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.

Monday 22 March 2010

1902 book illustrations by Maurice Leloir in the book 'Richelieu' by Théodor Cahu

for more illustrations
Even the  cardinal himself could not prevent smoke coming down his own chimney
(here apparently in Luçon!) when the wind blew the wrong way - try shutting the window, Émminentissime! 
And he never sorted out what to do with all those messy oak logs lying by the hearth.
Bet he trips up over those tongs too...

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Theatre costumes by Désiré Chaîneux - Comédie-Française,1904

the cardinal duc's guard

the cardinal duc's trumpeter

the cardinal duc's officer of the guard
from 'La Legende de Richelieu' - Conseil général de la Vendée, July 2008
I hope they won't mind - the pencil and wash drawings are so elegant!

Friday 12 March 2010

A Philippe de Champaigne web-site; the complete works

Champaigne was the court painter to the cardinal duc de Richelieu.  This  site tells one all one needs to know (and more) of the artist through whose eyes we perceive the painterly aesthetic of the court of Louis XIII and his first minister Armand-Jean du Plessis.


Thursday 11 March 2010

Les Très Riches Heures 4 - the summer months

Here are the last three months of the year cycle, the summer months.  Click on the seasons above to see and read about the other nine paintings painted by the Limbourg Brothers in about 1410.

Although the Duc de Berry owned a large part of central France and governed the Languedoc, he was often unable to meet the enormous expenses of his extraordinarily luxurious life. A great patron and friend of artists and a passionate collector, he commissioned works of all kinds; he loved sumptuous buildings, rare jewels, and richly illuminated books.
An avid builder, Jean de Berry personally supervised his restorations and constructions. The master architect for most of them was Guy de Dammartin, who successfully created in the upper stories a graceful decoration that fit in with the imposing grandeur of the whole. The palace and Sainte-Chapelle in both Bourges and Riom, the renovation of the palace and the Château du Clain in Poitiers, and the completion of the facade of Bourges Cathedral were accomplishments worthy of the importance of the Duke's three capital cities as well as monuments to his good taste in architecture.
By restoring châteaus and by building anew, the Duke provided himself with a series of beautiful homes throughout France: Nonette in Auvergne, Lusignan in Poitou, Genouilly and Concressault in Berry, and Gien, Montargis, Etampes, and Dourdan between the Loire and the Seine. The most famous residences, noted for their beauty and magnificence, were the Hôtel de Nesle on the left bank of the Seine facing the Louvre, the Château de Bicêtre to the south of Paris, and the Château de Mehun-sur-Yèvre, four leagues from Bourges.

château sur le Clain, Poitiers

chateau d'Étampes

château de Saumur