LILLIAN CHARLES

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Chateau de Fontainebleau

I have to say that I hadn't known about the Chateau de Fontainebleau before I began my (amazing) Art History course here in Paris. My professor is one of the coolest dudes on the face of the planet and I'm SO happy to be in his class.  From this class, I have learned about a chateau qui s'appelle "Chateau de Fontainebleau." I could go on forever about the long, long, long history of this palace but I'm going to provide you with the "history" link, instead: history of Fontainbleau and also add that we began learning about this chateau in class when discussing the beginning of the Renaissance period.  We began our discussion of Fontainebleau with this painting:
(or, Francis the first)
Francois le premier was the king of France that discovered the immense artistic talent that was born in Italy.  He met Leonardo de Vinci towards the end of de Vinci's life and asked him to come back to France with him to live here, close to where Francois was living at the time, in the Chateau d'Amboise.  Inspired by the arts in Italy, Francois became determined to spread appreciation for the arts around France. For the first time in French history, chateaus became places of leisure, beauty and elegance, replacing the Medieval Age style: chateaus made solely for "la defense" or protection.  
Fontainebleau, previously a royal home used for the sole purpose of "la chasse" became home to the flourishing arts of France as Francois "imported" Italian artists to create a manner of art that would be completely French, thus mannerism was born. 

But enough about the historical stuff, I adore history but know most people think that pictures are more exciting!  My new host parents (as I have changed host families!!), the Berthelots, kindly offered to take me and a friend to the chateau as a fun Saturday activity.  My friend Jane and I had talked about going since we are in the Louvre-Art-History-course together, so Jane is who I brought along with me.  The rest of this post will be pictures... unfortunately I can't provide a whole lot of commentary because I don't remember which room was what... so enjoy the art, tapestries, incredible furniture and detailed decadence! 
(note: the quality of some of the photos is not so great because I couldn't take pics with flash... I broke the rules in Napoleon's bedroom, though... shhh)
 Paintings of doggies for "la chasse":
 ^^Gallery of plates, installed by Louis-Phillipe.
There are 128 plates displayed in this room. 
"These Sèvres china plates illustrate the history of the castle of Fontainebleau, or represent the forest, the castle at various times, other royal residences, as well as places visited by Louis-Philippe abroad during the Emigration: North America, England, Sicily." -source
Painting of a woman dangling a baby from her fingers.
In her right hand, she has a basket of babies. 
Questionable.
This picture is great, wish the lighting were better:
Amazing moulding on this wall & check out the dresser's detail...
LOVED these vases! The blue was really vibrant!
(I love pictures of corners)
 Ceiling:
Chapel:
 I wish this was my family animal!!!
 "F" for Francois!!
Fabric walls: the French have impeccable taste...
Ugh! The details! They are to die for!!
 tee-hee, these are great... kids' chairs:
 Yep, wish I could remember what this was called:
(I do remember that Napoleon had that globe constructed..)
 "H"s for Henri II & later Henri II & Henri IV
(creative bunch with names, this crowd was..)
 fabulous couch:
 
Napoleon's "thrown":
(no other king had had a thrown in this castle... until Napoleon)
 Favorite fabrics in the chateau:
 (yes, I definitely turned my flash on for these...)
 love this green:
 Successful people don't sleep, including Napoleon...
 It's not a myth. Napoleon seriously hardly need any sleep (maybe because he was so tiny?)
and so he had a bed put next to his main desk so he could work and draw up plans in the middle of the night when he woke up.
The desk in this picture is like a magic desk (!) it has layer after layer of fold out drawers that could all be shut instantly if someone walked in that Napoleon felt uncertain about.

I hope you enjoyed the photos and I'm sorry I didn't have more details on each individual picture... just wanted to leave you with a sense of intrigue so maybe you will go to Chateau de Fontainebleau, yourself!
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