The Renaissance brought fresh impetus to the arts, literature, and the sciences. Henceforth, art was no longer exclusively reserved for churches—the works and furniture commissioned also found their way into bourgeois residences. The Renaissance began in Italy during the fourteenth century. Italian ornamentation fascinated the French. In 1495, Charles VIII invited Italian artists and craftsmen to come to France and established the School of Amboise. This marked the beginning of the French Renaissance.
Heavily influenced by Italy, the architecture and decors were flamboyant. As of 1540, studies of the classical Graeco-Roman arts set the tone: the furniture was characterised by restrained lines and the nobleness of the materials used. Walnut and oak were widely used. Ebony-veneered furniture emerged. The motifs that are representative of the Renaissance were inspired by classical art: laurel and olive tree leaves, foliage, shells, salamanders, as well as cupids, dragons, and satyrs.