Catalogue


André Le Nôtre : gardener to the sun king /
Érik Orsenna ; translated from the French by Moishe Black.
imprint
New York : George Braziller, 2001.
description
151 p.
ISBN
0807614874 (hc)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : George Braziller, 2001.
isbn
0807614874 (hc)
catalogue key
4614475
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [147]-151).
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Erik Orsenna, a member of the French Academy, is the author of five novels (including Love and Empire, winner of the Prix Goncourt in 1988). He is a distinguished economist and served as cultural advisor to former president Mitterand. He is a director of the National School of Landscaping in Versailles Moishe Black is emeritus professor of French at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2001-07-16:
In this charming paean to Louis XIV's gardener Andr? Le N?tre and his gardens, Orsenna, a novelist and head of the National School of Landscaping at Versailles, guides us graciously through Le N?tre's quintessentially French landscapes, combating perceptions that they are austere, rigid or calculated. The cultivated audience the book is likely to attract will appreciate the brief, impressionistic chapters on the grand si?cle's twin passions for order and surprise, method and illusion that interplay in these grounds. Orsenna unveils for readers the subtle and mischievous optical fantasies (dependent on the emergent science of perspective) hidden from unsuspecting visitors. He warms the "icy silence" that now cloaks Versailles by evoking the fountains' murmuring music, orchestrated to greet the king as each came within his view, and conjures the mellifluous music once performed here. The author discloses subtle departures from the gardens' prevailing order that only those in conscious thrall of their controlled beauty can fully relish. Among the greatest secrets harbored by these studied collages of water, stone and vegetation is their construction: Le N?tre left no written account of his plans or activities, nor of his conversations with his boss. But readers learn that Versailles, 35 years in the making, involved a daunting mental prowess and dizzying engineering feats, sometimes with 35,000 men simultaneously at work. Driven by the king's ferocious ego and Le N?tre's determination to have the last word with nature, this unrestrained extravagance vitalizes Versailles, belying its cool surface restraint. Orsenna, enamored by his surroundings and beguiled by the man who so many years ago devoted his life to them, offers an engaging tour. Photos and illus. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, July 2001
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Summaries
Main Description
The gardensat Versailles, the most extravagant and influential gardens in European history, emerged
Main Description
The gardens at Versailles, the most extravagant and influential gardens in European history, emerged from the long association of Louis XIV and his master gardener, André Le Nôtre. Born in Paris, the son and grandson of gardeners, Le Nôtre grew up in the
Main Description
The gardensat Versailles, the most extravagant and influential gardens in European history, emerged from the long association of Louis XIV and his master gardener, Andr Le Ntre. Born in Paris, the son and grandson of gardeners, Le Ntre grew up in the
Main Description
The gardens at Versailles, the most extravagant and influential gardens in European history, emerged from the long association of Louis XIV and his master gardener, André Le Nôtre. Born in Paris, the son and grandson of gardeners, Le Nôtre grew up in the Tuileries Gardens and in the nearby royal workshops of the Louvre. He was recognised as a genius in his time, particularly for his innovative use of perspective and reflective water surfaces. His services were sought by the rich and powerful, and he moved at ease among them. On a trip to Rome, overwhelmed by Pope Innocent XI's interest in his work, he took him in his arms and kissed him, to the later disbelief of the court back at Versailles. In this well-documented and poetic portrait, Érik Orsenna recounts Le Nôtre's life, friendships and achievements. He describes a deeply creative man, whose savoir-faire and good nature gained him the King's friendship and allowed him to give free reign to his artistic talent. You are a happy man, Le Nôtre, Louis XIV told him. This book abounds with evidence that this was true. Translated from the French by Moishe Black.
Unpaid Annotation
A biography of the creator of such spectacular gardens as those at Versailles, Chantilly, and Vaux.
Table of Contents
The Geography Fairiesp. 1
A Bit of Tuscanyp. 5
Island amid the Frenzied Feversp. 9
The Passion for Perspectivep. 15
The Great Concoursep. 21
Rhizomes and Embroideryp. 27
"Some Day My Prince Will Come"p. 33
Visual Politicsp. 45
A Book Twenty-five Hundred Acres Bigp. 53
Friendshipp. 59
A Canalp. 65
To Satisfy the Fountainsp. 67
Mathematical Happinessp. 77
On Bonhomiep. 83
Archipelagop. 91
Trust and Betrayalp. 103
Embracing His Holinessp. 107
Slightsp. 113
Great Lovep. 117
Last Will, Final Walks, Closing Prayersp. 129
Notesp. 143
List of Illustrationsp. 145
Acknowledgments / Bibliographyp. 147
Other Works by Erik Orsennap. 153
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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