How did the Renaissance spread north from Italy? Much of the spreading of the arts was through wealthy patrons. One such fascinating figure was Anne of Brittany, Queen of France.
From Britanny, Anne was a strong female who became the leader of independent Britanny in the late 15th century. As one of the only women to become Queen of France twice, Anne had to marry Charles VIII and then Francis II out of political intrigue and necessity. She was able to marry Francis because he received an annulment of his first marriage from Pope Alexander VI, Rodrigo Borgia.
As the Queen of France she was a patron of the arts. She sponsored numerous artists and artisans, who came to France and were able to spread some of the Italian Renaissance deeper into France. One of the lasting examples of that sponsorship was the the book of hours. These four manuscripts contain some of the richest imagery and artistry of the Renaissance. For more information check out the History Blog.