The magnificent Château Vaux-le-Vicomte’s rich history began in 1641 when French minister Nicolas Fouquet hired the most talented artisans – architect Louis Le Vau, painter Charles le Brun and garden designer André Le Notre – to create an extravagant palace and estate that achieved perfect harmony in architecture, decor and landscape.
The beauty of Vaux-le-Vicomte, its spectacular gardens and glittering parties fascinated Louis XIV and were an inspiration for Versailles, though jealous courtiers later encouraged the king to disgrace Fouquet and confiscate the estate.
In the 19th century, industrialist Alfred Sommier began restoring this masterpiece of 17th-century architecture to its original splendour. His descendants – current owners Patrice and Cristina de Vogüé – continue to care for the important historical monument. Previously unpublished photographs and archival documents offer a unique behind-the-scenes tour, illuminating the secrets of French aristocratic life and centuries of celebrations.
Vaux-le-Vicomte: A Private Invitation by Guillaume Picon, published by Flammarion
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From France Today magazine
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