Vaux-le-Vicomte’s rich history began in 1641 when infamous French Finance Minister Nicolas Fouquet, the original owner, surrounded himself with the most skilled and talented artisans of the time: the architect Louis Le Vau, the painter Charles le Brun, and the garden designer André Le Notre, to create a perfect harmony between architecture and landscape. The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte and its spectacular gardens fascinated Louis XIV and were the inspiration for Versailles. Classified as a historical monument since 1875 under the impetus of the owner at the time, the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte quickly became a model of the artistic genius of the seventeenth century.
This volume traces the château’s history from the seventeenth-century through the Belle Époque, World War I, and its public opening in 1968. Exclusive photography and archival documents offer unprecedented access to the château, furnishings, and gardens, and illuminate the extraordinary secrets of court life and centuries of celebrations that include the enchanting candlelit tours held today.