Prince who was not only titular king of Naples from 1435 to 1442 but also duke consort of Lorraine from 1431 to 1453.
The second son of Louis II duc d´Anjou and Yolanda of Aragon he spent his youth asserting and defending his dynastic claims.
When Joan II of Naples died in February 1435 he was her heir.
After being released from prison by his rival for territory on France´s eastern frontier Philip the Good of Burgundy he sailed in 1438 for Naples which his wife Isabella of Lorraine had been defending against Alfonso V of Aragon.
Besieged in Naples he abandoned the city in June 1442 and returned to Provence a county inherited from his father.
In order to recover Maine from the English for his younger brother Charles he took part in the Anglo-French negotiations begun at Tours in April 1444.
These led to the marriage of his younger daughter Margaret of Anjou to the English king Henry VI in 1445 but Maine eventually had to be won back by force of arms.
Meanwhile Charles VII of France had helped René pacify Lorraine which passed to René´s son John of Calabria on Isabella´s death in 1453.
After his expedition to Lombardy to rally an invasion of Naples was frustrated, René who married Jeanne de Laval in March 1454 engaged himself with the economic development of Provence and with the development of the arts and literature in Anjou and Provence and left the dynastic ambitions to his son John of Calabria.
In 1466 he accepted the title of king of Aragon and count of Barcelona from the Catalan rebels fighting against John II of Aragon.
René has been credited with numerous paintings often simply because they bear his arms.
These works, generally in the Flemish style, were probably executed at his behest by the painters maintained at his court together with sculptors, goldsmiths and tapestry workers.
His writings or works inspired by him include a treatise on tournaments, an idyllic poem on his courtship of Jeanne de Laval, a mystical dialogue and an allegorical romance.