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Title / Description: Portrait of Francis ICommentary: Francis I was King of France when the Reformation erupted in Germany. Though he was a sworn enemy of the most Catholic Emperor Charles V (and even struck a military alliance with the Muslim Ottoman Turks), Francis was also opposed to Protestantism, which he could not distinguish from sedition. Upholding the principle of "one king, one law, one faith" (un roi, une loi, une foi), Francis persecuted Protestants throughout his realm. John Calvin was one of the hundreds of refugees driven out of France by Francis. Calvin dedicated his first edition of the "Institutes" to Francis in 1536, and urged him to join the Reformed cause, but to no avail. Zwingli, too, had earlier addressed his "Exposition of the Faith" (1531) to Francis, hoping the French king might rescue the Reformation from the armies of Charles V. Protestantism took root in France during the reign of Francis, despite his often brutal attempts to eliminate it.
Author / Creator: Clouet, Jean D 1541
Object Location: Musee du Louvre, Paris
Object Type: image - painting
Author of Commentary: Carlos Eire
Source: Chaunu, Pierre The Reformation
(New York:St. Martin's Press, 1989)
Reference: p. 124