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René I of Anjou, "Le Bon" (the good), belongs to the third House of Anjou.
(Angers 1409 – Aix en Provence 1480, buried in the Cathedral of Angers)
Duke of Anjou, Bar (1430-1480) and Lorraine (1431-1453)
Count of Provence (1434-1480)
King of Naples (1438-1442), titular King of Sicily (1434-1480) and nominal King of Jerusalem.
Anjou and Barrois were fiefs belonging to Couronne, Lorraine, Provence and the kingdom of Naples. The King of France had no authority over these completely independent territories.
The last of the reigning princes of Anjou was known as a patron of architecture, artist and culture enthusiast.
The Dynasty of Angevin Princes
From their territories on the outskirts of the Loire, the princes of the House of Anjou reigned over Provence, Italy and central Europe (Hungary) between 1265 and 1480. Thanks to smart political alliances and marriages, the House of Anjou’s presence spread from Anjou to the Danube. Not only were the princes fine politicians, they were also art lovers and the splendour of the Angevin courts promoted the blossoming of the arts. Testament to the most magnificent European medieval art, pieces of goldwork, frescoes, paintings, illuminated manuscripts, sculptures are some of the examples of the often exceptional pieces commissioned by the sovereigns. The period between the 12th and 15th centuries is one of the most important in art history and influenced the Renaissance.
He was the son of Louis II of Anjou and Yolande of Aragon, (they were married in Arles in 1400), the “queen of 4 kingdoms" (Aragon, Sicily, Cyprus and Jerusalem). This intelligent and well-advised woman governed Anjou and Provence whilst her husband was absent (which was often) and saw to her five children’s futures. René was the youngest and therefore did not stand to inherit his father’s estate which is why his mother Yolande tried to build up an inheritance for him. She had him adopted by her heirless uncle, Cardinal Duke Louis of Bar, and promised that René would marry Isabelle of Lorraine. René left the duchy of Anjou to be brought up by his great uncle with whom he shared a taste for learning, art and chivalry.