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French family of patrons. They originally came from Poitou and, for the best part of a century, were one of the foremost families in France. The Gouffier ascendancy began under Charles VII with Guillaume Gouffier I (b c. 1420; d Amboise, 23 May 1495), to whom the King awarded the seigneuries of Oiron (1449), Poitou, and Boisy (1456), near Roanne. By the beginning of the reign of Francis I, Guillaume's sons were occupying eminent positions: the eldest, Artus Gouffier (b c. 1475; d Montpellier, May 1519), was a Grand Maître; Guillaume Gouffier II (b c. 1488; d 24 Feb 1525), the Seigneur de Bonnivet, was Amiral de France (see fig.); and Adrien Gouffier (d 24 July 1523) was a cardinal and papal legate. Artus's son Claude Gouffier (b Dec 1501/2; d 1570) became Grand Ecuyer (chief equerry) in 1546 and continued to enjoy the favour of Henry II and of Charles IX (reg 1560–74), who made him Duc de Roannez (Roannais) in 1566. After his death the family fortunes began to decline. In 1631 Louis Gouffier (b 25 Nov 1575; d 16 Dec 1642) was exiled to Oiron by Richelieu. The last of the family, Charlotte Gouffier (b 15 April 1633; d 13 Feb 1683), married in 1667 François d’Aubusson de La Feuillade (1625–91), who became Seigneur d’Oiron and Duc de Roannez.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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