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From 1 July to 15 October 2017
Château Royal de Blois
Published at 14/03/2017

Gaston d'Orléans was born in 1608, son of Henri IV, brother of King Louis XIII, and uncle of Louis XIV. He remains an unknown, controversial prince in the history of France. The Château Royal de Blois was Gaston's favourite residence, and it was where he died in 1660. He entrusted François Mansart with a wide-ranging reconstruction project that remained uncompleted. The château has chosen to mount an exhibition with the aim of rehabilitating Gaston. The exhibition presents the politician and lays emphasis on the cultivated prince, a collector and protector of the arts who built up a precious cabinet of curiosities, reputedly "one of the richest cabinets of Europe". The exhibition displays part of his famous collection of medals and antiques, shells, geographical maps, books, and bindings, and especially the exceptional set of paintings on vellum that he commissioned from Nicolas Robert. The paintings reproduce, in minute detail and with extreme sumptuousness, the plants and birds of the botanic garden that he established at Blois.

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