France, Francis I., 1515-1547, Ecu d'or au soleil undated
Sun across crowned coat of arms
Rv.Cross fleury, two F and two lis in angles
Francis I (* 12 September 1494 in Paris, France; * 31 March 1547 in Paris) was King of France from 1515 until his death in 1547. He was the son of Charles Count of Angouléme and Louise of Savoy.
His reign highlighted important cultural changes that accompanied the rise of absolute monarchy in France, the spread of humanism and Protestantism, and the beginning of French exploration of the so-called New World. In addition, he was considered a promoter of a standardised French language and as a patron of the arts he "initiated" the French Renaissance by inviting famous Italian artists to work at Chambord Castle. Among them at the time was the famous polymath Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519). After Da Vinci's death, Francis I of France acquired the world-famous oil painting of the Mona Lisa for four thousand gold florins, which at that time was still in the estate of Da Vinci's student Salaj. Today, the original painting has been on display in the Musée du Louvre, the central art museum in Paris, since the end of the 18th century.
In relation to French political concerns and in his struggle against the imperial hegemony of the Habsburg monarchy, Francis I sought the support of Henry VIII of England. When this proved unsuccessful, he formed a Franco-Ottoman alliance with the Muslim Sultan Suleiman I (1496 - 1566). However, this alliance was a controversial move for a Christian king at the time. Nevertheless, the cooperation between France and the Ottoman Empire is considered "the first non-ideological alliance of this kind, between a Christian and a non-Christian empire".