Portraits of the Loire in the Renaissance

Published on 23 May 2019 - Updated 09 May 2022
Cet article date d'il y a plus de 4 ans

What did the Loire and its banks actually look like in the Renaissance? Based on historical documents, the web series “Portraits of the Loire in the Renaissance” delves into this period of history, travelling through the landscape and describing the close relationship that has always existed between humans and the river Loire.

In 2019, the Mission Val-de-Loire is contributing to the 500th anniversary celebrations of the Renaissance(s] in the Centre-Val-de-Loire Region by offering a documentary web series entitled “Portraits of the Loire in the Renaissance”. Consisting of six videos, this web series will focus on the Loire itself, where development and construction in the Loire Valley is centred. It will cover the entire length of this UNESCO-listed area, from Sully-sur-Loire (45) to Chalonnes-sur-Loire (49).  

Read the initial teaser for the series:  

The intention is to enable the general public to form an impression of the Loire and its banks at the time of the Renaissance, and of the activities which took place there. It is also a way to appreciate the permanent nature of a relationship with the river which has evolved slowly over time; and it explains how today’s landscapes provide the foundations for the landscapes of the future.  

Revealing archival documents, accounts and chronicles from the period

Based on historical documents (maps, engravings, watercolours, chronicles, publications, accounts, records of archaeological excavations, etc.), the aim is therefore to present a “portrait” which is naturally fragmented and piecemeal, and which represents the sum of a number of specific points.  

Research undertaken enables the data to be structured around three main themes:  

  1. The evolving landscape of the Loire: describes the management of the landscape and urban development.
  2. The Loire at the centre of a network of waterways and trade: evokes the hazards of navigation, and the products traded.
  3. The Loire within the vicissitudes of history: describes the experiences of “ordinary” and royal visitors to the Loire Valley, the passage of armies, and the ravages of the Wars of Religion.

Preview: 2 July at Saint-Cosme Priory

The first two episodes of the series will be broadcast on 2 July from Saint-Cosme Priory in La Riche, and will be attended by François Bonneau, President of the Centre-Val-de-Loire Region. This preview will provide an opportunity to discuss the historical and iconographic research undertaken, and to learn about the production processes used to enhance archival documents. 

Online registration: https://forms.gle/ZeRF5mEGJoKzcpWC7  

Videos accessible from 3 July on our Facebook page and on our Youtube channel !  

500 years of Renaissance(s]

For the Centre-Val-de-Loire Region, 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance. 1519 was in fact the year of Leonardo de Vinci’s death at Clos Lucé in Amboise, and the year of Catherine de Medici’s birth; it was also the year that construction began on the Château de Chambord. It is an opportunity to showcase the Renaissance period, which had a profound impact both on the Loire Valley and on France as a whole.  

In 2019, the Centre-Val-de-Loire Region is therefore organising a cultural season entitled “500 years of Renaissance(s] in the Centre-Val-de-Loire Region”.  

For further information:  www.vivadavinci2019.fr   

This project also receives support from the Centre-Val de Loire / Pays de la Loire CPIER (Inter-Regional State-Region Plan Contract).  



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