400th Anniversary of André Le Nôtre’s Birth!

Today marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of French Baroque landscape architect, André Le Nôtre! He was born on the 12th of March, 1613, in Paris. Le Nôtre’s garden designs can be seen at the Baroque Chateau de Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte.

What is so special about le Notre? Well, he worked for King Louis XIV, the Sun King, and French Baroque gardens were extremely formal, intricate, requiring intense maintenance. And, of course, they were en vogue. The French court set the style for fashion, architecture, music, and more, and this sometimes caused a little bit of envy (William III wanted to make Hampton Court the equal or better of Versailles).

Le Notre worked on many parts of the landscape at Versailles. One of these was the Water Parterres which can be seen from the splendour of the Hall of Mirrors. His work can be seen in the copses, groves, walks of Versailles, and they are truly splendid. Unfortunately, I last went to Versailles in 2001, and I don’t have any photos available to show you all. 🙁

Even Google’s doodle today in France marked the occasion – perfection! :

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 12.44.03

This year, 2013, Chateau de Versailles is paying tribute to André Le Nôtre, the creator of the Versailles gardens. Find out about the programme of exhibitions, restorations, shows and events…

Annee le Notre, Chateau de Versailles

Vaux-le-Vicomte is also holding events in honour of André Le Nôtre:

“An exhibition “André Le Nôtre at Vaux le Vicomte, the initial model of French Formal Garden”

– Two different walks : “The Mirror Crossing”(duration 30-45 minutes) and “The Giant’s Eye”(duration 1h-1h30) dotted with discreet facts, they reveal a myriad a fine details in the gardens.

– Early opening hours : everyday throughout May, from 7:45am, garden lovers and amateur artists can take advantage of the tranquillity to express their talents.

– The Facets of a Genius (by reservation only): Guided tours about the secrets of the gardens – Every 3rd Sunday from May to September.

– A new flowerbed designed by the famous landscape architect Louis Benech – Throughout the summer.”

I’m a little sad because I don’t think I’ll be able to go to either Vaux-le-Victomte nor Versailles for their events, though France is pretty close, so if any of you go, perhaps you will take photos that I can share here on The Seventeenth Century Lady? 🙂


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