The Age of François-Eustache Du Caurroy
The period of particular interest to us concerns the second half of the XVIth century and the first decade of the XVIIth.
For the sake of interest, here is a chronology of some of the preceding one hundred years...
In 1453, Gutenberg invented the printing press and, thirty years later (1483) Martin Luther was born. Christopher Colombus discovered America in 1492, the same year that Leonardo Da Vinci designed a flying machine. Leonardo painted The Last Supper in 1503 as well as Mona Lisa , the famous Giaconda.
Michaelangelo sculpted David in 1504.
In 1507, Pope Julius II authorized the sale of indulgences to finance the restoration of St.Peter's in Rome.
Henry VIII became the king of England in 1509, the same year John Calvin was born.
In 1510, Da Vinci explained the principle of the turbine, and Copernicus the sun's rotation around the earth in 1512.
In the same year, Michaelangelo completed the Sixtine Chapel ceiling and finished his Moses in 1516.
1519: Magellan set out to circumnavigate the world.
1527 saw the firts pages of printed music... but also the Sack of Rome by the Imperial armies of Charles V: 4 000 dead out of a population of 50 000.
Jacques Cartier discovered Canada in 1534.
Michaelangelo painted the Last Judgment in 1541 and the pope brought back the Inquisition the following year.
1546: Michaelangelo realized St.Peter's dome.
In 1547, French replaced Latin as the official language and Nostradamus made his first predictions...
All this brings us into the heart of the Renaissance.
It is appropriate to note here that the dates marking the beginning or the end of such an exciting era are inevitably arbitrary. Purely by convention, we consider the year 1500 as the height of the Renaissance that some say ended in 1550.
That is a highly fictional Calendar since music, painting, sculpture, architecture and literature follow individual paths.
For example : Racine, Corneille and Molière are eminent «classical» authors while their contemporary musicians - Bach, Lully, De Lalande, Hændel - are merrily baroque! And, later, Mozart, a pure classic, will be almost contemporary with Chateaubriand, perfect romantic prototype.
(English version by Fran Wright and Cindy Teel)