Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who Is André Le Notre?

Since his recent return from Paris, one of my favorite bloggers, Stefan of Architect Design has been sharing his wonderful explorations with his readers which has had me daydreaming about visiting Paris and the Versailles again soon. For now, I can only experience it through his eyes as well as some of my other favorite bloggers such as French Essence, Paris Parfait and The Paris Apartment. Stefan's last post on the Temple Of Love inspired me to google more images of the Versailles grounds which introduced me to a landscape architect named Andre Le Notre.

When he died in 1700, at the remarkable age of 87, French landscape architect Andre Le Notre left a legacy as the finest designer of French baroque gardens. Perhaps, his most famous was the park at the Palace of Versailles. However, his portfolio went well beyond that single example of jardin à la française.

Le Notre's talents can still be seen at the gardens and parks at Château de Chantilly, Fontainebleau, Saint-Cloud, and Saint-Germain. At the Tuileries he extended the westward vista, which would later become the avenue of the Champs-Elysees and comprise the Axe historique

(garden at Versailles)

Le Notre made use of compartmentalization by having numerous separate garden space and pools separated by paths and terraces. He famously channeled water from terrace to terrace as it passes through cascades and fountains. Royals throughout Europe clamored to emulate and surpass the Versailles gardens. When I think of my visit to the dramatic parks at the Peterhof (another personal favorite) in 2007, I now recognize the influence of Le Notre's style. As I remember walking from the Peterhof Palace down the terraces and through the park out to the Baltic I can see jardin a la fracaise style. Clearly, the Russian royals were impressed by Le Notre.

(garden at Versailles)

(another angle of the same garden )

(A view of the garden looking toward Versailles)

(gardens at the Petit Trianon)

(Chateau de Chantilly garden)

(garden on the Tuileries grounds)

(garden at Chateau de Saint Cloud)

(A garden at the Chateau de Saint Germain)


(The Peterhof palace gardens inspired by Le Notre.)


ArchitectDesign™ said...

I'm so flattered to have inspired you and this post :-) How lucky to have been to the Peterhof -i'm jealous! Yes the Russians were such Francophiles but it's easy to see why, no?

Julio said...

Hi AD! Thanks for visiting. It is easy to see why the Imperial Russians were Francophiles. But, that got them in a bit of trouble later with the Nihilists first and Bolsheviks later. Too bad, huh? Thanks for the inspirations.

Mélanie said...

Great post !! Very inspiring and interesting ! THANKS or should I say Merci

Janie's World said...

Every time I've visited a great estate and was amazed by the beautiful garden, I've found out that Le Notre was the designer. He was amazing!

Anonymous said...

These gardens are breathtaking.


xinex said...

Beautiful garden, Julio! I reminds me of the Peterhof Palace garden in Russia. I want to go back there. It was so beautiful...Christine

Landscape Designer said...

Le Notre's masterpiece is Vaux le Vicomte. Built before Versailles. It was this garden that inspired Louis XIV. It is a much better garden than Versailles. Hard to believe but true.

Just discovered your blog on AD's blogroll.