French Protestant Artists and the Refuge

Abraham-César Lamoureux (1635-1692), Equestrian statue of Christian V, gilded lead, ca. 1685-1688.

Faced with the wars of religion of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, many French Protestant artists chose exile to save their lives, preserve their freedom of religion and, more rarely, to put their art at the service of their faith. Their departure roughly followed the chronology of the Refuge of French Protestants, with two peaks nearly a century apart (1562-1598 and 1660-1695), as well as its geography, since these artists generally favoured the courts and large cities of Protestant lands such as England, Holland, Prussia, and Geneva.