The Making of the French Garden: The Gardens of the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Date: 03 Feb 2022, 1:00pm - 2:00pm GMT-5 Eastern Time (US & Canada)

February 3 at 12 noon Chicago/1 pm Miami/19h Paris

The Making of the French Garden:   

The Gardens of the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Between 1641 and 1661, Louis XIV’s Superintendent of Finances Nicolas Fouquet built the magnificent Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte 34 miles/55 km southeast of Paris. He hired the architect Louis Le Vau to design the château, the artist Charles Le Brun to decorate it, and the landscape architect André Le Nôtre to design its gardens and park. It was the trio’s first major collaboration and became the model for  the French Baroque style, less dependent on Italian influences.  The gardens of Vaux represent the pioneering work of the French formal garden, where for the first time Le Nôtre created a garden from scratch as an extension of Le Vau’s château. The garden is celebrated for its perfect symmetry and Le Nôtre’s trademark “long perspective”, defined by a central axis that disappears into the distance. Inspired by the grandeur of Vaux-le-Vicomte, Louis XIV soon retained the team of Le Vau, Le Brun and Le Nôtre to build the château and gardens of Versailles. 

About our speaker:

Alexandre de Vogüé and his two brothers are the fifth generation of their family since 1875 to own the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. Alexandre spent his childhood at Vaux, went to university in Paris, and then spent the next 20 years in Chamonix and traveling the world as a professional mountain guide. In 2011 he returned to Vaux, where he is now Director of Development and President of the French and International Friends of Vaux-le-Vicomte Conservancy. Alexandre is also responsible for Vaux’s art collection. He and his brothers are co-authors of A Day at Vaux-le-Vicomte (Les Éditions Flammarion, 2015). A new book about the domain, Vaux-le-Vicomte – Private Invitation, by Guillaume Picon, was published by Les Éditions Flammarion in October 2021. Alexandre gave the lecture about the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in last year’s Châteaux Series.

Support and Save! Become an Alliance Française member for as little as $65 a year for a membership and save on a pass for the series. Register only once and get your pass plus a weekly reminder emailed to you. 

Series of 8 lectures (for members only) $70 


This program is presented in partnership with the Alliance Française Chicago with communication support from the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA.  the French Heritage Society, the Historic Gardens Foundation, The Garden Conservancy and WICE


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