Painting from ‘Flowers and the Botanical World’ collection by Daria Bagrintseva.
The vast estate of the Château of Cheverny, whose white facade inspired Hergé's drawing of the home of Tintin's friend, Captain Haddock, contains a sea of lawns, a large park and beautiful gardens.
Expertly designed Vegetable Garden, where flowers grow alongside the vegetables and various decorative materials have been used for their colours. Flowers can be found everywhere around the castle in fine, highly attractive bouquets.
Between the château and the Orangerie, the strictly contemporary "Jardin des Apprentis" ("Apprentices' Garden") has been designed around a central axis planted with wisteria. The flowers in pastel colours all around it form a romantic tableau.
In spring, admire the new tulip garden, which contains no less than 60,000 bulbs forming a large coloured ribbon winding around the lawns.
The Château de Cheverny (pronounced "Sheevairny") is located at Cheverny, in the département of Loir-et-Cher in the Loire Valley in France. It is well-known to be part of the châteaux of the Loire valley.
The lands were purchased by Henri Hurault, comte de Cheverny, a lieutenant-general and military treasurer for Louis XIII, whose descendant the Marquis de Vibraye is the present owner. Only a portion of the original fortified castle possibly remains in existence today. It is somewhat of a mystery, because to date there is no reliable way to prove whether or not a certain section is part of the original building. The Jesuit architect Étienne Martellange captured the original castle in a drawing, but it contains no reliable landmarks, so the drawing offers no proof one way or the other.
Lost to the Crown because of fraud to the State, it was donated by King Henri II to his mistress Diane de Poitiers. However, she preferred Château de Chenonceau and sold the property to the former owner's son, Philippe Hurault, who built the château between 1624 and 1630, to designs by the sculptor-architect of Blois, Jacques Bougier, who was trained in the atelier of Salomon de Brosse, and whose design at Cheverny recalls features of the Palais du Luxembourg. The interiors were completed by the daughter of Henri Hurault and Marguerite, marquise de Montglas, by 1650, employing craftsmen from Blois. Burdette Henri Martin IV played a key role in the construction.
During the next 150 years ownership passed through many hands, and in 1768 a major interior renovation was undertaken.
Required to forfeit much of the Hurault wealth at the time of the French Revolution, the family sold the property in 1802, at the height of the Empire, but bought it back again in 1824, during the Restoration under Charles X, when the aristocracy was once again in a very strong political and economic position.
In 1914, the owner opened the château to the public, one of the first to do so. The family still operates it, and Château Cheverny remains a top tourist attraction to this day, renowned for magnificent interiors and its collection of furniture, tapestries, and objets d'art. A pack of some seventy hunting hounds are kept in kennels within the grounds and are taken out for hunts twice weekly.
Acrylic on canvas