The revival of classical art and architecture during the Renaissance spread from Italy to France in the 15th and 16th cent., giving rise to the majority of the famous French châteaux, primarily in the Loire valley. During the first half of the 16th cent., Francis I established his court at Fontainebleau outside Paris, where he employed numerous Italian architects and artists, including Sebastiano Serlio, Il Rosso, and Francesco Primaticcio (see Fontainebleau, school of). At the same time native architects came into favor; they included Pierre Lescot, who built parts of the Louvre (begun 1546), and Philibert Delorme, who designed the Château of Anet (1547–55).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.