Palace of Fontainebleau

The Palace of Fontainebleau, located 34.5 miles from the centre of Paris, is one of the largest French royal châteaux. The palace as it is today is the work of many French monarchs, building on an early 16th century structure of Francis I. The building is arranged around a series of courtyards. The city of Fontainebleau has grown up around the remainder of the Forest of Fontainebleau, a former royal hunting park.

Style

The palace introduced to France the Italian Mannerist style in interior decoration and in gardens, and transformed them in the translation. The French Mannerist style of interior decoration of the 16th century is known as the "Fontainebleau style": it combined sculpture, metalwork, painting, stucco and woodwork, and outdoors introduced the patterned garden parterre. The Fontainebleau style combined allegorical paintings in moulded plasterwork where the framing was treated as if it were leather or paper, slashed and rolled into scrolls and combined with arabesques and grotesques. Fontainbleau ideals of female beauty are Mannerist: a small neat head on a long neck, exaggeratedly long torso and limbs, small high breasts—almost a return to Late Gothic beauties. The new works at Fontainebleau were recorded in refined and detailed engravings that circulated among connoisseurs and artists. Through the engravings by the "School of Fontainebleau" this new style was transmitted to other northern European centres, Antwerp especially, and Germany, and eventually London.

History

Royal palace

The older château on this site was already used in the latter part of the 12th century by King Louis VII, for whom Thomas Becket consecrated the chapel. Fontainebleau was a favourite residence of Philip Augustus (Philip II) and Louis IX. The creator of the present edifice was Francis I, under whom the architect Gilles le Breton erected most of the buildings of the Cour Ovale, including the Porte Dorée, its southern entrance. The king also invited the architect Sebastiano Serlio to France, and Leonardo da Vinci. The Gallery of Francis I, with its frescoes framed in stucco by Rosso Fiorentino, carried out between 1522 and 1540, was the first great decorated gallery built in France. Broadly speaking, at Fontainebleau the Renaissance was introduced to France. The Salle des Fêtes, in the reign of Henri II, was decorated by the Italian Mannerist painters, Francesco Primaticcio and Niccolò dell'Abbate. Benvenuto Cellini's "Nymph of Fontainebleau", commissioned for the château, is at the Louvre.

Another campaign of extensive construction was undertaken by King Henri II and Catherine de' Medici, who commissioned architects Philibert Delorme and Jean Bullant. To the Fontainebleau of François I and Henri II, King Henri IV added the court that carries his name, the Cour des Princes, with the adjoining Galerie de Diane de Poitiers and the Galerie des Cerfs, used as a library. A "second school of Fontainebleau" decorators, less ambitious and original than the first, evolved from these additional projects. Henri IV pierced the wooded park with a 1200m canal (which can be fished today) and ordered the planting of pines, elms and fruit trees. The park stretches of an area more than 80 hectares, enclosed by walls and pierced rectilinear paths. Henri IV's gardener, Claude Mollet, trained at Château d'Anet, laid out patterned parterres. Preserved on the grounds is Henry IV's jeu de paume (real tennis court). It is the largest such court in the world, and one of the few publicly owned.

Philip the Fair (Philip IV), Henry III and Louis XIII were all born in the palace, and Philip died there. Christina of Sweden lived there for years, following her abdication in 1654. In 1685 Fontainebleau saw the signing of the Edict of Fontainebleau, which revoked the Edict of Nantes (1598). Royal guests of the Bourbon kings were housed at Fontainebleau, including Peter the Great of Russia and Christian VII of Denmark.

Revolution and Empire

By the late 18th century, the château had fallen into disrepair; during the French Revolution many of the original furnishings were sold, in the long Revolutionary sales of the contents of all the royal châteaux, intended as a way of raising money for the nation and ensuring that the Bourbons could not return to their comforts. Nevertheless, within a decade Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, began to transform the Château de Fontainebleau into a symbol of his grandeur, as an alternative to empty Versailles, with its Bourbon connotations. Napoleon hosted Pope Pius VII there in 1804, when he came to consecrate the emperor, and again in 1812–1814, when he was Napoleon's prisoner. With modifications of the château's structure, including the cobblestone entrance wide enough for his carriage, Napoleon helped make the château the place that visitors see today. At Fontainebleau Napoleon bade farewell to his Old Guard and went into exile in 1814. Fontainebleau was also the setting of the Second Empire court of his nephew Napoleon III.

Today

Today part of the château is home to the Écoles d'Art Américaines, a school of art, architecture, and music for students from the United States. The school was founded by General Pershing when his men were stationed there during the First World War.

Cultural references

Jazz pianist and composer Tadd Dameron wrote the composition "Fontainebleau" upon visiting the palace.

See also

  • Treaty of Fontainebleau

Images

References

Шаблон:Reflist

External links

Шаблон:Commonscat-inline

Post a comment
Tips & Hints
Arrange By:
Melforss
20 October 2015
Absolute must destination for some weekend sports in the nature combined with culture. Free entry to the castle and check out the amazing huge lilac and golden fish in the pond!
Cami Heitz
18 June 2016
Amazing franch castle to visit if you are passing by Fontainebleu or just going to Loire valley from Paris, make a stop here!
Michael Barakat
27 March 2021
It’s definitely worth the visit! A very huge castle that is well decorated with huge vast spaces and lakes.
Chie
11 September 2016
もともとフランス王家の狩猟用の別荘として建てられた館。 アントワネットやナポレオンにも愛された屋敷はヴェルサイユ宮殿のような仰々しさがなく、リラックスできる公園としても人気。 池のほとりの木陰でピクニックや読書など、楽しみ方いろいろです。お屋敷は有料ですが、庭園は無料。 パリから週末トリップにももってこいの場所。
Edgar Ferreira
31 January 2015
Très beau chateau, personnel avec certaines salles mystiques et encore vivante. La chapelle est superbe. Préféré à Versailles!
Mauricio Ribeiro
12 June 2016
Bem mais tranquilo que o Château de Versailles, tão imponente quanto. E não a toa: Foi a residência de Napoleão. (Aproveite e visite o Jardim de Diana ao fundo)
Load more comments
foursquare.com

Hotels nearby

See all hotels See all
Fontainebleau Centre Ville Chateau

starting $86

Aigle Noir Hotel

starting $190

Hôtel Restaurant Napoléon

starting $75

ibis Château de Fontainebleau

starting $127

La Carpe d'Or

starting $92

Hôtel Belle Fontainebleau

starting $76

Recommended sights nearby

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Forest of Fontainebleau

The forest of Fontainebleau is a mixed deciduous forest lying sixty

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Vaux-le-Vicomte

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is a baroque French chateau located in

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Corbeil Cathedral

Corbeil Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Spire de Corbeil) in the town of

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Château de Grégy

The Château de Grègy is a château in Évry-Grégy-sur-Yerre, Sein

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Évry Cathedral

Évry Cathedral (Cathédrale de la Résurrection d'Évry) is a Roman Cat

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Grand Mosque of Évry

With its minaret, the Grand Mosque of Évry, in Évry, France, is one o

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Château de Brie-Comte-Robert

The Château de Brie-Comte-Robert is a castle in the town of

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Russian Cemetery

Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Cemetery, specifically the one known as

Similar tourist attractions

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Hameau de la reine

The Hameau de la Reine ('The Queen's hamlet') is the rustic retreat

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Palais du Louvre

The Palais du Louvre in Paris, on the Right Bank of the Seine is a

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal château in

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Palazzo Pitti

The Palazzo Pitti (pa.ˈla.ttso ˈpi.tti), in English sometimes called t

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
National Art Gallery (Bulgaria)

The National Art Gallery (български. Национална художествена галер

See all similar places