He was the man whose lifestyle landed him in jail. Nicolas Fouquet made a colossal fortune as Louis XIV’s Superintendent of Finances, then made the colossal mistake of setting himself up in opulence to rival the king himself. His largest affront was to commission a huge château at Vaux-le-Vicomte, a breathtaking masterpiece by the dream team of Le Vau, Le Nôtre and Le Brun, beautifully illustrated in panorama and close-up by this gorgeous book. Great house, bad move: Louis had Fouquet arrested as soon as work was finished, and he ended his life behind bars.
Vaux-le-Vicomte: A Private Invitation (Guillaume Picon, Flammarion, 2021, ISBN 9782081513525, 304pp, £65)
This book review was published in the November 2021 issue of France magazine.
For more information about Vaux-le-Vicomte, click here; for more about this and other titles from Flammarion, click here. To read more of my book reviews and other published work, click here.
The photo at the top of this post is © CRT IDF/Tripelon-Jarry.