A symbol of fire and cold, the salamander was François I chosen symbol. This animal could live in the fire without being consumed, but it could also extinguish the fire due to the exceptional coldness of its body. In medieval iconography the salamander represents “the just who never loses God’s confidence in the middle of tribulations.” François I adapted this motto for himself: “I live among it and extinguish it”.
Sainte-Chapelle, Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean