General: The French adopted their renaissance style from the Italians. they also mixed the Gothic period into their style. This eventually lead up to their own classical style. They were more focused of surface details and inventiveness than proportions and rules the Italians had.
Motifs and Characteristics: They had plaster columns, figures in low reliefs, scrolls, brackets, interlacing bands, fruits, flowers, stars, diamonds. They also had the letters “F,H,C, and L that were significant because it was the symbols of royalty.
Architecture and Buildings: During the first half of the 16th century they strive to protect their buildings. The hotels resembled the Gothic tradition. the main building types are hotels and churches. (at the time the hotels were known as town houses which were placed in the city).
It is typical to see the traditional Latin cross plan for their floor plans. This is more related to churches and public areas.
As stated in the previous blog on Italian renaissance, the Italians used square floor plans for their public buildings. the French on the other hand had their private buildings built in squares.
Chateau de Chambord
(a palace for Francois I)
Their main materials were stones. their roofs were typically slates. their exteriors were typically symmetrical. but their windows were placed directly above from one another. Their sturctures were half-timber half masonry.
Their windows varied in sizes. Their windows were larger to let in the maximum amount of light inside. Most of them had the mullion shaped as a latin cross.
Exterior applications on buildings typically have Gothic motifs, mixed with classical mannerist and Gothic elements. they have steep pitched gables. their chimneys were tall and decorative.
Interiors: Their rooms were mostly geometric specifically rectangles. They focused on doors, windows, and hallways. they were not concerned with the mathematical proportions as the Italians. Their fireplaces were the main focal point in the home. they decorated their walls, floors and ceilings.
Most of their floors were wood boards or a parquet pattern. they rareyl had masonry floors. if the floor were masonry they were lower floors.
Their main colors were rich and high in saturation. Gold, deep blue, olive green, brown, cream, and rust were the typical colors. these often appeared on walls and bed hangings, tapestries, fabrics, textiles, painted ceilings, and decorative art.
The French mainly used shutter rather than curtains. They used it for privacy and light control. they used candles and fire places for lighting. The wealthy were the only ones wo were able to afford curtains. The curtains were not necessarily for decoration. they were more for functional purposes.
Furniture:their furniture leaned more towards Gothic than Italian.
Distinct details onFrench Renaissance chairs are that their legs may be columed, spiraled, or baluster. thier furniture was primarily constructed from wood.They used inlays, veneers, and gilding.