The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden presents 100 paintings, photographs, drawings and sculptures by some of the most acclaimed European and American artists from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
The Tuileries in Paris has a long and storied history. Originally commissioned in 1564 by dowager queen Catherine de Medici, it combined a magnificent palace and an extensive formal garden. In the mid-17th century Louis XIV (the “Sun King”) ordered its expansion and extraordinary embellishment. André Le Nôtre (1613 – 1700), designer of the renowned gardens of Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte, ingeniously designed and realized the grand project.
Residents of the famous Tuileries Palace included several French kings—Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI—as well as Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte. While the palace was internationally noted for its elegance and royal associations, an uprising of 1871 saw it gutted by fire. The palace lay empty and desolate until 1883, when the government of the Third Republic ordered its demolition. Today, a lawn connecting the westernmost pavilions of the Louvre marks its original site. Prints, vintage photographs and a scale model will trace the history, grand style and ghostly presence of the historic structure.
In part, the exhibition celebrates the career of Le Nôtre—generally regarded as the greatest landscape architect in European history—on the 400th anniversary of his birth. His design for the Tuileries Garden richly combined magnificent vistas, lawns, fountains, hedges, pathways, flowerbeds, terraces and wooded areas, all of the ensemble embellished with sculpture.
Today, more than 10 million visitors stroll through the famous Parisian park annually.
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