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Although Northern Europe had clung to its Gothic past much longer than Italy by the early sixteenth century Northern artists began to be influenced by the Italian Renaissance through texts prints and direct exposure Architecture sculpture and painting started to exhibit characteristics encompassing both local Gothic and classical elements While campaigning in Italy Francais I was introduced to the world of antiquity and saw the artistic transformation brought about by the Italian Renaissance When he returned to France he brought back paintings by Titian Raphael and Leonardo It was in the court of Francais I that Leonardo spent the final two years of his life In 1546 Francais commissioned Pierre Lescot to rebuild the Louvre Click on history of the Louvre and read to the section The Louvre Becomes the Artistic Capital of the World which then served as a royal palace This structure encompassed local elements such as the slanted roof large windows and ornate sculptural designs as well as Renaissance elements that included the blind arcade pilasters and crowning pediments above the windows It introduced the roots of the French Classical style that was to dominate French architecture for the next two centuries Sixteenth century Germany provided a fertile breeding ground for the seeds of the Reformation Political cultural and ecclesiastic conditions all contributed to the popular support of Martin Luther This links you to an extensive site on Martin Luther and the period of the Reformation It will help to provide a context if you are unfamiliar with the origins of the Reformation Click on the Portrait of Martin Luther link The Holy Roman Emperor who exercised only a weak centralized control over Germany was unable to stamp out the Luther movement in its early stages It soon became apparent that it would be politically advantageous to join forces with the movement in a stance against the papacy The nobility had played the combined role of heads-of-state and heads of the
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