Page 0104

O

utstanding architecture

ranks high

amongst France's

many accomplishments and never

more so than during the 16th

- 18th centuries when many of

the exceptional châteaux in Paris, including

the Tuileries Palace

and its gardens, were constructed. During

this French 'Renaissance',

a word first used by the

historian, Jules Michelet, to define the

artistic and cultural 'rebirth'

of Europe, the monarchs

and nobles of France constructed many

of the finest châteaux

we know today. The majority of

which were built, standing majestically along the Loire

Valley,

within easy reach of Paris.

The early Renaissance style

was the beginning of beauty,

perfect symmetry, a display of

faultless unity and throughout

the next 200 years the architects

designed and created characteristic features,

including the

steep roofs found on so many

of the Renaissance châteaux. As

attic space was not taxed during A grand

heritage

France is famous worldwide for its

fine châteaux, and their architecture

ranks high amongst France's

many accomplishments...

PRESTIGE PROPERTY LEGGETT MAGAZINEthe 17th century, so steep roofs

became a way of maximising living space

at limited expense.

Many Italian expatriate

stone-carvers were commissioned to create

some of the

most intricate and spectacular

fireplaces carved out of carrera

and other fine marbles, in many

of the grand Renaissance homes.

Monument Historique list 5 fireplaces

in particular, that they

regard as being "Jewels of the

Renaissance period" in France,

two of which can be found in

an outstanding château in the

Lot and Garonne, currently being offered

for sale by Leggett

Prestige. It dates from the 13th

century and is set behind ancient walls in 8.78 acres

of land.

This Renaissance château has

provided a memorable stay to a

number of eminent figures over

the centuries. The Salle de Gardes

where Henri IV banqueted on occasions possesses

a truly monumental, carved

marble fireplace,

while in the Renaissance

salon, an intricate fireplace

constructed in Ecôle de Fontainbleu style,

commissioned by the

Italian noblewoman Catherine

de Médici in honour of a baby

born in the château during the

time she stayed there with her

son, the future King Charles IX.

With its further fascinating links

to George Washington during

the American War of Independence,

this château offers a truly unique and valuable history.

(Ref: 24423JBA47)

It wasn't until the 18th century that Louis XV,

known as

'Louis the Beloved' and his illustrious mistress,

La Marquise

de Pompadour, almost single

handedly instigated something

of a "Palace Revolution" according to the French

writer Voltaire,

when a new era of finesse and

opulence began. Even today,

the Louis XV style of furniture

and furnishings characterised

by their use of exuberant curves

and graceful sensuality for

which Mme Pompadour was

renowned, remain a favourite

style of furnishing within many

of the beautiful Renaissance

homes currently offered for sale

by Leggett Prestige.

104 LEGGETTFRANCE.COM

Jane Berry

heads our Prestige

property

department.

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