The art and architecture of the Château de Fontainebleau in France influenced the evolution of art not only in France but also across Europe.
From the 12th to the 19th century, the kings and queens of France lived at the Château de Fontainebleau. First, King Louis VII built a hunting lodge and chapel on the site. Then in the 13th century, King Louis IX (St. Louis) transformed the lodge into a château.
In the 16th century, King Francis I had the grand vision to make a “New Rome” on the site. He commissioned the best French architects and craftsmen, as well as Italians such as the painter Francesco Primaticcio and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini. These great artists combined the best of Italian and French art to create a style called the School of Fontainebleau. And it was this Italian art influence that made a lasting impact on French Renaissance art.
Other notable works at the site included when Louis XIV commissioned French landscape architect André Le Nôtre to redesign the gardens, resulting in the elegant grand parterre, the formal ornamental garden.