How did the Mona Lisa come to the Louvre, and why did Leonardo da Vinci spend his last years in France? The answers lie with Francis 1 of France, a dashing and impetuous monarch who was a passionate supporter of the Italian Renaissance. The first king of France to collect art systematically, Francis amassed paintings, statues, books and manuscripts which formed the basis of the collections in the Louvre and the Bibliothèque Nationale. He is well worth getting to know!
Fenella Billington has had a lifelong interest in history. A Livery woman of the Worshipful Company of Skinners of London, she has taught History of Art for the University of Liverpool, guided for Cox and Kings Art Treasures tours, and been a speaker on Swan Hellenic and Hebridean International Cruises. She lectures on a wide range of topics to art societies, historical associations and charitable organisations.