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Exhibition: Chambord, the "heavenly city" of Francis I

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Portrait of François I (late sixteenth or early seventeenth century). NATIONAL DOMAIN OF CHAMBORD / Lɉ‰ARD DE SERRES

Show the "cité céleaste" of François Ist In Chambord, to tell the genesis in an exhibition dedicated to this architectural UFO which one celebrates the 500 years, such is the challenge taken up by Jean d 'Haussonville, director of the historical monument, with "Chambord 1519-2019. Utopia at work. At the helm of the most enigmatic royal castles in France, with a roof hitherto endowed with innumerable fireplaces, such as rockets for the beyond, the former diplomat said bring a "Dream of a child", in the middle of 5 440 hectares of wood locked by a wall of 32 kilometers.

Curator of the exhibition, the philosopher Roland Schaer delivers a scholarly reading of the building, whose construction lasted twenty years since the laying of the first stone by François Ist, in 1519. Exceptional loans serve his demonstration: the Louvre, the portrait of the monarch, oil on canvas Titian made in 1539 from a medal, his armor chiseled gold and silver, that of a giant of nearly two meters; from the Florence Uffizi: an imposing marquetry chest depicting a city of ideals or the illuminated parchment, The City of God, by St. Augustine (circa 1480), and the Treaty of Good Governance, William Budé (sixteenth century).

Itâ € ™ s the principle of â € œcà © cà © leste  », to which François Ist wanted to give shape by imagining Chambord, that Roland Schaer puts in scene through the drawings, models and manuscripts united. The central dungeon evokes the chivalrous ideals. From the King's Library come valuable works of which The Knights of the Round Table and Lancelot of the Lake, or Lâ € ™ Utopia, by Thomas More, a first edition published in Louvain in 1516. Some manuscripts are virtually flipping through, such as plans, sketches, architectural statements, those of Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, among others. We could spend hours deciphering dozens of Leonardo da Vinci's annotated sketches â € "to read with a mirror: the Florentine writes from right to left and upside down â €" ", Facsimiles for the most part. Three original pages of the Atlanticus Codex come from the Ambrosian Pinacoteca of Milan.

The replanted historic garden

Invited in 1516 by François Ist At Clos Lucé, a manor put at his disposal and connected by a secret passage to the chateau of Amboise, L? onard received the daily visit of the sovereign. "French Ist is not just a â € œrightâ €, but a â € œroi architectâ € and a flamboyant adept of the â € œpolitics of beauty â €explains Roland Schaer. It is probable that in Chambord the monarch played a leading role, he takes the pen and draws to suggest the forms of a poetic castle of the world of knights, in a transposition of the lâ € ™ à ¢ â,¬â "¢ Religious architecture. In Chambord, the route is ascending, the spiral stair climbs to the sky. AT"