When Louis XIV commissioned the construction of a castle, he entrusted the landscaping of the palace’s gardens to André Lenôtre.
A colossal work
The gardens are an essential component of the royal residence. They surround the castle on three sides and cover an area of approximately 94 hectares ! The site chosen for the work is a swamp located outside Paris, the site is colossal and will last 53 years ! André Lenôtre has an unlimited budget to create the gardens and the result is magnificent!
Lenôtre conquered the king
André Le Nôtre’s apprenticeship course was going to be rich since he first learned drawing from 1620 to 1626 from a painter of Louis XIII. He will also study sculpture, architecture and perspective. In 1640, Le Nôtre delivered his first creation, entrusted by the brother of King Louis XIII, for whom he was the first gardener: the garden of the castle of Wattignies. Everything that will make Le Nôtre famous is already there. He conquered the king!
The creator of the « Jardins à la française »
In Versailles, Le Nôtre creates main roads interspersed with side alleys. We can admire flowerbeds that we compare to the finest embroidery. The whole is decorated with sumptuous decorations, thanks to fountains and statues. The numerous and original water features contrast with the rigorous symmetry of the greenery. Using all the resources of water, Le Nôtre plays on light and shade, moving from dark spaces (groves) to more lighted areas (flowerbeds). André Le Nôtre brought the style of the French garden to its peak, through the design of twenty-five gardens, including: Chantilly, Sceaux and the Tuileries.