The Luxembourg Palace

Another influential palace is the Luxembourg, constructed by Marie de Medici, the Florentine wife of Henry IV, who was assassinated. Their son was Louis XIII, and after numerous plots against by his own mother, he finally exiled her out of the kingdom. The famous Marie de Medici cycle was designed to fit in a giant gallery in this palace. A matching cycle concerning her husband never made it past the preparatory phase.

The palace, like so many in Italy, has been heavily modified on the interior to serve as the senate of France. The standard line is that the palace was designed to look like the Pitti Palace (more so in the central courtyard than the front façade), the home palazzo of the Medici dukes and archdukes of Tuscany. I guess it sort of does, a little bit. Perhaps its greatest influence is the uses of the ascending orders of rusticated stone, which is implemented in so many mansions in St. Louis.

Giroudon, A, photographer. Paris – Le Luxembourg / A. Giroudon. Paris Jardin Du Luxembourg France, 1890. [Between ? and 1900?] Photograph.

The gardens, strict in design as Italian gardens are, is still popular today with actual Parisians, and that rectilinear order that comes from the Mediterranean has been passed on in many American parks.

Tucked away on the side of the palace grounds is this garden folly, which is again highly influential in its bringing of architectural garden ornaments north of the Alps. The earlier Villa d’Este is a great example, and here in St. Louis at the Compton Hill Reservoir Park.

I like the clever combination of the Medici coat of arms with the six palle or balls, alongside the French royal fleur-de-lis, which is also the symbol of Florence.

The city side of the palace is similar in design to the original front of the Tuileries, and it is difficult to photograph because there are so many buildings surrounding it. I am used to being able to easily photograph large buildings in St. Louis due to all the parking lots and vacant lots across the street from what I am viewing.

It is a massive, hulking and monumental building.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.