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CONCLUSION: ASTRAEA AND THE GALLIC HERCULES

The waves of death and destruction began to break over the Valois court and its artistic brilliance after the outbreak of the wars of the League in March 1585 (almost immediately after the visit of the Knights of the Garter). The Due de Joyeuse was killed at the battle of Coutras in 1587; Guise and his brother were assassinated by order of the King in 1588; in 1589, the King himself was assassinated by emissaries of the League. In this final tragedy of Valois Monarchy, all the leading characters were left dead upon the stage, as in the bloodiest style of Elizabethan tragedy. The long-drawn-out siege of Paris under the League brought indescribable suffering to the Parisians. Hating Henri III and everything connected with him, the Leaguers in Paris made systematic efforts to destroy all vestiges of his movements. The paintings of the Knights of the Holy Spirit in the chapel of the Augustins were torn down; vestments, vessels, prayer books, works of art connected with his religious activities were ruthlessly eliminated.1 The art of a whole period was broken and can now only be pieced together from scattered fragments.