Front Cover
Scala Books, 1998 - Architecture - 247 pages
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With its richness, complexity and power to surprise, the magnificent chateau of Fontainebleau reflects the history of France. From Francis I (the chateau was his favorite residence) to Napoleon III, each sovereign left a unique mark on the structure and its grounds. Its pavilions, courts and gardens retain the echo of the artists and craftsmen who worked there.This beautifully illustrated book traces the continual work and alterations carried out until the Second Empire. Simultaneously, it features events for which Fontainebleau served as a backdrop: the visit of Emperor Charles V in 1539, the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and Napoleon's farewell to his guard in the Cour du Cheval Blanc.Following a radical re-analysis of the chateau, the author updates the nineteenth-century view in which the contributions of French artists were emphasized to the detriment of those by the Italians. Each of the buildings is illustrated by documents, offering the reader a glimpse into the evolution of this historic chateau.George Fessy's photographs convey the grandeur of Fontainebleau which, along with Versailles, is still one of the most splendid of Europe's royal residences.

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