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Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Vaux le Vicomte is a château built and decorated by Nicholas Fouquet (1615-1680). Fouquet created a sumptuous estate using the top talent of the time:  architect Louis le Vau,  landscape artist  André le Nôtre, and painter-decorator Charles le Brun.

Interior paintings by Charles le Brun

Gardens by Andre le Nôtre
Acting as Superintendant of Finances, Fouquet supplied King Louis XIV with plenty of money, while realizing great personal profit. Fouquet's actions were not appreciated by his rival, Colbert, who convinced the young king of Fouquet's misdeeds. The final straw came in August, 1661 when Fouquet invited Louis XIV and his court to a sumptuous banquet at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte.
The King, incensed to find Vaux-le-Vicomte much more grand than his own palace at Versailles, decided to arrest Fouquet and throw him in prison. Following a long trial for financial misdeeds, Fouquet was sent to prison for life. His chateau and its works of art were seized by the king.  Louis XIV later used the architect, painters and landscape artists from Vaux-le-Vicomte to embellish his palace at Versailles.

The Château Vaux-le-Vicomte is now in private hands and offers both daily visits and once-a-week visits by candlelight.

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