Using Three Examples, Comment on and Discuss the Development of French Domestic Architecture in the 17th Century

Topics: Louis XIV of France, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Renaissance architecture Pages: 3 (1087 words) Published: February 4, 2014
Using three examples, comment on and discuss the development of French Domestic Architecture in the 17th century

In 1600, the civil war finished in France between the Protestants and the Catholics; therefore, there was a need for new buildings in France. However, Henri IV was assassinated in 1611 and therefore Louis XIII took the throne until 1643. He had Italian influence as his mum; Marie di Medici was Italian which reflected the style of architecture that was built during his time as king. However, between 1643 and 1714, Louis XIV was king and he made France a dominant power in Europe. One consequence of the growth of French power was that Louis XIV wanted France to have its own architectural style. This was because when Louis XIV came to the throne, France was borrowing architectural ideas from Italy. For example, French architects were heavily influenced by Italian Mannerist books such as Rutger Kasemann’s ‘Book of Architecture’ of 1622. Louis did not want to borrow ideas as they were a powerful nation in Europe and wanted French architecture to be dominant instead of Italian Renaissance and Italian Mannerism which played around with classical orders. Louis had three aims which he wanted French architecture to achieve; he wanted the architecture to be identifiably French, he wanted it to reflect increasing prosperity in France and finally, he wanted it to reflect the French concept of convenience. Therefore, during the 17th century there were major developments in French architecture. Furthermore, French architects, under pressure to develop a French style, start to reject Italian architecture as too impractical. They also start to argue that the Italians have moved away from the simplicity and elegance of classical architecture.

The buildings which will be discussed in this essay are; the Chateaux de Blerancourt, built by Salomon de Brosse between 1612 and 1619 for Bernard Potier, the Chateaux de Maisons, built by Francois Mansart between 1642...
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