The 17th century is continuing its major restoration programme with the aim of returning it to its former splendour, and re-establishing the unique atmosphere of the château envisaged by its original creator, Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV’s Superintendent of Finances.
An enlightened art enthusiast and daring visionary, Nicolas Fouquet was determined to make his château a true palace of the arts, a symbol of his influence and taste. He surrounded himself with the greatest artists of his time and entrusted the design of his château to an exceptional trio: architect Louis Le Vau, garden designer André Le Nôtre, and interiors artist Charles Le Brun, whose combined scheme for the palace and its landscape foreshadowed the conception of the château de Versailles.
Today Vaux-le-Vicomte remains the emblem of Fouquet’s bold vision, before his brutal and unexpected fall from grace in 1661. Now two major restoration projects – one in the château and the other in the gardens – will start in early October, and will be completed in early 2017. The first is the restoration of the ceiling of the Chambre des Muses, decorated by Le Brun. This splendid jewel of French mannerism will at last be returned to its original brilliance, following the successful restoration of the Cabinet des Jeux last year.
Meanwhile in the gardens, 32 outdoor sculptures will be restored, all of them situated in the French classical garden designed by Le Nôtre in the 17th century. Work on both projects will take place in full view of the public.