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.

Friday 14 October 2016

the full titles of the cardinal duc in 1642

Armand Jean

Le tres-haut tres-puiffant Seigneur Iean Armand du Plefsis, Duc de Richelieu, & de Fronfac, Pair de France, General des Galeres, Lieutenant General pour le Roy és Mers & Armées du Leuant. Gouuerneur & Lieutenant general pour fa Majefté de la Ville & Citadelle du Havre de Grace, Vicomté d'Harfleur & Montiuiliers. Prince de Mortaigne, Marquis de Grauile, Baron de Barbezieux, Saugeon, la Ferté Bernard, & autres Lieux. 

Le Havre 76600 - Channel sea port close to Harfleur
Harfleur 76700 - Old town next to Le Havre
Montivilliers 76290 - a suburb of Le Havre
Barbezieux 16300 - near Angoulême
Saugeons 37530 - near Amboise
La Ferté Bernard 72400 - near Le Mans


Wednesday 12 October 2016

the 2016 Greetings Card

Following the huge success of last year's greetings card, which saw €2000 being donated to the restoration of Tour St Anne, Alan Halliday has very kindly donated another image for this year's card.

The cards will be available from the end of October, priced €30 for 20 cards. 

Please email to place an order.

the 2016 greeting card

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Maniere de Bien Bastir pour Toutes Sortes de Personnes - Pierre Le Muet -1623

This book of building construction was first published in 1623, a decade before the completion of the cité idéale of Richelieu. 

Maniere de bien bastir pour toutes sortes de personnes
was written by the architect and engraver 
click on his name for more biographic details!
Some  say that the hôtels particuliers of the Grande Rue of Richelieu were constructed to the principles and designs in this book
to a standard design required by the cardinal duc.
Each cost 10,000 livres tournois.

Monday 3 October 2016

Dying slaves

the Dying Slave blushes
 The Montmorency family became involved in one of the conspiracies against the régime of the cardinal duc led by the king's brother Gaston d'Orleans.  Henri II de Montmorency, Marshall of France and scion of the family, was a proven conspirator who finally went to the scaffold on the orders of Armand-Jean and Louis XIII; Richelieu had survived the plot!

In order to protect other members of the old aristocratic family, the surviving Montmorencys decided to make a peace offering to the all powerful cardinal duc on the understanding that the executions and retributions would cease with this single awful walk to the scaffold.  They knew well that the cardinal liked a good statue as he had bought many, both ancient and contemporary, to decorate his new château in Poictou. As they had sometime previously acquired the two 'Dying Slaves', famous 1513 sculptures by Michelangelo Buonarroti, they hoped that they could appease Richelieu by offering them to him as a gift.  The great man accepted them gracefully and placed the pair on the façade on his new castle, one on each side of his Grand Stair's block at first floor level.

Visitors might be reminded of their host's power and glory as they approached an audience with the First Minster of France.

Beauty and Threat in a single gesture...

In the Dôme in the Parc de Richelieu is a plaster cast of one of these famous statues; the original now re-located (after the Revolution) to the Louvre.

back to normal
Henri II de Montmorency
Origin of the slave statues
"The slaves were designed as part of the initial project for the Pope's tomb (in 1505), and Michelangelo began to carve them in 1513 when a second project was developed. A fourth, less grandiose project, elaborated after the pope's death, saw them rejected for financial reasons. Julius II, who had dreamed of a freestanding mausoleum at Saint Peter's in Rome, was buried in San Pietro in Vincoli in a wall tomb, albeit one adorned with Michelangelo's famous Moses (a contemporary of the Slaves). Despite being unfinished, the two great marbles were already admired. Michelangelo donated them to the Florentine exile Roberto Strozzi, who presented them to the French king.
The Slaves thus reached France during the sculptor's lifetime, and first occupied two niches at the Château d'Ecouen (constructed by the constable, Anne de Montmorency) before Cardinal de Richelieu took them to his new château in Poitou. The two Slaves had originally been intended to feature on the pope's tomb alongside similar figures, including the four marble Slaves in the Academy of Florence, carved (and also left incomplete) in 1531–32."

in the Louvre