Mary, Queen of Scots Home Page
|The Hall of States with its ogive vaulting supported by a line
of columns in the centre of the room, was the political hub of the kingdom of
Charles VIII. Fleurs-de-lys of France and Brittany ermine tail motif covered the
columns and the hood of the fireplace restored in the 19th century. The other
fireplace boasts a Renaissance-style polychrome marble medallion on the mantle:
profile of Alexander the Great. The large ceremonial box settles with high backs
or open-work canopy, were fashionable in the international Gothic trend of the
times, with blind arcade motifs and pleated details.
The Cupbearers' Room (below left) for the king's drinking service. The dresser or credence table, the two-leaf sideboard and tables, with Italian-style extensions, presented the serving bowls and ewers at each meal. Another authentic 16th century piece: the flat-top coffer, in sculpted walnut, originally gilded. 17th century Aubusson tapestries, adapted from Le Brun sketches, inspired from ancient and biblical themes.
The Bedchamber of Henry II (below right) is the expression of the Italian Renaissance: four grooved columns, plinths, capitals and cornice (copies of ancient drawings) with its pleasing proportions. In the 16th century "trompe l'oeil" sculpted straight-backed chairs in natural wood, still possessed a "balline" (coffer for storing personal effects). The first stuffed padded armchairs; the coffer decorated with mouldings, embellished with leafage tracery and caryatids highlighting the influence of the southern schools on French furniture. Hung on the walls, two Flemish tapestries.
|On the mantle of the 16th century tufa fireplace, the Lys of
France are linked to the ermine of Brittany by the Franciscan rope: sign of the
duchy's attachment to the kingdom, ratified in 1532 by François I - The
Salamander of the king sculpted on a natural wood box. Surrounding a coat of
arms uniting the two Houses, the Necklace of the Order of Saint Michel, founded
by Louis XI in 1469.
(The visit of the castle continues up to the upper floor where François I resided in the 16th century. I have however omitted these as they have been recently restored to evoke the sojourn and entourage of Louis-Philippe as from 1815, and are therefore beyond the scope of this website.)
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