If you’ve been to Château de Fontainebleau before you’ll be familiar with the grand Gallery of Francis I decorated in the beautiful Italian Renaissance style.
While the gallery is a stunning showstopper for many visitors, Francis I built it as a passageway to link his apartments to The Chapel of the Trinity. Passageway sounds so basic and utilitarian to me. If my house ever had a passageway, I’d probably go as far as slapping up a few pictures and calling it a day. Basically the complete opposite of what Francis I did.
Can we just take a moment to appreciate that herringbone parquet flooring? I’m in love.
Does the Gallery remind you of anything else? A famous hall of mirrors at another Royal chateau, perhaps? I’ve learned that the famous Hall of Mirrors at Versailles was modelled after the Gallery of Francis I. Who knew?
Of course, a major difference between the two is what adorns the walls. The walls of the Gallery of Francis I showcase works by Italian artists that Francis I brought in to decorate.
Above, if you zoom in, you’ll see The Education of Achilles, one of the many frescoes created by artist Rosso Fiorentino. The lower panels were created by master Italian furniture maker Francesco Scibec da Carpi, and are decorated with the coat of arms of France and the salamander, the emblem of the King.
In the larger panels above the built-in ledges (or are they benches? I hope not as they don’t look very comfortable.) you’ll find this emblem featuring the ubiquitous fleur-de-lis.
And last but not least, let’s look up at the impressive coffer ceiling.
From floor to ceiling, the Gallery of Francis I is a visual treat.