Yours, Mine, Le Nôtre’s: An American Photographer Examines the Garden of Versailles
As France celebrates the 400th anniversary of the birth of André Le Nôtre, the father of French gardens, France Revisited explores some of this 17th-century landscape gardener’s most famous gardens and parks. Here, in text and images, American photographer Elise Prudhomme, a longtime Paris resident whose work has been exhibited in the Tuileries Garden and will soon appear in an exhibition in Versailles, guides us along the garden paths of Versailles.
by Gary Lee Kraut
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Photographs and text by Elise Prudhomme
André Le Nôtre designed the Garden of Versailles to display, reflect and serve as the backdrop for the pomp and glory and power of the reign of Louis XIV. As such the garden functioned as a direct extension of the palace itself. Piqued by Nicolas Fouquet’s audacious success with the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte which he visited in 1661, Louis XIV enlisted the three men who had contributed to that success—the architect Louis Le Vau, the painter-decorator Charles Le Brun and the landscape gardener André Le Nôtre—to create the palace of all palaces: Versailles.