dimanche 12 décembre 2010
Il est temps de dire « Au revoir » au Val de Loire, et de retourner à la maison !
Taking boat on the Loire, I went towards Blois, the passage and river being both very pleasant. Quitting our bark, we hired horses to Blois, by the way of Chambord, a famous house of the King's, built by Francis I in the middle of a solitary park, full of deer, enclosed with a wall. I was particularly desirous of seeing this palace, from the extravagance of the design, especially the staircase, mentioned by Palladio. The chimneys of the house appear like so many towers. About the whole is a large deep moat. The country about is full of corn, and wine, with many fair noblemen's houses.
Journal, John Evelyn, 28 avril 1644On the way to Chambord you enter the flat and sandy Sologne. The wide horizon opens out like a great potager, without interruptions, without an eminence, with here and there a long, low stretch of wood. There is an absence of hedges, fences, signs of property; everything is absorbed in the general flatness, - the patches of vineyard, the scattered cottages, the villages, the children (planted and staring and almost always pretty), the women in the fields, the white caps, the faded blouses, the big sabots. At the end of an hour's drive I drove along a straight avenue, through a disfeatured park, - the park of Chambord has twenty-one miles of circumference, a very sandy, scrubby, melancholy plantation, in which the timber must have been cut many times over and is today a mere tangle of brushwood.
You follow one of these long perspectives a proportionate time, and at last you see the chimneys and pinnacles of Chambord rise apparently out of the ground. The towers, the turrets, the cupolas, the gables, the lanterns, the chimneys, look more like the spires of a city than the salient points of a single building. You emerge from the avenue and find yourself at the foot of an enormous fantastic mass. The specialty of Chambord is its prodigious round towers. One of these towers stood before me in the court; it seemed to fling its shadow over the place; while above, as I looked up, the pinnacles and gables, the enormous chimneys, soared into the bright blue air. The place was empty and silent; shadows of gargoyles, of extraordinary projections, were thrown across the clear gray surfaces. One felt that the whole thing was monstrous.
A Little tour in France de Henry James (1900)