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The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is a baroque French château located in Maincy, near Melun, 55 km southeast of Paris in the Seine-et-Marne département of France. It was built from 1658 to 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, Marquis de Belle Île, Viscount of Melun and Vaux, the superintendent of finances of Louis XIV.

The château was in many ways the most influential work built in Europe in the mid-17th century and the most elaborate and grand house built in France after the Château de Maisons. At Vaux-le-Vicomte, the architect Louis Le Vau, the landscape architect André le Nôtre, and the painter-decorator Charles Le Brun worked together on a large-scale project for the first time. Their collaboration marked the beginning of a new order: the magnificent manner that is associated with the "Louis XIV style" involving a system of collective work, which could be applied to the structure, its interiors and works of art and the creation of an entire landscape. The garden's use of a baroque axis that extends to infinity is an example of this style.[1]



Once a small château located between the royal residences of Vincennes and Fontainebleau, the estate of Vaux-le-Vicomte was purchased by Nicolas Fouquet in 1641. At that time he was an ambitious twenty-six year-old member of the Parlement of Paris. Fouquet was an avid patron of the arts and attracted many artists with the gifts and encouragements he poured on them.

When Fouquet became King Louis XIV's superintendent of finances (Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry (France)) in 1657, he commissioned Le Vau, Le Brun and Le Nôtre to renovate his estate and garden to match his grand ambition. Fouquet’s artistic and cultivated personality subsequently brought out the best in the three.[2]

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