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Henri IV

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Colette Nativel

Partie VI. Du roi bâtisseur à la construction du roi

The Royal Gallery at the Time of Henry IV. Architecture and Ceremonial

Sara Galletti

Texte intégral

  • 1 J. Guillaume, “La galerie dans le château français: place et fonction,” Revue de l’art 102, 1993, (...)

1In the conclusion of a seminal article on the history of the French gallery, Jean Guillaume observed that “in order to understand the French gallery one should not think first of the Galerie François Ier (Fig. 1, pl. XIV, p. LXIV) and the Galerie des Glaces (Fig. 2, pl. XIV, p. LXIV), nor should one believe that the two had similar functions.”1 Guillaume pointed out that not only were both galleries exceptional and, therefore, not representative of the majority of galleries built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but also that their locations within their respective royal apartments characterized them as radically different spaces with regard to ceremonial, accessibility, and use. Whereas the Galerie des Glaces preceded the chambre du roi (the king’s bedchamber) and was largely accessible to courtiers and visitors, the Galerie François Ier was located after the bedchamber, in an area of the apartment where access was far more limited. Using a terminological anachronism, Guillaume called the latter a “private” gallery and the former a “public” one.

  • 2 For an overview and a selected bibliography, see C. Constans and M. Da Vinha eds., Les grandes gal (...)

2The concern with function has both revived and radically changed the literature on the early modern gallery in recent decades. Galleries had traditionally attracted the attention of art historians for the aesthetic qualities of their decorative schemes, but recent scholarship has mostly been concerned with their spatial characteristics (e.g., location, use, accessibility) and with the analysis of the social and political significance of the artworks they housed (e.g., the staging and development of ceremonial, the crafting and broadcasting of a particular image of power). This shift has generated a variety of new studies that are cross-disciplinary in nature and cross-European in focus. Since Wolfram Prinz’s pioneering Die Entstehung der Galerie in Frankreich und Italien (1970) the literature has grown to prodigious size.2

3Yet the history of the French royal gallery is still largely lacunose. The vast majority of studies exploring the relationships between space, social structures, and architectural and decorative features in early modern France have focused on the Valois court and on Versailles, thus the panorama of galleries dating from the 1580s to the 1680s is still uncharted territory. The questions Guillaume’s article raises concerning the shifts in function and content that royal galleries underwent between the time of the Galerie François Ier and that of the Galerie des Glaces are as relevant today as they were two decades ago.

  • 3 M. Chatenet, “Un lieu pour se promener qu’en France on appelle galerie,” Bulletin monumental 166, (...)

4The reign of Henry IV offers an excellent starting point for mapping this territory. As Monique Chatenet has shown, some of the features of Louis XIV’s ceremonial originated in the time of Henry IV; thus, his residences might offer a link between the early and late seventeenth century with regard to the distribution of royal apartments.3 Also, Henry IV was a passionate patron of architecture who had a particular penchant for galleries, and the spaces built during his reign provide for a number of case studies.

  • 4 See J.-P. Babelon, “Les travaux de Henri IV au Louvre et aux Tuileries,” Bulletin de la Société de (...)
  • 5 See F. Boudon and J. Blécon, Le château de Fontainebleau de François Ier à Henri IV: les bâtiments (...)
  • 6 See M. Kitaeff, “Le Château-Neuf de Saint-Germain-en-Laye,” Monuments Piot 77, 1999, p. 73–139 and (...)
  • 7 F. Lesueur, Le château de Blois : tel qu’il fut, tel qu’il est, tel qu’il aurait pu être, Paris, 1 (...)

5Henry IV chose a policy of consolidation, rather than expansion, of the Crown’s traditional seats of power, and he did not add any new residences to the royal domain. Instead, he had many existing edifices enlarged, restored, and refurbished. In the process, one or more galleries were added to each. The Grand Dessein for the Louvre (1594-1595, Fig. 3, pl. XIV, p. LXV) involved the extension of the chateau and its connection to the Tuileries Palace through the Petite Galerie (or Galerie des Illustres, a) and the Grande Galerie (b).4 At Fontainebleau, three new galleries were built around the Jardin de la Reine (or Jardin de Diane, Fig. 4): the Galerie de Chevreuils in the westwing (a) and the superimposed Galerie des Cerfs and Galerie de la Reine in the eastwing (b and c), separated by an aviary in the north wing (d).5 At Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the original design of the Chateau Neuf was modified for Henry IV, and two galleries overlooking the gardens were added to the royal apartments (Fig. 5, a and b).6 At Blois, the king had grandiose plans for the extension of the existing chateau, including the addition of a long gallery at the edge of the lower garden (Fig. 6, above), which would have rivaled the Grande Galerie of the Louvre in size. The project was later downscaled, and a shorter gallery was constructed (Fig. 6, below) and connected to the old chateau through an intermediate wing, a layout that replicated that of the Petite and Grande Galeries of the Louvre.7

Fig. 4 > Israël Silvestre, View of the Jardin de la Reine, Fontainebleau, 17th cent.: a. Galerie de Chevreuils, b. Galerie des Cerfs, c. Galerie de la Reine, d. aviary.

6A preliminary analysis of archival sources suggests that the reason for this proliferation of galleries is found in their functional diversification. The reign of Henry IV marked the appearance of two new types of galleries: the queen’s gallery, which doubled that of the king; and the public gallery, created for public ceremonies, which paralleled the traditional private gallery of the king without substituting it.

THE PRIVATE GALLERY

7Before analyzing some case studies of these diverse functions, it will be helpful to clarify the contextual use of the terms “private” and “public,” which, absent clearer terms, architectural historians apply to the early modern period. Neither term is to be understood in its present-day sense. “Public” in this context refers to spaces whose accessibility was regulated by ceremonial rule—that is, rooms courtiers had the right to enter on the basis of rank, such as the salle (presence chamber), the antichambre (antechamber), and the bedchamber of a royal suite. Conversely, “private” rooms are those whose access was regulated directly by the sovereign—that is, rooms that no one, regardless of social rank, could enter without the sovereign’s express invitation. The location of a room is generally a marker of its belonging to the private or the public realm, as royal apartments usually progressed from the highest level of accessibility to the lowest. For instance, Francis I’s gallery and cabinet at Fontainebleau (Fig. 7, G and C), which followed the king’s bedchamber (CB), were both private rooms. To the contrary, the gallery built for Maria de’ Medici almosta century later in the same residence was public (Fig. 8, GR): it was separate from the queen’s apartment and could be accessed independently of it through the vestibule (V). It should also be kept in mind that a room’s normal function did not prevent exceptional uses. On special occasions, private galleries could hold a crowd if the sovereign so desired, and, conversely, a gallery like Maria de’ Medici’s in Fontainebleau could be transformed into a private room, accessible only from her apartment, by locking the doors between the staircase and the vestibule (Fig. 8, a).

Fig. 5 > Israël Silvestre, View of the Chateau Neuf of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 17th cent., detail: a. and b. royal galleries.

Fig. 6 > Anonymous, First(above) and second (below) project for the Chateau de Blois, ca. 1597–1598.

  • 8 “Un luogo da passeggiare che in Francia si dice galeria,” S. Serlio, Tutte l’opere d’architettura… (...)
  • 9 M. de Montaigne, The Complete Essays, M.A. Screech trans. and ed., London, 1993, p. 933.

8As Serlio explained in his treatise, and as attested by diplomats and chroniclers throughout the sixteenth century, private galleries in France were mainly used as “rooms where to stroll.”8 Such strolls provided an alternative to the physical exercise of hunting; an occasion to isolate oneself from courtiers, either alone or in the company of a few intimates; and a chance to “set one’s thoughts in motion together with their legs,” as in Montaigne’s famous expression.9

Fig. 7 > Fontainebleau, Distribution of the royal apartments under Francis I (Françoise Boudon and Jean Bleìcon, Le château de Fontainebleau de François Ier aÌ Henri IV : les bâtiments et leurs fonctions, Paris: Picard, 1998) : S. salle, CB. bedchamber, C. cabinet, G. Galerie François Ier, GR. garde-robe.

Fig. 8 > Fontainebleau, Distribution of the royal apartments under Henry IV (Sara Galletti): (in black the king’s apartment, in grey the queen’s) S. salle des gardes, ACH. antechamber, CH. bedchamber, GF. Galerie François Ier, GR. Galerie de la Reine, V. vestibule, a. door giving access to the vestibule (V).

  • 10 T. Platter, Description de Paris par Thomas Platter le jeune de Bâle (1599), L. Sieber ed., Nogent (...)
  • 11 Numerous examples of walking conferences with various advisors and diplomats are found in P. de L’ (...)
  • 12 Mercure François, 1608, p. 252v. Pierre de L’Estoile reports that the king had a similarly long me (...)

9The Grande Galerie of the Louvre (Fig. 9, GG) served these same functions. Henry IV would often retreat to the gallery “to be on his own,” to have a private conversation with an advisor, or to discuss politics with a foreign ambassador on a one-on-one basis rather than in front of the courtiers who populated his bedchamber (CH) and the other public rooms of the royal apartment (S, ACH).10 Being invited for a private meeting with the king in his private gallery was a special mark of honor, as well as an occasion for the sovereign to display his architectural and artistic endeavors. In the case of Henry—who, similar to Montaigne, seems to have done most of his political thinking and talking while walking—a reception of this kind could also become an occasion for the display of physical prowess.11 This was the case for the reception of Pedro de Toledo, the special ambassador of Philip III of Spain, who, according to the Mercure François, walked with the king for five hours during a private reception in the Grande Galerie in the summer of 1608. Once released, the exhausted diplomat is said to have rushed back to his apartment in the Hôtel de Gondi and to have taken a long nap. Informed of this, Henry IV turned the episode into a publicly self-aggrandizing anecdote: “This will teach the Spaniards about the strength of the king of France; if it is war that they want, I will be on my horse before they can even reach the stirrup.”12

  • 13 Several occurrences are found in J. Héroard, Journal de Jean Héroard: médecin de Louis XIII, M. Fo (...)
  • 14 G. Canestrini and A. Desjardins eds., Négociations diplomatiques de la France avec la Toscane, v.  (...)

10Despite the fact that the Grande Galerie was accessed via the king’s bedchamber and was mostly used by the king himself, records show that Henry occasionally shared it with other members of the royal family. According to Jean Héroard, physician of the future Louis XIII, the king allowed the young prince to use the gallery as a hunting grounds and a football field on rainy days.13 In November 1609, Camillo Guidi, a Florentine diplomat, reported that Queen Maria de’ Medici had taken a long stroll in the Grande Galerie a few hours before the birth of the couple’s sixth child, princess Henrietta Maria.14

Fig. 9 > Louvre, Distribution of the king’s apartment, early 17th cent. (Sara Galletti) : S. salle des gardes, ACH. antechamber, CH. bedchamber, PG. Petite Galerie, GG. Grande Galerie.

THE PUBLIC GALLERY

  • 15 J. Gentilhâtre, Livre de l’architecture, Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), ms. fr. 14727 [16 (...)

11According to architectural theory, the function of the royal gallery did not change at the advent of the seventeenth century. In the 1620s, Jacques Gentilhâtre wrote in his treatise that “the gallery is a room where one can take a walk while talking business with friends;” the same definition of a gallery as a “room made for strolls” was given by André Félibien as late as 1676.15

  • 16 D. Godefroy and T. Godefroy, Le cérémonial françois…, Paris, 1649, v. 2, p. 169–172. The plan was (...)
  • 17 Mercure François, 1610, p. 462v.
  • 18 “Alla piazza del re herano le guardie armate, nella sala fui incontrato dal luogotenente e nella p (...)

12However, primary sources reveal that Henry IV introduced the use of public galleries into the court ceremonial, thus establishing a precedent for the grandiose receptions later staged by Louis XIV in the Galerie des Glaces. In 1606, plans for the celebrations accompanying the baptism of Louis XIII included a meal to be offered to the courtiers in the Petite Galerie of the Louvre, next to the king’s bedchamber (Fig. 9, PG).16 In May 1610, during the ceremonies for the funeral of Henry IV, the king’s body was exposed for eight days in his bedchamber (CH), and the Petite Galerie was used both as a chapel (with altars placed against the side walls) and as an exit for visitors, who, to avoid overcrowding, were let in to the bedchamber from the salle des gardes (S) and let out through a secondary stairway adjoining the gallery.17 Of course, the baptism of the heir to the throne and the funeral of the king are occasions solemn enough to justify the exceptional use of a private gallery for public ceremony. Yet diplomatic correspondence testifies that the Petite Galerie was used for public ceremonies on a regular basis, not only on special occasions. In October 1607, for instance, it was in the Petite Galerie that Henry IV gave public audience to Luigi Bevilacqua, a Medicean envoy to the court of France.18

  • 19 Mercure François, 1612, p. 466–468v.

13Louis XIII continued the tradition established by his father. In August1612, when the Duke of Pastrana was given an audience in the Petite Galerie, he entered the king’s apartment from the salle des gardes and walked through the antechamber and bedchamber, which were decorated by members of the court disposed by rank in a crescendo that terminated in the gallery. The gallery itself had been set up as a throne room, with Louis XIII and Maria de’ Medici seated side-by-side on an elevated platform at the far end of the room, looking out on the river Seine. Behind them, the ladies of the court stood on stands shaped as “those of a theatre,” while the pages of the king’s and queen’s bedchambers stood behind barriers placed along the sides of the room.19 Along with the members of the royal family, large numbers of courtiers attended such ceremonies, as reported by Camillo Guidi in September 1618:

  • 20 “Monsieur di Bonoeil […] mi condusse da Sua Maestà, la quale riscontrai a mezza la galleria che ve (...)

Monsieur de Bonneuil […] led me to His Majesty, whom I met midway down the gallery as he was coming towards me […] The audience was long and favorable […] and one might say that the whole court and nobility was there.20

  • 21 Published in J. Thuillier, “Peinture et politique: une théorie de la galerie royale sous Henri IV, (...)

14The documentation concerning the decorative schemes of the Petite Galerie suggests that, since its construction, the room had been destined for public ceremonies of this kind. In December 1600, Antoine de Laval, the king’s geographer, provided Henry IV with a proposal for the painted decoration of the newly completed gallery, Des peintures convenables aux basiliques et palais du roy, même à sa galerie du Louvre à Paris.21 Laval’s idea was to turn the room into a dynastic celebration of the French monarchy by decorating it with a series of portraits of kings, from the legendary Pharamond up to Henry IV. A few years later, the concept was modified to include royal couples instead of lone kings, and Jacob Bunel realized the program as a series of twenty-eight portraits, from Henry IV and Maria de’ Medici back to Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne.

  • 22 J. Thuillier, “Peinture et politique: une théorie de la galerie royale sous Henri IV,” in A. Châte (...)

15As noted by Jacques Thuillier, Laval’s proposal was profoundly innovative in that it broke with the mythological and leisure-oriented decorations of earlier royal galleries, such as the Galerie François Ier and the Gallery of Ulysses at Fontainebleau, to introduce one of the most successful themes of the seventeenth century: the celebration of a king or a royal dynasty through the representation of historical, rather than allegorical, pictures.22

  • 23 J. Thuillier, “Peinture et politique: une théorie de la galerie royale sous Henri IV,” in A. Châte (...)
  • 24 Ibid., p. 200.

16Laval’s text suggests that the novelty of the proposed program was directly related to the novelty of the room’s function as a public gallery. In the introduction, the author emphasizes the need to keep the room’s future audiences in mind when choosing its decoration: “The painted ornamentation needs to be appropriate to the room and the people who will frequent it the most.”23 Later, he specifies the people to whom he is referring: “The princes [who] will see in this decoration a stimulus toward virtue […] and the nobility […], who will find in it the answers to questions concerning the history of our kings.”24 This didactic approach and the explicit mention of members of the court indicate that the program was not conceived for a private gallery and the solitary enjoyment of its owner.

17As mentioned earlier in the case of Maria de’ Medici’s gallery at Fontainebleau, a public room normally accessible to courtiers could temporarily become private with the turn of a key, if needed. The Petite Galerie was no exception to this rule, according to the journal written by Cassiano dal Pozzo, Cardinal Francesco Barberini’s secretary during Barberini’s mission in France as special legate in 1625. The Relazione diaria records that on one occasion the cardinal was let into the Louvre through a “secret entrance” in the Tuileries and was then led through the Grande Galerie and the Petite Galerie before meeting the king in his bedchamber for an audience:

  • 25 “Andò [il cardinal Barberini] con carrozza turata, seguito da due lacchè soli, et entrò per la por (...)

[Cardinal Barberini] went in a closed carriage followed only by two lackeys, and entered by the secret door of the Louvre that is in the Tuileries, went up a staircase […] walked through a painted gallery covered by a rather low vaulted ceiling […] from there he walked into other painted rooms looking over the royal gardens […] and from those he entered the Grande Galerie […] where he was met by Monsieur de Bleinville […] They went past that unfinished gallery [the Grande Galerie] into a large vaulted hall [the Petite Galerie] […] on the walls of which were portraits of the kings of France and of the queens their consorts. In that room the cardinal legate was met by Cardinal Richelieu, Monsieur d’Aligre, the count of Chomberg, and others […] who then led him through a painted corridor into the bedchamber of His Majesty.25

  • 26 “Pareva cosa strana a quei del legato il sentir cicalar da loro che stavano in camera [con] così p (...)
  • 27 “Sua Maestà giaceva in una trabacca di velluto rosso serrata d’ogn’intorno fuor che verso il stret (...)

18An audience in the king’s bedchamber could not be a private one, as the room was freely accessible to high ranking courtiers during the day. As a matter of fact, Cassiano mentions the loud chattering of courtiers in the room, a valet’s attempts to contain it, and the cardinal’s surprise at the proverbial familiarity between the French king and his court, which foreigners often misinterpreted as lack of respect.26 Nevertheless, the cardinal was given an audience in the ruelle, the space between the king’s bed and the wall, and Cassiano emphasizes that the curtains were pulled down on the sides of the bed opening onto the room, thus indicating that the meeting was not meant to be broadly publicized (which explains why the cardinal had been let in through the galleries instead of parading before the crowds that populated the king’s salle and antechamber).27 On the occasion, the Petite Galerie served one of the traditional roles of private galleries: to offer a discreet way in or out of a sovereign’s apartment.

19The Petite Galerie combined the typical location of a sixteenth-century private royal gallery behind the king’s bedchamber with the new, public purposes for which Henry IV intended it. This combination implied a change in the nature of the bedchamber itself, which thus lost its long-established role as a threshold between the public realm (the bedchamber and the rooms that preceded it) and the private (the rooms that followed it). With its public sequence of salle des gardes—antechamber—bedchamber—Petite Galerie, Henry IV’s apartment in the Louvre constitutes a significant precedent to the grand appartement of Louis XIV at Versailles.

THE QUEEN’S GALLERY

20Along with the public gallery, the second novelty that Henry IV introduced in the layout of royal apartments was the queen’s gallery. Around 1600, new galleries adjoining the queen’s apartment were added to both the Chateau Neuf of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Fig. 5) and to Fontainebleau (Fig. 8, GR).

  • 28 “Que l’appartement du logis de la reine mère de Ladite Majesté soit, s’il est possible, à plain pi (...)
  • 29 H. Sauval, Histoire et recherches des antiquités de la ville de Paris, Paris, 1724, v. 2, p. 281. (...)

21Sixteenth-century royal residences did not feature queens’ galleries, not even after the publication of Henry III’s 1585 ceremonial, which recommended the introduction of a gallery for the queen mother.28 Queens did have galleries in their private residences, as did Catherine de’ Medici in her Parisian hôtel (later the Hôtel de Soissons), but within the royal domain the last residence to feature double galleries for the king and the queen was Charles V’s Hôtel Saint-Pol.29

  • 30 M. Chatenet, La cour de France au XVIe siècle: vie sociale et architecture, Paris, 2002, p. 190–19 (...)

22The origins of the queen’s galleries at Fontainebleau and Saint-Germain are far from clear. Henry IV seems to have broken a long-lasting association between galleries and male privilege without otherwise implementing major changes to court ceremonial. Nor does the novelty seem to derive from Maria de’ Medici’s Florentine descent, as women’s galleries were not a common feature in Italy either. Perhaps the emergence of the queen’s gallery is attributable to the growing importance of the queen’s status, which was one of the notable aspects of Henry III’s ceremonial, as Monique Chatenet has shown.30 Or perhaps providing the queen with a gallery was a way to diversify the uses of existing galleries, as the case of Fontainebleau seems to suggest.

  • 31 C. dal Pozzo, Relazione diaria della legazione di Francesco Barberini in Francia, 1625, BAV, f. 17 (...)
  • 32 “Andorno fra tanto condotti all’udienza di Sua Maestà dal marescial d’Aubeter, i due ambasciatori (...)

23The queen’s gallery in Fontainebleau was a public room that could be accessed independently from the queen’s apartment. A number of sources indicate that it was used for public ceremonies such as audiences, receptions, and public meals. The memoir of Cassiano dal Pozzo indicates that the gallery was mostly open to courtiers during the day, similar to the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles. Cardinal Barberini often used it to leave the residence from his apartment, which was adjacent to the queen’s in the northeast wing of the Cour du Donjon.31 Cassiano also reports an instance of two Spanish ambassadors being led through the queen’s gallery to meet with the king in his apartment. The diplomats, who stayed in a pavilion overlooking the Conciergerie (north of the Cour du Donjon), walked through the gallery and accessed Louis XIII’s apartment from the outdoor corridor of the Cour du Donjon (Fig. 10, pl. XIV, p. LXV).32

  • 33 G. Canestrini and A. Desjardins (eds.), Négociations diplomatiques de la France avec la Toscane, v (...)
  • 34 M. Chatenet, La cour de France au XVIe siècle: vie sociale et architecture, Paris, 2002, p. 170–17 (...)
  • 35 Discours sur l’ordre observé à l’arrivée de Dom Pedre de Tholède…, Lyon, 1608, p. 811.
  • 36 B. Jestaz, “Étiquette et distribution intérieure dans les Maisons royales de la Renaissance,” Bull (...)

24Other records show that the same gallery was occasionally closed to visitors and reserved for the private use of both the queen and the king. On 21 July 1608, Henry IV gave Pedro de Toledo a private audience in Maria de’ Medici’s gallery. This audience followed the public audience the ambassador had been given the previous day in the king’s apartment. On the occasion, Florentine diplomat Camillo Guidi recorded that “the queen’s gallery here in Fontainebleau is conveniently located, since both the queen and the king can access it from their private rooms.”33 Thus, Henry and Maria seem to have shared a gallery in Fontainebleau, at least occasionally, as they also did in the Louvre. This is not surprising in itself, as Francis I and Eleanor of Austria did the same with the gallery at Villers Cotterêts.34 Yet at Fontainebleau the king had the Galerie François Ier at his disposal, and it is therefore unclear why it would have been important for him to have access to the queen’s gallery via his private rooms. Henry IV might simply have enjoyed the use of two galleries instead of one. On the other hand, the need might have originated in the changes he had made to the distribution of his own apartment. The account of the first public reception given to Pedro de Toledo in the king’s apartment on 20 July 1608 indicates that the king’s bedchamber had changed location since the time of Charles IX. The Spaniard and his train walked through a suite of six rooms populated by members of the court disposed by rank (Fig. 11, 1 to 6) before meeting the king in a seventh room, where he sat on the throne surrounded by the princes of the blood (7).35 This extraordinarily long sequence went beyond the limits of the king’s apartment to include the Salle Ovalle (6) and to overflow into the antechamber of the queen’s apartment (7). This was certainly an attempt at making an impression on the Spaniards, famous for their pompous ways and notoriously disappointed by the familiarité of French kings. The text identifies the king’s bedchamber with the fifth room of the sequence (5), preceded by the king’s cabinet (4), thus suggesting that two important changes had taken place since the time of Charles IX: the bedchamber had been moved two rooms farther into what had previously been one of Charles’s IX cabinets (Fig. 12), and Henry’s cabinet preceded his bedchamber instead of following it. These changes seem to have been inspired by Henry III’s 1585 ceremonial, which proposed the multiplication of rooms preceding the bedchamber, and it cannot be ruled out that they were introduced by Henry III himself, as Bertrand Jestaz suggests.36 The new layout of the king’s apartment in Fontainebleau lent itself to pompous receptions and ceremonies, but it also deprived the sovereign of his private access to the Galerie François Ier. His predecessors could enter the gallery directly from their bedchamber, but Henry IV had to walk through a cabinet and an antechamber crowded with courtiers to get there. This loss of privacy—and of a way to exit and enter his apartment unnoticed—might have led to a need to access the queen’s gallery through the private rooms of both royal apartments.

Fig. 11 > Fontainebleau, Reception of Pedro de Toledo on 20 July 1608 (Sara Galletti): 4. “king’s cabinet,” 5. “king’s bedchamber,” 6. Salle Ovale.

  • 37 S. Galletti, “Rubens et la galerie de Henri IV au palais du Luxembourg (1628-1630),” Bulletin Monu (...)

25The coexistence of private and public galleries was later replicated in the Luxembourg Palace (Fig. 13), where the queen’s gallery (GM), decorated with Rubens’s Life of Maria de’ Medici (1622–1625), was a private room, and the symmetrical gallery (GH) destined to host its pendant, the Life of Henry IV (1628–1630, unfinished), was a public one.37

Fig. 12 > Fontainebleau, Distribution of the apartment of Charles IX (Françoise Boudon and Jean Blécon, Le château de Fontainebleau de François Ier à Henri IV: les bâtiments et leurs fonctions, Paris: Picard, 1998): S. salle des gardes, CH. bedchamber, GF. Galerie François Ier, C. cabinet.

GALLERIES AS ESCAPE-WAYS

26Histories of galleries often overlook their relationship to security. Aside from being “passageways where one sojourns,” to use André Chastel’s famous expression, venues for public ceremonies, and showrooms for the display of artworks, most sixteenth and seventeenth-century galleries also provided their owners with a discreet way to enter and leave their apartments.

  • 38 See M. Mercier, “D’un couteau à l’autre: le temps des régicides d’Henri III à Henri IV,” in P.-G. (...)

27No matter how sophisticated some of these rooms were, artistically speaking, their function as escape-ways was a crucial one in a “time of regicides.”38 Among the many escape-ways of the early modern period was the Gallery of Maps (Fig. 14, pl. XIV, p. LXVI), the lavishly decorated annex to the Vatican Palace that connected it to the Belvedere villa, conveniently located near the city walls (Fig. 15). Another contemporary example was the Uffizi Gallery, which linked the Palazzo della Signoria to the Pitti Palace through Vasari’s Corridor (Fig. 16, pl. XIV, p. LXVI). The gallery-corridor connection provided the Grand Dukes of Tuscany with an escape-way from the heart of the city to its outskirts, again close to the defensive walls.

Fig. 13 > Luxembourg Palace, Distribution of royal apartments (Sara Galletti): S. salle des gardes, ACH. antechamber, CH. bedchamber, C. cabinet, GM. Galerie Marie de Médicis, GH. Galerie Henry IV.

  • 39 H. Sauval, Histoire et recherches des antiquités de la ville de Paris, Paris, 1724, v. 2, p. 40. M (...)

28Henry IV had no less reason to fear for his life than the pope or the Medici: the assassination of his predecessor and the two attempts on his own life, in 1593 and 1594, had made that clear. At least some of the many galleries he built must have thus been conceived as safety devices. This hypothesis is confirmed by Henri Sauval in his description of the Grande Galerie of the Louvre, which crossed over the city walls into the city’s faubourgs (Fig. 17): “The gallery was built for Henry IV along the river and all the way to the Tuileries Palace, which at the time was part of the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. This was done in order for the king to be able to enter or exit the city whenever he wished to do so, so that he would not be a prisoner inside the same walls where the honor and the life of his predecessor had been put at risk by the frenzy of an angry mob.”39

29The history of French royal galleries developed in a nonlinear fashion. The purposes that royal galleries served underwent a change in function—from private to public—from the time of Francis I to that of Louis XIV, but the documentation collected here also shows that this change was not a general shift from one purpose to the other. The introduction of public galleries at the time of Henry IV did not imply the disappearance of private ones; rather, public and private galleries coexisted for a while as separate, parallel spaces used on different occasions for different purposes. This differentiation led to the proliferation of new royal galleries around the beginning of the seventeenth century. The case of Fontainebleau indicates that this phenomenon, combined with a new, higher status for the queen, might also explain the introduction of queen’s galleries—a point that further research will need to explore. Similarly, further study of the first Bourbons’ court ceremonial is necessary for a full understanding of whether and how the introduction of public galleries affected the traditional function and location of the royal bedchamber, as suggested by the ambiguous case of the Petite Galerie of the Louvre.

Fig. 15 > Antonio Tempesta, View of Rome, 1593, detail showing the Vatican.

Fig. 17 > Mathieu Merian, Map of Paris, 1615, detail showing the Louvre and the Tuileries.

Notes

1 J. Guillaume, “La galerie dans le château français: place et fonction,” Revue de l’art 102, 1993, p. 40.

2 For an overview and a selected bibliography, see C. Constans and M. Da Vinha eds., Les grandes galeries européennes, XVIIe-XIXe siècles, Paris, 2010, M. Chatenet (ed.), La galerie à Paris (XIVe-XVIIe siècle), special issue of the Bulletin monumental 116, 1, 2008, and Chr. Strunck and E. Kieven (eds.), Europäische Galeriebauten (1400–1800), Akten des Internationalen Symposions der Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rom, 23.–26. Februar 2005, Munich, 2010.

3 M. Chatenet, “Un lieu pour se promener qu’en France on appelle galerie,” Bulletin monumental 166, 1, 2008, p. 11.

4 See J.-P. Babelon, “Les travaux de Henri IV au Louvre et aux Tuileries,” Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire de Paris et de l’Île-de-France 30, 1979, p. 55–130 and J.-M. Pérouse de Montclos, “Le Grand Dessein du Louvre,” Bulletin de la société de l’histoire de l’art français, 1998, p. 917.

5 See F. Boudon and J. Blécon, Le château de Fontainebleau de François Ier à Henri IV: les bâtiments et leurs fonctions, Paris, 1998, p. 74–80.

6 See M. Kitaeff, “Le Château-Neuf de Saint-Germain-en-Laye,” Monuments Piot 77, 1999, p. 73–139 and E. Lurin, “Le Château-Neuf de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, une villa royale pour Henri IV,” Bulletin des Amis du Vieux Saint-Germain 45, 2008, p. 123–147.

7 F. Lesueur, Le château de Blois : tel qu’il fut, tel qu’il est, tel qu’il aurait pu être, Paris, 1970, p. 125–130.

8 “Un luogo da passeggiare che in Francia si dice galeria,” S. Serlio, Tutte l’opere d’architettura…, Venice, 1584, book VII, chap. 24, p. 56.

9 M. de Montaigne, The Complete Essays, M.A. Screech trans. and ed., London, 1993, p. 933.

10 T. Platter, Description de Paris par Thomas Platter le jeune de Bâle (1599), L. Sieber ed., Nogent-le-Rotrou, 1896, p. 28.

11 Numerous examples of walking conferences with various advisors and diplomats are found in P. de L’Estoile, Journal de L’Estoile pour le règne de Henri IV, v. 3, Paris, 1960 as well as in G. Canestrini and A. Desjardins eds., Négociations diplomatiques de la France avec la Toscane, v. 5, Paris, 1875.

12 Mercure François, 1608, p. 252v. Pierre de L’Estoile reports that the king had a similarly long meeting with two diplomats from Holland and Zealand a few weeks before his assassination, on 22 April 1610 (P. de L’Estoile, Journal de L’Estoile pour le règne de Henri IV, v. 3, Paris, 1960, p. 64).

13 Several occurrences are found in J. Héroard, Journal de Jean Héroard: médecin de Louis XIII, M. Foisil ed., Paris, 1989, for instance in v. 1, p. 902 (17 March 1610).

14 G. Canestrini and A. Desjardins eds., Négociations diplomatiques de la France avec la Toscane, v. 5, Paris, 1875, p. 597.

15 J. Gentilhâtre, Livre de l’architecture, Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), ms. fr. 14727 [1615–1625] and A. Félibien, Des principes de l’architecture, de la sculpture, de la peinture et des autres arts qui en dépendent, avec un dictionnaire des termes propres à chacun de ces arts, Paris, 1676, both cited in C. Mignot, “La galerie dans les traités,” in C. Constans and M. Da Vinha (eds.), op. cit., p. 37–49.

16 D. Godefroy and T. Godefroy, Le cérémonial françois…, Paris, 1649, v. 2, p. 169–172. The plan was later abandoned, as the baptism of Louis XIII was moved to Fontainebleau.

17 Mercure François, 1610, p. 462v.

18 “Alla piazza del re herano le guardie armate, nella sala fui incontrato dal luogotenente e nella prima camera dal capitano della guardia, et introdotti nella galeria ho havuta l’audienza publica,” letter of Luigi Bevilacqua, 16 October 1607, Archivio di Stato di Firenze (ASF), Miscellanea Medicea 96/53, 19.

19 Mercure François, 1612, p. 466–468v.

20 “Monsieur di Bonoeil […] mi condusse da Sua Maestà, la quale riscontrai a mezza la galleria che veniva verso di me […] L’audienza fu lunga et favorita […] et essendovi, si può dir, tutta la corte et nobiltà,” letter of Camillo Guidi, 18 October 1618, ASF, Mediceo del Principato 4866, f. 589.

21 Published in J. Thuillier, “Peinture et politique: une théorie de la galerie royale sous Henri IV,” in A. Châtelet and N. Reynaud (eds.), Études d’art français offertes à Charles Sterling, Paris, 1975, p. 195–205.

22 J. Thuillier, “Peinture et politique: une théorie de la galerie royale sous Henri IV,” in A. Châtelet and N. Reynaud (eds.), op. cit., p. 175–205. See also M. McGowan, “Le phénomène de la galerie des portraits des illustres,” in R. Mousnier and J. Mesnard (eds.), L’Âge d’or du mécénat (1598-1661), Paris, 1985, p. 411–422.

23 J. Thuillier, “Peinture et politique: une théorie de la galerie royale sous Henri IV,” in A. Châtelet and N. Reynaud (eds.), op. cit., p. 195. My emphasis.

24 Ibid., p. 200.

25 “Andò [il cardinal Barberini] con carrozza turata, seguito da due lacchè soli, et entrò per la porta segreta del Louvre che è alle Tuillerie. Quivi salito per una larghissima scala a lumaca […] si passò in una galleria dipinta assai bassa di volta, quale [è] stata rassetta non molto prima per causa dell’incendio che haveva patito quella parte del palazzo […] Da quella si passava in alcun altre [stanze] pur figurate, [le] quali tutte da ambi due lati riguardavano i giardini reali […] Da queste si passava in tre o quattr’altre [stanze] non finite […] et da dette s’entra nella gran galleria fabricata dal re Arrigo IV [la] quale ha l’armamento d’una volta di legnami da coprirla d’incannucciata per farla dipingere, lunga in tutta 670 passi […] Al fin di detta galleria 20 passi in circa si fece incontro al signor cardinale Monsieur di Bleinville, un de’quattro primi gentilhuomini della camera di Sua Maestà, con altri dell’istessa, [il] quale, complito che hebbe seco, s’accompagnò con noi altri. Passati da detta galleria non finita in una gran sala voltata et dipinta con deità, da i lati della quale in uno si vedevano i ritratti de i re di Francia dall’altra rincontra delle regine moglie de’suddetti. A mezzo di essa si fece incontra al legato il cardinale Richelieu con Monsieur d’Aligre cancelliere et il conte di Chomberg con alcuni altri, da’quali fu condotto l’illustrissimo legato, per un andito pur dipinto, nella camera di Sua Maestà,” C. dal Pozzo, Relazione diaria della legazione di Francesco Barberini in Francia, 1625, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (BAV), f. 124v–125v.

26 “Pareva cosa strana a quei del legato il sentir cicalar da loro che stavano in camera [con] così poco rispetto che un valletto di essa havesse di tanto in tanto a far cenno che si stesse zitto e si parlasse basso,” Ibid., f. 126.

27 “Sua Maestà giaceva in una trabacca di velluto rosso serrata d’ogn’intorno fuor che verso il stretto del muro. Quivi il signor cardinale entrò et, fatta assai profonda riverenza et accolto benignissimamente da Sua Maestà che si sollevò assai per honorarlo, datosegli a sedere, cominciò il suo discorso, nel qual non fu mai interrotto,” Ibid., f. 125v–126.

28 “Que l’appartement du logis de la reine mère de Ladite Majesté soit, s’il est possible, à plain pied de celuy de Leurs Majestez, sinon le plus près et commode qu’il se pourra, où il y ait salle, antichambre, chambre et cabinet, et s’il y a moyen qu’il y aye une gallerie,” Reiglement faict par le roy à Paris le Ier jour de janvier 1585…, BnF, NA fr. 7225, published in E. Griselle, Supplément à la maison du roi Louis XIII…, Paris, 1912, p. 11.

29 H. Sauval, Histoire et recherches des antiquités de la ville de Paris, Paris, 1724, v. 2, p. 281. Charles V is known to have also had separate private and public apartments, see M. Whiteley, “Public and Private Space in Royal and Princely Chateaux in Late Medieval France,” in A. Renoux (ed.), Palais Royaux et princiers au Moyen Âge: Colloque international tenu au Mans les 6-7 oct. 1994, Le Mans, 1996, p. 71–75.

30 M. Chatenet, La cour de France au XVIe siècle: vie sociale et architecture, Paris, 2002, p. 190–194 and 207–214.

31 C. dal Pozzo, Relazione diaria della legazione di Francesco Barberini in Francia, 1625, BAV, f. 174v, 179v–180, and 182.

32 “Andorno fra tanto condotti all’udienza di Sua Maestà dal marescial d’Aubeter, i due ambasciatori di Spagna, quali saliti per la galleria della regina regnante andorno all’appartamento di Sua Maestà qual non gli venne incontro nemeno gl’accompagnò,” Ibid., f. 202–202v.

33 G. Canestrini and A. Desjardins (eds.), Négociations diplomatiques de la France avec la Toscane, v. 5, Paris, 1875, p. 569.

34 M. Chatenet, La cour de France au XVIe siècle: vie sociale et architecture, Paris, 2002, p. 170–171.

35 Discours sur l’ordre observé à l’arrivée de Dom Pedre de Tholède…, Lyon, 1608, p. 811.

36 B. Jestaz, “Étiquette et distribution intérieure dans les Maisons royales de la Renaissance,” Bulletin Monumental 146, 2, 1988, p. 115–116.

37 S. Galletti, “Rubens et la galerie de Henri IV au palais du Luxembourg (1628-1630),” Bulletin Monumental 166, 1, 2008, p. 43–51, et S. Galletti, “L’appartement de Marie de Médicis au palais du Luxembourg,” in cat. expo. Marie de Médicis: un gouvernement par les arts, P. Bassani Pacht, T. Crépin-Leblond, N. Sainte Fare Garnot et al. (eds.), Paris/Blois, 2003, p. 124–133.

38 See M. Mercier, “D’un couteau à l’autre: le temps des régicides d’Henri III à Henri IV,” in P.-G. Girault, M. Mercier and D. Crouzet (eds.), Fêtes et crimes à la renaissance: la cour d’Henri III, Paris, 2010, p. 72–79.

39 H. Sauval, Histoire et recherches des antiquités de la ville de Paris, Paris, 1724, v. 2, p. 40. My emphasis. On royal galleries used as escape-ways, see also M. Whiteley, “Relationship between Garden, Park and Princely Residence in Medieval France,” in J. Guillaume (ed.), Architecture, jardin, paysage: l’environnement du château et de la villa aux XVe et XVIe siècles, Paris, 1999, p. 97.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 4 > Israël Silvestre, View of the Jardin de la Reine, Fontainebleau, 17th cent.: a. Galerie de Chevreuils, b. Galerie des Cerfs, c. Galerie de la Reine, d. aviary.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/8459/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 169k
Légende Fig. 5 > Israël Silvestre, View of the Chateau Neuf of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 17th cent., detail: a. and b. royal galleries.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/8459/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 353k
Légende Fig. 6 > Anonymous, First(above) and second (below) project for the Chateau de Blois, ca. 1597–1598.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/8459/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 161k
Légende Fig. 7 > Fontainebleau, Distribution of the royal apartments under Francis I (Françoise Boudon and Jean Bleìcon, Le château de Fontainebleau de François Ier aÌ Henri IV : les bâtiments et leurs fonctions, Paris: Picard, 1998) : S. salle, CB. bedchamber, C. cabinet, G. Galerie François Ier, GR. garde-robe.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/8459/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 165k
Légende Fig. 8 > Fontainebleau, Distribution of the royal apartments under Henry IV (Sara Galletti): (in black the king’s apartment, in grey the queen’s) S. salle des gardes, ACH. antechamber, CH. bedchamber, GF. Galerie François Ier, GR. Galerie de la Reine, V. vestibule, a. door giving access to the vestibule (V).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/8459/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 253k
Légende Fig. 9 > Louvre, Distribution of the king’s apartment, early 17th cent. (Sara Galletti) : S. salle des gardes, ACH. antechamber, CH. bedchamber, PG. Petite Galerie, GG. Grande Galerie.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/8459/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 99k
Légende Fig. 11 > Fontainebleau, Reception of Pedro de Toledo on 20 July 1608 (Sara Galletti): 4. “king’s cabinet,” 5. “king’s bedchamber,” 6. Salle Ovale.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/8459/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 201k
Légende Fig. 12 > Fontainebleau, Distribution of the apartment of Charles IX (Françoise Boudon and Jean Blécon, Le château de Fontainebleau de François Ier à Henri IV: les bâtiments et leurs fonctions, Paris: Picard, 1998): S. salle des gardes, CH. bedchamber, GF. Galerie François Ier, C. cabinet.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/8459/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 152k
Légende Fig. 13 > Luxembourg Palace, Distribution of royal apartments (Sara Galletti): S. salle des gardes, ACH. antechamber, CH. bedchamber, C. cabinet, GM. Galerie Marie de Médicis, GH. Galerie Henry IV.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/8459/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 175k
Légende Fig. 15 > Antonio Tempesta, View of Rome, 1593, detail showing the Vatican.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/8459/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 220k
Légende Fig. 17 > Mathieu Merian, Map of Paris, 1615, detail showing the Louvre and the Tuileries.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/8459/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 481k

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Duke University

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