In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Les Amis de Vaux-le-Vicomte and the chateau’s Capital Campaign to restore the fountains and waterworks of Le Nôtre, noted Landscape Architect Fernando Wong and Artist David Harber have reimagined the famous vestibule of Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte.
“I was honored to be asked by the Count de Vogue to reimagine the Chateau’s famous vestibule. I was inspired by tent like follies of another French castle, the Chateau de Groussay,” says Wong, who used a blue and white theme to achieve a similar feel.
Built by Nicholas Fouquet and owned by the Sommier – Vogüé family for five generations, the 17th-century château nestled in the French countryside outside of Paris, sits at the heart of a rectangular moat, surrounded by breathtaking formal gardens which are said to have influenced Louis XIV’s creation of Versailles.
Paying homage to the chateau’s legendary heritage, Wong’s installation incorporates colors, prints, and plants designed to bring the outdoors in. Drawing inspiration from the Le Nôtre’s garden, 18th-century European garden tents, and blue and white Chinese porcelain from the chateau’s collection acquired by Alfred Sommier, the great-great- grandfather of the present owners, he infused the vestibule with plants, allium flowers, and orange trees that Louis XIV infamously removed from the garden in 1661 for his garden in Versailles, creating the feeling that the visitor is in the garden among the flowers, surrounded by tents.
David Harber’s sculpture presents a modern juxtaposition. Made of stainless steel and allium-inspired spheres, each individual petal is shaped like a gingko leaf creating a dazzling effect reminiscent of Fouquet’s fireworks at his fête of 1661.
The installation captures the creative and celebratory energy of Vaux-le-Vicomte before Louis XIV’s jealousy stifled one of the greatest creative moments of the 17th century.
Honored guests at the Chateau’s annual gala this year included: Baron & Baronne Jean Conrad-Hottinguer, Countess Patrice de Vogue, Count Ascanio de Vogue, Countess Alexandre de Vogue, Fernando Wong & Tim Johnson, Sophie & David Harper, Daisy & Paul de Kanovos, Paul Vogele and Kim Heirston.
Now on view through October 22nd. For more information, visit vaux-le-vicompte.com