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Tory, Geoffroy or Godefroy or Geofrey or Tourylocked

French, 16th century, male.

Born 1485, in Bourges; died 1533, in Paris.

Miniaturist, copyist, engraver, illustrator, printer (?), potter.

Geoffroy or Godefroy or Geofrey TORY: signature or monogram

Tory was one of the eminent Renaissance artists in France. Like many of the notable figures of his day, he was learned and skilled in several areas. After education in Rome and Bologna (1503), he returned to Paris, where he was nominated professor at the Collège du Plessis; he also taught at the Collège de Coquerel and the Collège de Bourgogne. Initially in collaboration with Henri Estienne and then in collaboration with Gilles de Gourmont, he published several scholarly works, among them the Itinerarium of 1512. From a second period in Italy, during which he developed his knowledge and honed his skills further, he brought back what he needed for his superb volume entitled Champfleury, for the production of which he collaborated with the miniaturist Jean Perréal. Tory was given the title 'imprimeur du roy' ('printer to the king') by François I, even though, in the view of some critics, he was never really a printer by profession. He presented the prince with the works of Diodorus Siculus, which he had transcribed and decorated himself, and which had a skilfully executed frontispiece showing the presentation itself. It is unlikely that the painter Godefroi, who illustrated Caesar's Commentaries and Petrarch's Triumphs, is the same as Geofroy Tory. Tory's most famous work is a Book of Hours, the first edition of which was published by Simon de Colines in 1523. The King granted Tory the privilege of publishing most of his works for 10 years, a period that was subsequently doubled. Pope Clement VII likewise accorded him protection, granting him a monopoly over the superb decorations he produced for his Book of Hours. Tory was occasionally employed by Jean Grolier, the Milanese minister for war. His skill extended to engraving and calligraphy. The library in Orléans has a copy of his Itinerarium Antonini written in his own hand. Towards the end of his life, he devoted himself exclusively to the production of pottery and worked for Diane of Poitiers.


  • Bernard, A.: Geofroy Tory, peintre et graveur, premier imprimeur royal, réformateur de l'orthographe et de la typographie sous François Ier, Librairie Tross, Paris, 1865.
  • Moses, James Oscar: Le Champ fleury de Geoffroy Tory, University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, 1982.