Grands Châteaux of the Loire and Ile-de-France: Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Grands Châteaux of the Loire and Ile-de-France: Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Live from France with Alexandre de Vogüé

Thursday, March 11 at 12:00 p.m.
$8 Members / $15 Non-members
Online via Zoom • in English

Register now

12:00 p.m. (Chicago) • 1:00 p.m. (Miami)  7:00 p.m. (Paris) 

Our series inviting you to visit ten Grands Châteaux live from France continues! Today Russell Kelley explores the history of Le Vau, Le Brun and Le Nôtre’s early masterpiece, the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, in the company of its fifth-generation owner Alexandre de Vogüé.


Chief Minister Cardinal Mazarin appointed Nicolas Fouquet Superintendent of Finances for the young Louis XIV in 1653. Between 1641 and 1661, Fouquet built the magnificent Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte 34 miles southeast of Paris. He hired the architect Louis Le Vau to design the château, the artist Charles Le Brun to decorate it, and the landscape architect André Le Nôtre to design its gardens and park. It was the trio’s first major collaboration and became the model for  the French version of the Classical style, less dependent on Italian influences.  Inspired by the grandeur of Vaux-le-Vicomte, Louis XIV soon retained the team of Le Vau, Le Brun and Le Nôtre to build the Château de Versailles. Vaux is the largest private estate listed as an Historic Monument in France.


Alexandre de Vogüé and his two brothers are the fifth generation of his family since 1875 to own the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. He and his brothers are authors of A Day at Vaux-le-Vicomte (Édition Flammarion, 2015).


A board member of the Alliance Française Miami Metro, Russell Kelley is the curator and moderator of the lecture series on the Grands Châteaux of the Loire and Ile-de-France. He is author of The Making of Paris: The Story of How Paris Evolved from a Fishing Village into the World’s Most Beautiful City, to be published by Globe Pequot Press in March 2021. He has lived in France for nearly 30 years and has visited every château featured in this series many times since his first visit to the Loire Valley 50 years ago.


Support and Save! Become an Alliance Française member for as little as $75 a year for a Library and Events membership


This program is presented in partnership with the Alliance Française Miami Metro with communication support from the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA, the French Heritage Society, and WICE - Paris.


Through our Entrée Libre initiative, free admission to this program is offered to students enrolled in French Studies in universities and French schools in Chicago and the Midwest. This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.