Conference: Château de Maisons-Laffitte as a masterpiece of architecture of the French 17th century

Date/Time
Date(s) - 16/07/2014
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Location
oxford book store

Categories


Conference about Château de Maisons-Laffitte

300px-Château_de_Maisons-Laffitte_001Béatrice Vivien de Saint-Ours, who works in Château de Maisons-Laffitte as cultural coordinator, is about to finish a thesis about Château de Maisons to Maisons-Laffitte during the 17th century. She will speak about her research and more precisely about Château de Maisons as a master piece of architecture during the French 17th century.

The Château de Maisons (now Château de Maisons-Laffitte), designed by François Mansart from 1630 to 1651, is a prime example of French baroque architecture and a reference point in the history of French architecture. The château is located in Maisons-Laffitte, a northwestern suburb of Paris, in the department of Yvelines, Île-de-France.

The Château de Maisons was built between the Seine and the forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, with its garden front oriented to the southeast. Originally it comprised the garden, a small park of 33 hectares and a large outer park of 300 hectares. The visitor arrived by one of two avenues that crossed in a T intersection before the gate to the cour d’honneur The principal central axis led to the forest, the cross axis through the village to the southwest and to the river, thence on to Paris. Three gateways stood at the far ends of the avenues.

On one side and the other of the avant-cour, Mansart constructed the stables, masterworks of architecture whose monumental character gave a preview of those that would be built at Versailles and Chantilly. Of these works there exists only a grotto, that served also to water the horses.

The château itself stood on a rectangular platform outlined in the French manner with a dry moat. The cour d’honneur was defined by terraces. The central block extends symmetrically into short wings, composed of several sections, each with its own roofline, with raked roofs and tall chimney stacks, in several ranges, with a broken façade reminiscent of the planning in work of Pierre Lescot and Philibert Delorme in the preceding century. The single pile construction typical of its epoch carries three storeys, a basement supporting a ground floor and piano nobile with three attic floors above.

The conference will be translated from French to English. It will be held on 16th July 2014 at Oxford Bookstore. The event is open to all and free.