, one who spent most of his life in Italy and his last years in France.  Leonardo’s areas of interest...

Andrea del Sarto: ‘a faultless painter’ eclipsed by his contemporaries

On the 16th of July 1486, Andrea del Sarto was born in Florence.  Sarto’s family name was likely to be Lanfranchi, and his father seems to have been a tailor.  Little is known about his childhood perhaps because they were quite uneventful.   With two short exceptions, he lived in Florence....