Our Ladies: La Dame, La liberté . . .

Here we return to that middle time of the Renaissance, with the mortuary figures of Henri II de Valois and his Italian queen Catherine de Médicis.  In the generation after François I and Leonardo da Vinci, these were the rulers of France in the mid 1500's.  It was perhaps the death of Henri II in a sporting accident -- where he received splinters of his friend's lance through the head, leaving his three young sons to rule in successively greater ruin -- that set France on the course of disaster with the Wars of Religion.  These were France's Civil War:  brother killed brother, sister plotted against sister, and those of greatest faith were those most thirsty for blood.
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This page last updated on 5/28/2004 7:30:25 PM.