Vaux le Vicomte Palace

Vaux le Vicomte Palace
Vaux le Vicomte Palace

The Vaux le Vicomte Palace is one of the most significant buildings of Baroque architecture in France; When we talk about architectural baroque, the great works and constructions carried out by the monarchy often come to mind, such as the well-known Palace of Versailles, however we must point out how, in addition to the constructions promoted by the royal family, they were also carried out a good number of constructions driven by the nobles and aristocrats who made up the court.

It is precisely in this context where we can frame the work that concerns us here, a luxurious baroque-style palace that belonged to Nicolas Fouquet, the finance minister of the monarch Louis XIV and in which some of the architects and leading landscape artists of the time such as Le Brun, André la Nôtre or Luis le Vau himself who would later be in charge of planning the works for the Palace of Versailles. Today, many art historians consider the Palace of Vaux le Vicomte to be the most immediate predecessor of the famous Versailles construction.


In the mid-seventeenth century, the already we althy finance minister of Louis XIV, Nicolas Fouquet received an interesting sum of money thanks to an inheritance at the time, the same thing happened with his wife, amassing the couple a lot ofmoney they decided to invest in the construction of a palace in the Vaux region. The works were carried out quickly, in fact the first constructions began in 1656 and around the year 1661 it seems that they were already finished; but no resources were spared for that.

In fact, many of the literary chronicles of the time claim that it was precisely this opulence that caused Fouquet so many problems. The minister decided to inaugurate his new palace with a big party in which he invited the monarch Louis XIV, games, theatrical performances, fireworks were held… so much opulence generated the envy of the monarch and a few days later his minister was imprisoned for life accused of embezzlement. Many claim that Fouquet spent the last of his days in prison and that he was in fact the famous prisoner known as the prisoner in the iron mask.

Be that as it may, the truth is that the palace is an architectural feat,it has two superimposed floors and among its multiple rooms stands out a huge oval-shaped hall, with more nineteen meters high and eighteen wide, where the minister's meetings and concerts were held. It is a space configured on two floors with the lower one supported by semicircular arcades on composite pilasters and rectangular openings with vegetal and allegorical decorations.

Outside the multiple gardens and parterres stand out with their fountains of classicist statues, although it is truethat this space was modified throughout the 18th century and today we only know its original form thanks to the engravings.

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