Martin le Franc was a French poet of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.
He was born in Normandy, and studied in Paris. He entered clerical orders, becoming an apostolic prothonotary, and later becoming secretary to both Antipope Felix V and Pope Nicholas V.
He was named provost at Lausanne in 1443, became canon of the Church of Geneva in 1447. In 1451 he was employed by the Duke of Savoy, and he became administrator of the abbey of Novalèse in 1459.
Le Franc's most famous work was his huge, 24,000-verse composition Le Champion des Dames, dedicated to Philip the Good and dating from 1440 or 1442. It recounts the nobility and deeds of many women throughout history, including Joan of Arc, and also fiercely attacks corruption in government as well as the hedonistic luxury of the aristocratic class. It was illuminated by Peronet Lamy.
Martin le Franc is famous in music history for penning the phrase "la contenance angloise", the English countenance, a much-debated phrase referring to a characteristically English sound found in the music of composers such as John Dunstaple. The "countenance" — probably consonant, sweet intervals which were predominant in the music of contemporary English composers — was massively influential on the music of the Burgundian School during the period that Burgundy was allied with England.