In the full heat of the Hundred Years’ War, on 25 October 1415 the Battle of Agincourt marked the end of the feudal army. A century later, in 1515 the artillery of Francis I played a decisive role in the victory against the Swiss pikemen in Marignano. In those hundred years, the armies, the tactics and the military institutions had seen radical changes and technical innovation, which reflected the upheavals that had taken place not only in the country’s political establishment, but also in its society and economy as a whole.
Through an outstanding collection of artefacts, spectacular reconstructed sequences and a wealth of multimedia animations, the new exhibition opening at Musée de l’Armée immerses the visitor in the great battles that marked the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. From the reign of Charles VI to that of Francis I, we meet figures such as Joan of Arc and the knight Sir Bayard.
A three-part itinerary
The itinerary is arranged in chronological order around three themes:
- Outdated tactics and technical innovation
- A time of reform and experimentation
- The Italian wars and the success of the French artillery
It comprises a series of displays in which visitors can view a scale model of a French feudal ‘host’ in order of battle, alongside reconstructions depicting the image of the soldier and the military and political establishment in France and other European nations, against the backdrop of the birth of the modern state.
An outstanding group of artefacts
Consisting primarily of major items from the Musée de l’Armée collections: cannon belonging to Louis XI, sword of Louis XII, armour of Francis I, the spectacular sparrow’s beak closed helms, the displays also includes numerous loans from major French and foreign establishments, such as the French National Library, the Louvre Museum, the Royal Armouries in Leeds, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Historisches Museum, Basel and the Frick Collection, New York.
A booklet is avalaible at the begining of the exhibition and downloadable on this website:
>Download the visit booklet of the exhibition Knghts and bombards in English (PDF, 11Mo)