Wednesday, September 28, 2011
A Vision ~ Vaux Le Vicomte
Chateau Vaux le Vicomte, a baroque style castle just outside of Paris, is the setting of splendor and magnificence. After a visit, it inspired Louis XIV to renovate and expand the Palace of Versailles. He moved his court there and it became the symbol of the seat of power in France.
Nicolas Fouquet, superintendent of finances for the king, built the château beginning in 1658. In order to create the château, gardens, and stable - three villages were destroyed. The misplaced then became employees of Fouquet. (That would explain the angry villagers show that was being preformed around dusk at the entrance to the château.)
The large stable exhibits elaborate horse drawn carriages.
With the "dream team" of Louis le Vaux, the architect, Andre le Notre, the landscape designer, and Charles le Brun, the decorator and painter extraordinaire, the "magnificent manor" that later marked the Louis XIV style was created. Later the same three men went on to the renovation and expansion of the Palace of Versailles.
Nicolas Foquet wanted a carpet of flowers in harmony with the lawns and clipped hedges along with the water fountains, each representing the new age of elegance.
Fouquet's lavish lifestyle increased the jealousy of other ambitious ministers of the king. He was accused of misappropriation of funds. Nicolas Fouquet was charged with treason and thrown into prison for the rest of his days. Louis XIV confiscated many tapestries, art and all the orange trees for himself.
"On 17 August at 6 in the evening, Fouquet was King of France; at 2 in the morning, he was nobody." wrote Voltaire