In 1834, after passing his bar examination, Frédéric went to Italy where he was to gain his first appreciation of medieval art. After this, he returned to Paris to continue studying for his doctorate in Law. When he finished, he took up a practice of law in Lyon, but with little satisfaction. His attention turned more and more to literature. When his father died in 1837, he found himself the sole support of his mother which kept him in the field of law to make a living. In 1839, after finishing a brilliant thesis on Dante which revolutionized critical work on the poet, the Sorbonne awarded him a doctorate in literature.