A Discussion on the French Renaissance Era

The French Renaissance was a vibrant cultural, political, and artistic ‘rebirth’ in France that occurred between the 14th to 17th centuries. This period marked the beginning of the humanism movement, which emphasized that people should pursue excellence in classic arts, science, education, and literature since each person was the epicenter of their universe (Knecht, 2014). The French Renaissance was crucial in constructing the modern understanding of humanity and its role in the universe.

The invention of Gutenberg’s printing press in 1470 boosted communication and spread of ideas quickly in Europe. The spread of literary materials from ancient humanist writers such as Giovanni Boccaccio and Francesco led to cultural rebirth since books were distributed to the masses in Europe (Knecht, 2014). Francesco also established the School of Fontainebleau, which significantly influenced the French artistic culture and spirit. The proximity of Burgundy facilitated the entry of the Italian classical artists such as Plutarch, Laurana, and Jean, who gradually diluted the Gothic literature. These also Italian artists introduced Italian goods and art such as the Leonardo da Vinci’s Sainte Anne, Mona Lisa, and Sainte Jean Baptiste to France, currently preserved in Paris by the Louvre museum.

Besides, Italian artists and writers’ entry to France between the Francis I to Henry IV era exposed Franch to the art renaissance that had already started in Italy. Mannerist artists such as Jacques Callot, Jacques Bellange, and Claude Deruet introduced high-extreme and erotic mannerism, including the nightmares and night scenes (Crawford, 2010). Remarkable architectural transformation during the Renaissance is the construction of Chateau de Chambord, Louvre castle, Tuileries palace, Pont Neuf, the Palace Dauphine, and the Place Royale. Likewise, chanson and air de cour were the most significant forms of music developed during the Renaissance, mainly in the 17th century, during the religious wars between Catholics and the protestants (Knecht, 2014). Education was also transformed during this period following the establishment of the University of Paris.

 In conclusion, the French Renaissance led to a significant transformation in architecture, music, science, education, literature, values, and painting. The ‘rebirth’ can be attributed to the invention of the printing press, exploration of the New World, and the contact between French and Italy between the 14th to 17th centuries. French Renaissance was a significant historical period whose legacy still reigns in the modern world.


Crawford, K. (2010). The Sexual Culture of the French Renaissance (Vol. 14). Cambridge

University Press.

Knecht, R. J. (2014). French Renaissance Monarchy: Francis I & Henry II. Routledge.