J. M. W. Turner
Joseph Mallord William Turner, known as J. M. W. Turner and contemporarily as William Turner, was an English Romantic painter and watercolourist, he is known for his expressive colourisations, imaginative landscapes and turbulent violent marine paintings. Turner was born in Covent Garden, London, to a modest lower middle-class family, he lived in London all his life, retaining his Cockney accent and assiduously avoiding the trappings of success and fame. A child prodigy, Turner studied at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1789, enrolling when he was 14, exhibited his first work there at 15. During this period, he served as an architectural draftsman, he earned a steady income from commissions and sales, which due to his troubled, contrary nature, were begrudgingly accepted. He opened his own gallery in 1804 and became professor of perspective at the academy in 1807, where he lectured until 1828, although he was viewed as profoundly inarticulate, he traveled to Europe from 1802 returning with voluminous sketchbooks.
Intensely private and reclusive, Turner was a controversial figure throughout his career. He did not marry, but fathered two daughters and Georgiana, by his housekeeper Sarah Danby, he became more pessimistic and morose as he got older after the death of his father, after which his outlook deteriorated, his gallery fell into disrepair and neglect, his art intensified. He lived in squalor and poor health from 1845, died in London in 1851 aged 76. Turner is buried in London, he left behind more than 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours, 30,000 works on paper. He had been championed by the leading English art critic John Ruskin from 1840, is today regarded as having elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting. Joseph Mallord William Turner was baptised on 14 May, he was born in Covent Garden, in London, England. His father, William Turner, was a wig maker, his mother, Mary Marshall, came from a family of butchers. A younger sister, Mary Ann, was born in September 1778 but died in August 1783.
Turner's mother showed signs of mental disturbance from 1785 and was admitted to St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics in Old Street in 1799 and was moved in 1800 to Bethlem Hospital where she died in 1804. Turner was sent to his maternal uncle, Joseph Mallord William Marshall, in Brentford a small town on the banks of the River Thames west of London; the earliest known artistic exercise by Turner is from this period—a series of simple colourings of engraved plates from Henry Boswell's Picturesque View of the Antiquities of England and Wales. Around 1786, Turner was sent to Margate on the north-east Kent coast. There he produced a series of drawings of the town and surrounding area that foreshadowed his work. By this time, Turner's drawings were being exhibited in his father's shop window and sold for a few shillings, his father boasted to the artist Thomas Stothard that: "My son, sir, is going to be a painter". In 1789, Turner again stayed with his uncle. A whole sketchbook of work from this time in Berkshire survives as well as a watercolour of Oxford.
The use of pencil sketches on location, as the foundation for finished paintings, formed the basis of Turner's essential working style for his whole career. Many early sketches by Turner were architectural studies or exercises in perspective, it is known that, as a young man, he worked for several architects including Thomas Hardwick, James Wyatt and Joseph Bonomi the Elder. By the end of 1789, he had begun to study under the topographical draughtsman Thomas Malton, specialised in London views. Turner learned from him the basic tricks of the trade and colouring outline prints of British castles and abbeys, he would call Malton "My real master". Topography was a thriving industry. Turner entered the Royal Academy of Art in 1789, aged 14, was accepted into the academy a year by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Turner showed an early interest in architecture, but was advised by Thomas Hardwick to focus on painting, his first watercolour, A View of the Archbishop's Palace, Lambeth was accepted for the Royal Academy summer exhibition of 1790 when Turner was 15.
As an academy probationer, Turner was taught drawing from plaster casts of antique sculptures. From July 1790 to October 1793, his name appears in the registry of the academy over a hundred times. In June 1792, he was admitted to the life class to learn to draw the human body from nude models. Turner exhibited watercolours each year at the academy while painting in the winter and travelling in the summer throughout Britain to Wales, where he produced a wide range of sketches for working up into studies and watercolours; these focused on architectural work, which used his skills as a draughtsman. In 1793, he showed the watercolour titled The Rising Squall – Hot Wells from St Vincent's Rock Bristol, which foreshadowed his climatic effects. Cunningham in his obituary of Turner wrote that it was: "recognised by the wiser few as a noble attempt at lifting landscape art out of the tame insipidities... evinced for the first time that mastery of effect for which he is now justly celebrated". In 1796, Turner exhibited Fishermen at Sea, his first oil painting for the academy, of a nocturnal moonlit scene of the Needles off the Isle of Wight, an image of boats in peril.
Wilton said that the image: "Is a summary of all, said about the sea by the artists of the 18th century." And shows strong influence
Margaret of Valois
Margaret of Valois was a French princess of the Valois dynasty who became queen consort of Navarre and also of France. By her marriage to Henry III of Navarre, she was queen of Navarre and France at her husband's 1589 accession to the latter throne, their marriage was annulled in 1599 by decision of the Pope. She was the daughter of King Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici and the sister of kings Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III, her marriage, intended to celebrate the reconciliation of Catholics and Huguenots, was tarnished by the St Bartholomew's Day massacre, the resumption of the religious troubles which ensued. In the conflict between Henry III and the Malcontents, she took the side of Francis, Duke of Anjou, her younger brother, this caused the king to have a deep aversion towards her; as Queen of Navarre, she played a pacifying role in the stormy relations between her husband and the French monarchy. Shuttled back and forth between the two courts, she endeavored to lead a happy conjugal life, but her sterility and the political tensions inherent in the French Wars of Religion caused the end of her marriage.
Mistreated by a brother quick to take offence and rejected by a fickle and opportunistic husband, she chose the path of opposition in 1585. She took the side of the Catholic League and was forced to live in Auvergne in an exile which lasted twenty years. A well-known woman of letters and an enlightened mind as well as an generous patron, she played a considerable part in the cultural life of the court after her return from exile in 1605, she was a vector of Neoplatonism. While imprisoned, she took advantage of the time to write her Memoirs, she was the first woman to have done so. She was one of the most fashionable women of her time, influenced many of Europe's royal courts with her clothing, she has been a victim of a misogynist historiographic tradition that has demolished the importance of her actions in the political sphere of the era, to reinforce the dynastic transition from the Valois to the Bourbon, giving credit to libel and slander circulated on her account and created and handed down through the centuries the myth of a beautiful woman, cultured and incestuous.
This legend has crystallized around the famous nickname La Reine Margot, invented by Alexandre Dumas, père. Margaret of Valois was born on 14 May 1553, at the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the seventh child and third daughter of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici. Three of her brothers would become kings of France: Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III, her sister, Elisabeth of Valois, would become the third wife of King Philip II of Spain, her brother Francis II, married Mary, Queen of Scots. Her childhood was spent in the French royal nursery of the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye with her sisters Elisabeth and Claude, under the care of Charlotte de Vienne, baronne de Courton, "a wise and virtuous lady attached to the Catholic religion". After her sisters' weddings, Margaret grew up in the Château d'Amboise with her brothers Henry and Francis. During her childhood, her brother Charles IX gave her the nickname of "Margot". At the French court, she studied grammar, classics and Holy Scripture.
Margaret learned to speak Italian, Spanish and Greek in addition to her native French. She was competent in prose, poetry and dance, she traveled with the court in the grand tour of France. During this period Margaret had direct experience of the dangerous and complex political situation in France, learned from her mother the art of political mediation. In 1565, Catherine met with Philip II's chief minister the Duke of Alba at Bayonne in hopes of arranging a marriage between Margaret and Carlos, Prince of Asturias. However, Alba refused any consideration of a dynastic marriage. Other marriage negotiations with Sebastian of Portugal and Archduke Rudolf did not succeed. During her teenage years and her brother Henry, were close friends. In 1568, leaving court to command the royal armies, he entrusted his 15-year-old sister with the defense of his interests with their mother, his words inspired me with resolution and powers I did not think myself possessed of before. I had a degree of courage, and, as soon as I recovered from my astonishment, I found I was quite an altered person.
His address pleased me, wrought in me a confidence in myself. Delighted with this mission, she fulfilled it conscientiously, but Henry showed no gratitude upon his return, according to her Memoirs, he had discovered Margaret's secret romance with Henry of Guise and their presumptive plan of marriage. When the royal family found this out and Charles beat her and sent Henry of Guise away from court; this episode is at the root of a "lasting brotherly hatred" between Margaret and her brother Henry, as well as the lasting cooling of relations with her mother. Some historians have hinted that the duke was Margaret's lover, but nothing confirms this, in the sixteenth century a king's daughter had to remain a virgin until her marriage for political reasons. After their marriage she was not faithful to her husband, however, it is difficult to discern what is true or invented about her extramarital affairs. Many have no basis, others were platonic. Most of Margaret's alleged adventures are the result of pamphlets that have had to politically discredit her and her family.
The most successful defamation was Le Divorce Satyrique, which described Margaret as a nymphomaniac: never
The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. In 2018, the Louvre was the world's most visited art museum; the museum is housed in the Louvre Palace built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to the urban expansion of the city, the fortress lost its defensive function and, in 1546, was converted by Francis I into the main residence of the French Kings; the building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre as a place to display the royal collection, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons.
The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces; the museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801; the collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown through donations and bequests since the Third Republic; the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities. The Louvre Palace, which houses the museum, was begun as a fortress by Philip II in the 12th century to protect the city from English soldiers which were in Normandy.
Remnants of this castle are still visible in the crypt. Whether this was the first building on that spot is not known. According to the authoritative Grand Larousse encyclopédique, the name derives from an association with wolf hunting den. In the 7th century, St. Fare, an abbess in Meaux, left part of her "Villa called Luvra situated in the region of Paris" to a monastery.. The Louvre Palace was altered throughout the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence and in 1546, Francis I renovated the site in French Renaissance style. Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre's holdings, his acquisitions including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, constructions slowed. Four generations of Boulle were granted Royal patronage and resided in the Louvre in the following order: Pierre Boulle, Jean Boulle, Andre-Charles Boulle and his four sons, after him. André-Charles Boulle is the most famous French cabinetmaker and the preeminent artist in the field of marquetry known as "Inlay".
Boulle was "the most remarkable of all French cabinetmakers". He was commended to Louis XIV of France, the "Sun King", by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as being "the most skilled craftsman in his profession". Before the fire of 1720 destroyed them, André-Charles Boulle held priceless works of art in the Louvre, including forty-eight drawings by Raphael'. By the mid-18th century there were an increasing number of proposals to create a public gallery, with the art critic La Font de Saint-Yenne publishing, in 1747, a call for a display of the royal collection. On 14 October 1750, Louis XV agreed and sanctioned a display of 96 pieces from the royal collection, mounted in the Galerie royale de peinture of the Luxembourg Palace. A hall was opened by Le Normant de Tournehem and the Marquis de Marigny for public viewing of the Tableaux du Roy on Wednesdays and Saturdays, contained Andrea del Sarto's Charity and works by Raphael. Under Louis XVI, the royal museum idea became policy; the comte d'Angiviller broadened the collection and in 1776 proposed conversion of the Grande Galerie of the Louvre – which contained maps – into the "French Museum".
Many proposals were offered for the Louvre's renovation into a museum. Hence the museum remained incomplete until the French Revolution. During the French Revolution the Louvre was transformed into a public museum. In May 1791, the Assembly declared that the Louvre would be "a place for bringing together monuments of all the sciences and arts". On 10 August 1792, Louis XVI was imprisoned and the royal collection i
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Val-d'Oise is a French department, created in 1968 after the split of the Seine-et-Oise department and located in the Île-de-France region. In local slang, it is known as "quatre-vingt quinze" or "neuf cinq", it gets its name from the Oise River, a major tributary of the Seine, which crosses the region after having started in Belgium and flowed through north-eastern France. Charles de Gaulle Airport, France's main international airport is located in Roissy-en-France, a commune of Val d'Oise; the original departments of France were established in 1790 when the French National Assembly split the country into 83 departments of the same size and population. They were designed as sets of communes, when better maps became available, certain revisions had to be made. After defeat by the Prussians in 1871, certain territories were ceded to them and some rearrangements made. In 1955 and 1957, some departments changed their names. In 1964, it was determined to divide up the departments of Seine-et-Oise.
Val-d'Oise was one of the new departments so formed, was created from the previous department of Seine-et-Oise. Val-d'Oise is part of the region of Île-de-France. To the south of the department lies the department of Hauts-de-Seine, to the southwest lies Yvelines, to the west lies Eure, to the north lies Oise, to the east lies Seine-et-Marne and to the southeast lies Seine-Saint-Denis; the official préfecture of the department is the commune of Pontoise, situated in the suburbs of Paris some 28 kilometres northwest of the centre of the city, but the préfecture building and administrative offices are in the neighbouring commune of Cergy. The River Oise is a right tributary of the River Seine, flows through the province from northeast to southwest; the eastern part of the department is part of the Pays de France, an area of fertile plain traditionally used for agriculture based on its fine silty soils. This part is progressively diminishing in size. Part of Charles de Gaulle Airport falls in this eastern region, while other parts are in the departments of Seine-et-Marne and Seine-Saint-Denis.
The southernmost region of the department forms part of the Seine Valley and occupies the whole of the small Vallée de Montmorency. These parts are urbanised, but the ancient Roman road, the Chaussée Jules César, which linked Paris and Rouen, passes through the latter; the central and southwestern parts of the department are largely urbanised and part of the greater Paris sprawl. The western part of the department forms part of the historic county of Vexin français, a verdant agricultural plateau, its capital was Pontoise on the eastern extremity of the county. This commune is now combining with the neighbouring commune of Cergy to form the new town of Cergy-Pontoise; the Vexin area remains rural, across the whole department, one fifth is covered with trees. The economy of Val-d'Oise relies on two different themes; the northern and western parts are fertile areas of agricultural land producing large quantities of corn, sugar beet, other crops. The urban parts to the south are dormitory towns, used by people working in the greater metropolitan area of Paris.
The presence of Charles de Gaulle Airport and its associated TGV station provides access by rail to all parts of France. The department has nine business zones designated for high-tech industries; the department has a rich archaeological and historical heritage, but is not a region visited much by tourists being overshadowed by the French capital. Places of interest include the following sites. There is a branch of the Académie de Versailles in the city. Royaumont Abbey, founded by St. Louis in the thirteenth century, is another important site. There are two areas of national park in the department, the Parc naturel régional du Vexin français and the Parc naturel régional Oise-Pays de France. Argenteuil is the second most populous of Paris' suburbs, it is in a scenic location by the River Seine and has been much-painted by Claude Monet, Eugène Delacroix, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Caillebotte, Alfred Sisley and Georges Braque. It has a local museum. Cantons of the Val-d'Oise department Communes of the Val-d'Oise department Arrondissements of the Val-d'Oise department Website of the General council Prefecture website Val d'Oise Economic Expansion Committee Website Comity of Tourism and leisure in Val d'Oise
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
Henry IV of France
Henry IV known by the epithet Good King Henry or Henry the Great, was King of Navarre from 1572 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, he was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, was succeeded by his son Louis XIII. The son of Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme and Jeanne d'Albret, the Queen of Navarre, Henry was baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother, he inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on his mother's death. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, he led Protestant forces against the royal army. Henry IV and his predecessor Henry III of France are both direct descendants of the Saint-King Louis IX. Henry III belonged to the House of Valois, descended from Philip III of France, elder son of Saint Louis; as Head of the House of Bourbon, Henry was "first prince of the blood."
Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III in 1589, Henry was called to the French succession by the Salic law. He kept the Protestant faith and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear France's crown as a Protestant. To obtain mastery over his kingdom, after four years of stalemate, he found it prudent to abjure the Calvinist faith; as a pragmatic politician, he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era. Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes, which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants, thereby ending the Wars of Religion. Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, Henry became target of at least 12 assassination attempts. An unpopular king among his contemporaries, Henry gained more status after his death, he was admired for his conversion to Catholicism. The "Good King Henry" was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. An active ruler, he worked to regularise state finance, promote agriculture, eliminate corruption and encourage education.
During his reign, the French colonization of the Americas began with the foundation of the colony of Acadia and its capital Port-Royal. He was celebrated in Voltaire's Henriade. Henry de Bourbon was born in Pau, the capital of the joint Kingdom of Navarre with the sovereign principality of Béarn, his parents were Queen Joan III of Navarre and her consort, Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, King of Navarre. Although baptised as a Roman Catholic, Henry was raised as a Protestant by his mother, who had declared Calvinism the religion of Navarre; as a teenager, Henry joined the Huguenot forces in the French Wars of Religion. On 9 June 1572, upon his mother's death, the 19-year-old became King of Navarre. At Queen Joan's death, it was arranged for Henry to marry Margaret of Valois, daughter of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici; the wedding took place in Paris on 18 August 1572 on the parvis of Notre Dame Cathedral. On 24 August, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre began in Paris. Several thousand Protestants who had come to Paris for Henry's wedding were killed, as well as thousands more throughout the country in the days that followed.
Henry narrowly escaped death thanks to the help of his wife and his promise to convert to Catholicism. He was forced to live at the court of France, but he escaped in early 1576. On 5 February of that year, he formally abjured Catholicism at Tours and rejoined the Protestant forces in the military conflict, he named Catherine de Bourbon, regent of Béarn. Catherine held the regency for nearly thirty years. Henry became heir presumptive to the French throne in 1584 upon the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou and heir to the Catholic Henry III, who had succeeded Charles IX in 1574; because Henry of Navarre was the next senior agnatic descendant of King Louis IX, King Henry III had no choice but to recognise him as the legitimate successor. Salic law barred the king's sisters and all others who could claim descent through only the female line from inheriting. Since Henry of Navarre was a Huguenot, the issue was not considered settled in many quarters of the country, France was plunged into a phase of the Wars of Religion known as the War of the Three Henries.
Henry III and Henry of Navarre were two of these Henries. The third was Henry I, Duke of Guise, who pushed for complete suppression of the Huguenots and had much support among Catholic loyalists. Political disagreements among the parties set off a series of campaigns and counter-campaigns that culminated in the Battle of Coutras. In December 1588, Henry III had Henry I of Guise murdered, along with his brother, Cardinal de Guise. Henry III thought that the removal of the brothers would restore his authority. However, the populace rose against him. In several cities, the title of the king was no longer recognized, his power was limited to Blois and the surrounding districts. In the general chaos, Henry III relied on King Henry of his Huguenots; the two kings were united by a common interest—to win France from the Catholic League. Henry III acknowledged the King of Navarre as a true subject and Frenchman, not a fanatic Huguenot aiming for the destruction of