An enthusiastic patron of the artwork of Leonardo da Vinci, this king persuaded the great Italian Renaissance master to make France his home in his later years. (Leonardo brought with him his Mona Lisa, and the famous painting remains in Paris today.) It was even said that the king cradled Leonardo as the great master lay on his deathbed, the king receiving his last breath.

Francis I indeed brought the Renaissance to France, filling the royal palaces with hundreds of paintings and sculptures by the great masters of the day. A man of letters, he also supported writers and added thousands of manuscripts to the royal library.

For the last five hundred years, patrons like Francis have been responsible for preserving the best of Western man’s achievement in arts and letters—the best of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.

We at The Imaginative Conservative also strive to preserve these transcendentals, the  “permanent things” that constitute the glory of Western Civilization. Here we offer thoughtful and reflective essays on issues of culture, philosophy, history, politics, economics, the arts, and liberal learning, written by some of the great conservative minds of the present and the past. Since The Imaginative Conservative’s inception seven years ago, we have published 5,400 essays by 1,000 authors, who write from across the United States and the world.

But, like Leonardo da Vinci, we need patrons in order to continue our important work. Though our journal is free to our readers—and free of paid advertising—it is not free to produce. This is your opportunity to help The Imaginative Conservative continue to thrive and bring the “sacred soul of conservatism” to millions of readers throughout the world.

We treasure the words of Russell Kirk: “The conservative is concerned, first of all, with the regeneration of the spirit and character—with the perennial problem of the inner order of the soul, the restoration of the ethical understanding, and the religious sanction upon which any life worth living is founded. This is conservatism at its highest.”

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Whether your contribution be large or small, we offer prayers of thanksgiving for the generosity of all our Patrons. Peace be with you!

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The Imaginative Conservative is sponsored by The Free Enterprise Institute. Your donation to the Institute in support of The Imaginative Conservative is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law  (by mail: 9600 Long Point Rd., Suite 300, Houston, TX, 77055).

Editor’s Note: The featured image is “The Death of Leonardo da Vinci” (1818), a painting by the French artist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, courtesy of Wikipedia. The top image is  a portrait of Francis I of France (c. 1530) by Joos van Cleve.

All comments are moderated and must be civil, concise, and constructive to the conversation. Comments that are critical of an essay may be approved, but comments containing ad hominem criticism of the author will not be published. Also, comments containing web links or block quotations are unlikely to be approved. Keep in mind that essays represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Imaginative Conservative or its editor or publisher.

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