Rendez-vous au château de Fontainebleau

Architectural plates by Rodolphe Pfnor – 1863

Large architectural lithographic plates (5), created in 1863 by R. Pfnor, superbly detailed of the Palace of Fontainebleau

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5 lithographs by R. Pfor, printed in 1863 – Size: 20″½ x 14″¼

The Palais de Fontainebleau was a favorite hunting lodge of French nobility, as well as of Napoleon himself, before Versailles. Over time, each of its occupants seemed determined to make improvements, either through new buildings or new decorations. Chateau_de_FontainebleauThis has resulted in the present profusion of courtyards and structures with varying decorative and architectural styles. It was in the Renaissance, however, that the palace underwent its most spectacular transformation. François I commissioned a new entrance, the Ballroom, and the Saint Saturini Chapel. He also saw to the construction of buildings encircling the current White Horse Courtyard, and of the François I Gallery to link the two groups of buildings. Pfnor credits Sebastian Serlio with building the Gallery, though modern scholars find no documentation to verify this claim. Later, François I’s son, Henry II, and Catherine de Medici “employed architects Philibert Delorme and Jean Bullant to build a new palace on the site. Italian Mannerist artists Rosso Fiorentino and Primaticcio came to assist in the interior decoration, helping to found the School of Fontainebleau”.

The Palace of Fontainebleau, located 55 kilometres from the centre of Paris, is one of the largest French royal châteaux. The palace as it is today is the work of many French monarchs, building on an early 16th-century structure of Francis I. The building is arranged around a series of courtyards. The commune of Fontainebleau has grown up around the remainder of the Forest of Fontainebleau, a former royal hunting park.

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