Paru le 31/10/2018 | Broché 239 pages
photographs by Benjamin Chelly | translated from the French by Michael Taylor
« Amid the precious garland of the Loire Valley châteaux, where the art of the Renaissance finds its finest expression in France, surrounded by landscapes sung by all the poets of the age, Chenonceau is probably the most admired and most treasured of them all. The human scale of its proportions, the ingenuity of its layout, the unique poetry of its site on a river it appears to cross with great strides, gliding from one bank to another... such beauty draws art-lovers from all over the world. »
A reference book on Chenonceau, the Jewel of the Renaissance, the « Ladies'chateau, » which was owned successively by Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de' Medici, Louise de Lorraine, and Louise Dupin.
Jean-Pierre Babelon. A member of France's prestigious Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Jean-Pierre Babelon was trained at the École des Chartes in Paris. He began his career at the French national archives as a curator, then became a general inspector. In 1989, he was appointed director of the château and the national estate of Versailles, a position he held until his retirement in 1996. At the Institute of France, he was named president of the Jacquemart-André Foundation, which includes the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris and the royal abbey of Chaalis. Historian of Henri IV (about whom he published a biography in 1982, Paris : Fayard), he also devoted works to the history of Paris, the history of Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century architecture, especially that of châteaux and gardens, which earned him the National Grand Prix du Patrimoine in 1989. These include his thick volume on French châteaux in the Renaissance (Paris : Flammarion-Picard, 1989) and Demeures parisiennes under Henri IV and Louis XIII (Paris : Éditions Le Temps, 1965). Jean-Pierre Babelon is also the author of a book on French gardens, Jardins à la française (Paris : Imprimerie Nationale, 1999), with photographs by Jean-Baptiste Leroux, a volume on the château and gardens of Chantilly (Paris : Scala, 1999), and a commented facsimile of the Album du Comte du Nord, a collection of watercolors of Chantilly executed for the future Tsar Paul I (Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau : Éditions Monelle Hayot, 2000). His book La Notion du Patrimoine, written with André Chastel and reissued many times since 1994 by Liana Levi in Paris (first issued in La Revue de l'Art 49/1980), is considered as a fundamental text for the definition of the concept of heritage.