Chenonceau: a fairytale come true

Nattier-Madame-Louise-Dupin

Madame Dupin, by Nattier

I stumbled upon this gorgeous post by Judith at Paris Atelier on Chenonceau, the “Château of the Ladies”.

Memories of France’s great Renaissance ladies, Queen Catherine de Médicis, her rival Diane de Poitiers, her daughter-in-law Mary Queen of Scots (and of France) are indeed forever attached to the place.

But Chenonceau did not sink into oblivion after the Renaissance. In the 18th century, it was the country residence of Louise Marie-Madeleine Dupin (left, by Nattier.) Daughter and wife of bankers, famous for her intellect and beauty, Madame Dupin hired Jean-Jacques Rousseau as her secretary, and he spent years there. Voltaire and Montesquieu were also her guests at Chenonceau.

If you have the good fortune of visiting the Loire Valley, please don’t miss this small marvel. The art collections are on a par with the architectural and historical interest of the place.

Enjoy!

Chateau of Chenonceau

Chateau of Chenonceau

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12 Comments to “Chenonceau: a fairytale come true”

  1. Catherine Delors says:

    Magic is the word, Eva. I can’t wait to see it again in its winter glory this holiday season.

  2. Eva says:

    Wow: that picture is so beautiful. Definitely some magic!

  3. Catherine Delors says:

    You do, Elisa! Vaux-le-Vicomte is gorgeous. This one is magical.

  4. Elisa says:

    Tres bel! The only other chateau that I’ve visited is Vaux-le-Vicomte.
    I do need to revisit France!

  5. Catherine Delors says:

    Ah Julianne, I knew you would have a soft spot for Chenonceau. Romantic is an understatement…

  6. Catherine Delors says:

    Oh yes, Felio, you should include Chenonceau if you can.

    True, as Judith notes, the flower decorations are always wonderful. The first time I visited the place as a child was in February, and all the rooms were decorated in hyacinths of different colors, some I had never seen before. The smell was heady, and, in the middle of winter, with haze coming from the river, it felt like a dream. It made such an impression that I never forgot it.

    And I didn’t think of this painting when I described Gabrielle’s first pretty dress, but you are right, the striped pattern is similar! So it might have crept into my mind unconsciously. Thanks for noticing this detail.
     

  7. Fascinating, Catherine! Of course I’m familiar with the chateau’s Renaissance history, but I didn’t know about Mme Dupin and Rousseau.

    I visited Chenonceau as a teenager on one of those 4-countries-in-four-weeks tours. I still remember standing next to one of the windows in the gallery overlooking the rushing river and thinking what a romantic setting it would be for prom. :)

  8. Fascinating, Catherine! Of course I’m familiar with the chateau’s Renaissance history, but I didn’t know about Mme Dupin and Rousseau.

    I visited Chenonceau as a teenager on one of those 4-countries-in-four-weeks tours. I still remember standing next to one of the windows in the gallery overlooking the rushing river and thinking what a romantic setting it would be for prom. :)

  9. Felio Vasa says:

    What a gorgeous chateaux! Probably one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. Now I’ll have to put Loire on my list of places to go.
    And how about that great floral arrangement of ranunculus in the Paris Ateliers post!!!!
    Also love Mme Dupin’s dress in the painting- the fabric reminds me in its print of stripes not color of Gabrielle’s first “new” dress in Mistress of the Revolution.

  10. Catherine Delors says:

    Jayne – I am so glad you discovered the “Footsteps of Gabrielle” series. I, for one, love illustrated books and it was great fun to put it together. I reread your review of Mistress of the Revolution. Thanks again! And hopefully you will visit France soon.

    Sandra – You are most welcome! Indeed I have never heard the name of Louis XIV associated with Chenonceau. But he was quite fond of hunting nearby in Chambord. Now that’s another marvel, though on a gigantic scale.

  11. Thanks for that delicious temptation, Catherine. If I wander from the Court of the Sun King, it will be to Chenonceau and its history.

  12. Jayne says:

    Oh, how lovely. From the pictures I’ve seen, (no, I’ve never had the pleasure of actually visiting France) I’ve always thought this one of the most beautiful chateaux. I’ve been going back and catching up on these “Footsteps entries.” Very interesting and I’m enjoying the illustrations.

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