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Louise of Savoy,   (*1476 †1531), mother von François I.
Louise of Savoy was a daughter of Filippo II the Landless, who was Duke of Savoy from 1496-97. At the age of 12 she married Charles d'Orléans, Count of Angoulême in 1488. After the early death of her husband (1496), she dedicated herself to bringing up her children Marguerite (*1492) and François (*1494) in the spirit of the Renaissance. She realized the chance of François for the throne of France and ensured good relations with King Louis XII. After the death of Louis' wife Anne de Bretagne, Louise succeeded in making François the son-in-law of the king: Louis XII appointed François heir to the throne after his marriage to his daughter Claude, heiress to Brittany.
Louise was skilled and experienced in dealing with politically tricky situations. François made her regent twice, in 1515 on the occasion of his first campaign in Italy and in 1525-1526, when he was captured by the emperor. In an effort to free him, Louise established political connections with London and Constantinople. Eventually, the king was released in exchange for his sons François and Henri. Louise negotiated the so-called women's peace of Cambrai with Margaret of Austria in 1529, which ended the 2nd war between her son François I and Emperor Charles V.


Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Touch the picture with the cursor to see the reverse.
Cast bronze medal (about 1504) by french school.     Ø 63 mm
The Currency of Fame 138 (specimen from Victoria & Albert Museum, London); Hill (1930) 852.

Obv.:   LOYSE·DVCHESSE·DE VALOIS·COMTESSE·DANGOLESME·
"Louise, Duchess of Valois, countess of Angoulême" at the age of twenty-eight.
Bust to the right with a simple long hood, called chaperon.

Rev.:   MARGVERITE·FILLE·DE·CHARLES·COMTE·DANGOLESME·
"Marguerite, daughter of Charles, count of Angoulême" (and sister of François I.) at the age of twelve.
This medal by an unknown French artist is based on the work of Giovanni Candida. Louise may have commissioned the medal together with another on her son dated 1504 when King Louis XII was seriously ill and the succession seemed close to François.

Compare with the picture, 24x35 cm, made by Jean Clouet (1480-1541),
preserved in Rennes, Musée des Beaux-Arts.

Lit.:
Stephen K. Scher, Ed.: The Currency of Fame - Portrait Medals of the Renaissance, N.Y., 1994.

Next to her son François I, King of France
or to her grand son Henri II, King of France

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