Fontainebleau

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Fontainebleau

(fôNtĕnblō`), town (1990 pop. 18,037), Seine-et-Marne dept., N France, SE of Paris. It is a favorite spring and autumn resort and was long a royal residence, chiefly because of the excellent hunting in the vast Forest of Fontainebleau. Louis IV resided in Fontainebleau, and Philip IV and Louis XIII were born there. Francis I built the magnificent palace, the chief glory of French Renaissance architecture and the scene of many historic events. Francesco Primaticcio and Sebastiano Serlio, the principal artists of the palace, came to be known, along with their fellow artisans, as the first school of Fontainebleau. In the palace Louis XIV signed (1685) the revocation of the Edict of NantesNantes, Edict of,
1598, decree promulgated at Nantes by King Henry IV to restore internal peace in France, which had been torn by the Wars of Religion; the edict defined the rights of the French Protestants (see Huguenots).
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, Pope Pius VII was imprisoned (1812–14), and Napoleon signed his first abdication (1814). Fontainebleau also has a military museum. The town was headquarters of the military branch of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 1945 to 1965.

Fontainebleau

 

a city in France, south of Paris, in the department of Seine-et-Marne. Population, 19,600 (1975). Industries include machine building and the production of porcelain.

Fontainebleau was the oldest country residence of the French kings. The most important part of the complex is the palace, built during the reign of Francis I (begun 1527; architects, G. Le Breton and P. Chambiges). In the 1530’s and 1540’s, ornamental work was done on the palace, including the gallery of Francis I and Henry II. The Italian masters F. Primaticcio and G. B. Rosso, the founders of the first Fontainebleau school, were involved in the decorative work; they developed decorative motifs that became hallmarks of French mannerism and combined them with an abundance of carved panels, ornamental friezes, and sculpted and painted decorations. The construction and alteration of the interiors continued during the reign of Henry II (who employed the architect P. Delorme) and Henry IV and was carried on right up to the Napoleonic period. Fontainebleau was the site of Napoleon’s abdication in 1814. Today it is a national museum. The palace park and the forests surrounding Fontainebleau are popular recreation areas for Parisians.

REFERENCES

Pichard du Page, R. Fontainebleau. Paris, 1955.
Toesca, M. Les Grandes heures de Fontainebleau. Paris [1957].

Fontainebleau

a town in N France, in the Forest of Fontainebleau: famous for its palace (now a museum), one of the largest royal residences in France, built largely by Francis I (16th century). Pop.: 15 942 (1999)