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date: 21 September 2019

Meudon, château oflocked

  • Ian Dunlop

Extract

French royal château near Paris. The first château at Meudon (the Vieux Château) was built for Cardinal Sanguin and his niece Anne de Pisselieu, Duchesse d’Etampes (1508–80), mistress of Francis I, between 1520 and 1540. It was of an austere simplicity: two superimposed orders proportioned the façades, and the dormer windows were surmounted by triangular and segmental pediments. On the garden front appeared, probably for the first time, what was to become the classic French façade arrangement. It was divided into five sections with three projecting pavilions, one central and one at each end; each section had a separate roof, those of the pavilions being taller than those of the blocks connecting them. The châteaux of Fontainebleau and Coulommiers, for instance, followed this example. Four small corner towers were built out on corbels like those at Anet.

In 1553 the Duchesse d’Etampes sold Meudon to Charles de Guise, Cardinal of Lorraine, who added a grotto designed by ...

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