Reading list | France

Francis I was famous for his alliance with Suleyman the Magnificent, a relationship explored in Four Princes by John Julius Norwich. Here they both are, painted by Titian in 1530. Mehmed Said Efendi, the Ottoman ambassador to France, was a great francophile. His portrait was hung by Louis XVI in the royal residence in Choisy. This and other paintings of the Ottoman ambassador featured in the exhibition 'Visitors to Versailles', reproduced in Cornucopia 57. Orientalism played a part in developing French culture as writers and painters such as Jean-Etienne Liotard became fascinated by the East. But it was Pierre Loti who is perhaps best remembered, with a hill in Istanbul named after him; his home in Rochefort on the Atlantic coast is today a museum. The country’s major galleries and auction houses are of course in Paris, where the Louvre has opened a wonderful new Islamic gallery.

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