Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Le Parc Monceau

One of the Revolutionary leaders and greatest adversaries of Marie-Antoinette was Philippe d'Orléans. Although Philippe Égalité, as he came to be called during the Revolution, liked to portray himself as a man of the people, he was not averse to creating his own stately gardens. The Parc Monceau was in the English style, like the gardens of Trianon. According to A View on Cities:
In 1769, the Duke of Chartres (later the Duke of Orleans) purchased a small parcel of land on which he hoped to build a garden. A pavilion was built in the center and the Duke planned to expand the area throughout the next decade.
The Duke hired Louis Carrogis Carmontelle to design the gardens in an English style. Such gardens are much less formal than the traditional French garden, which is what distinguished it from many other parks in Paris. Carmontelle added random sculpture of famous Frenchmen as well as small-scale architectural features such as a windmill, pyramid, and some Corinthian pillars.
There are said to be many masonic references in the designs of the park, which is not surprising since Philippe was a dedicated adept. The Parc Monceau is featured in the novel Madame Royale as the setting of the picnic to which Louis-Philippe invites Thérèse.

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May said...

What a sumptuous garden! Something a bit heavy about it, though. But no, not what you'd associate with "egalitarianism."

elena maria vidal said...

I agree, there's something a bit heavy about it....