Andr茅 Le N么tre, Royal Gardener

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We celebrated in 2013 the 400e anniversary of the birth of Andr茅 Le N么tre, the gardener of Louis XIV.

The opportunity to return to a prolific career whose works continue to delight today's walkers.

Grandson and son of the king's gardeners, the young Andr茅 learns his trade from his father, Pierre Le N么tre, in the Tuileries garden. He succeeded him in 1643, after studying with the painter Simon Vouet, the sculptor Louis Lerambert and the architect Fran莽ois Mansart, masters who teach him drawing, perspective, architecture, but also... art to seduce the king and make a place for himself at court.

Ours, a prolific career

Became "landscape architect", Andr茅 Le N么tre composes the gardens of Vaux-le-Vicomte for Nicolas Fouquet, in collaboration with the architect Louis Le Vau and the decorator Charles Le Brun. In 1661, he restores the gardens of Versailles for Louis XIV, gardens which will quickly become the reference in the matter in all the courts of Europe.

Le N么tre also updates the gardens of the castle of Fontainebleau, composes those of the castles of Maisons and Chantilly. These are the latter, with the perspective distorted from the castle (the axis is given by the statue of the Constable), which would have been his favorite.

The style Le N么tre

Andr茅 Le N么tre, Royal Gardener: gardener

Le N么tre is part of the classic French garden tradition. Inspired by the creations of Northern Italy, but on a much larger scale, they are linear gardens, where the flowerbeds surrounded by hedges of boxwood are surrounded by aisles at an angle. Statues, fountains and plantations punctuate this harmony, where perspective reigns supreme.

The water features are numerous and important: large basins placed symmetrically on each side of the paths, carved fountains, wide canals... In Versailles, the impressive Grand Canal (1670 meters long) hosted famous nautical festivals in the summer. In the winter, it turned into a giant ice rink...

Laure Hamann

Visual credit: 漏 Ch芒teau de Vaux le Vicomte, 漏 Ch芒teau de Versailles / C.Milet

Video: Les origines d'Andr茅 Le N么tre.

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