Éminence Rouge

The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Henri P's new friend in Madrid - Chantal

Inspired by this blog above, the old Abbé Henri Proust has made a short trip to the National Gallery in London to post about all those lovely canvases on subjects close to the passions of his new friend Chantal.
Chantal herself  is actually a daughter of the Cité Ideale and has taken her native affection for the seventeenth century to the city that was never far from the political concerns of Armand-Jean himself,
the Hapsburg coat-of-arms

Maybe she can find some imagery of cardinal duc's opposite number in Madrid
 in the court of Phillip IV, The Count of Olivares…..'el conde-duque'

Olivares by Velázquez


Meanwhile three royal courts; three court painters

by son-in-law Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo

"…..his eyes follow you round the room."

An unusual un-faded canvas by Poussin showing his original coloration

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Eden - just before that munch!

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden by Wenzel Peter - The Vatican Museum

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

Wenzel Peter
(Karlsbad 1745 - Rome 1829)
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden
oil on canvas - cm. 336 x 247 - cat. 41266

The large canvas represents the climax of Wenzel Peter's career. He was an animalist painter, that is to say specialized in a very unique type of painting, and this led him to reproducing with extraordinary naturalism animals of the most varied species, as it were "photographed" in both standing and fighting positions. The Garden of Eden is the proof of the highest virtuosity, since the artist gathers around the figures of Adam and Eve those of over two hundred animals from all over the world, reproduced not only with pictorial ability, but also with a detailed knowledge and scientific precision. In 1831 Gregory XVI (pontiff from 1831 to 1846) purchased twenty works of the Austrian painter Wenzel Peter to furnish the Room of the Consistory in the Papal State Apartment.


Friday, 12 December 2014

Jean Marot - engraver and architect

Marot is thought to be the design architect of the town's elegant gates.

Jean Marot, (born c. 1619—died Dec. 15, 1679, Paris), French architect and engraver who was one of a large family of Parisian craftsmen and artists.
Although he was a Protestant, Marot was named architect of the king. He was also the architect of various private houses, including the Hôtel de Pussort, Hôtel de Mortemart, and Hôtel de Monceau, but he is chiefly renowned for his two great series of architectural engravings known as “Le Petit Marot” and “Le Grand Marot,” which are essential for the study of French 17th-century architecture. In addition he engraved a large number of ornamental designs for chimneys, ceilings, etc., a practice in which he was followed by his son Daniel Marot, who became a celebrated decorative designer.

Jean Marot - Engraver + Architect - 1619-1679
English: Portrait of the French engraver Jean Marot (1619–1679) 
Unknown date [circa 1679]. A scan from the original book: Mauban, André (1944) - 'Jean Marot, Architecte et Graveur Parisien'. Paris: Les Éditions d'Art et d'Histoire. OCLC 7057275.
N. de P. Montagne Pinxit, J. Gole Sculpsit

Text about the Chateau of Richelieu

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Endowment Fund committee members

Jacques Lemercier - archit.
Members of the Conseil d'Administration of the Fonds de Dotation at December 2014.

  • BONNET                 Laurent
  • COPPING                Howard          en Anglais / in English           howardcopping@gmail.com
  • DETREZ                  Jacques
  • EYGUN                   Guilmine
  • DAVONNEAU          Jean Luc
  • Maire NOVELLI      Hervé
  • SAVOIE                  Patrice
  • SIMONY                  Marc
  • TERRIEN                Marie-Pierre

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Chinon Gate - restoration of the gates themselves

The northern Chinon Gate in the town's encircling walls
The two leaves of the historic Porte de Chinon have been restored to working condition by the company Menuiserie Guérin Frères of Pouzay - a village 10km away from Richelieu.  The gates have been rehung and the ensemble opened in a ceremony led by Richelieu's Mayor Novelli.  The detailed restoration work took the old broken fragments of the original 17th century gate leaves and incorporated new work - of 200 year old Normandy oak - to rebuild them back to more-or-less original condition.
before 1
before 2
2013 painted ochre...

This is the first project that represents works helped by the new Fonds de Dotation.  Half of the 30,000€ cost was met by the state and 50% by the town itself, including finance from the newly established endowment fund.

roads blocked off while the doors are installed
half original, half new - careful piecing in
Installing the doors
Refurbished metal work from the original doors

White van men do their stuff
Erecting the two tonne door leaves
Patched in Normandy oak added to the 17th C  original
Oak and masonry, in 17th century style
Frères Guérin finish off the exterior
Mayor Novelli cuts the ribbon with Mme. Bartelémy of Bâtiments de France

Madamoiselle Bartelémy tries the wicket gate for size - in wellies!

a panorama of the porte de Chinon from the North
How was the porte de Chinon intended to be?
Archit. Henri Proust speculates on behalf of architects Jaques Lemercier and Jean Marot.
Marot is thought to be the design architect of the town's elegant gates.

drawbridge down
drawbridge up