Treasures from the Duke of Aumale’s Book Collection
To coincide with the reopening of the apartments that the Duke of Aumale created during the July Monarchy, the Reading Room is highlighting the architectural publications kept at the Chateau de Chantilly.
Architecture & Bibliophilia
From 25 February to 30 May 2019
Architecture, the first of all the arts, forms an essential part of princely culture from the 15th century, as is shown in the Très Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry. The Duke of Aumale assembled an original collection in which the strong identity of the French art of building from the Renaissance is asserted. In the manner of ministers such as Richelieu and the kings Louis XIV and Louis XV, who were great connoisseurs, the elites built and decorated rich residences and formed the rich clientele targeted by publishers and booksellers.
From the 16th century, architecture books were an essential vector in the circulation of forms throughout Europe. They reflect the development of ways of living through the changing distribution of rooms. Combining theory and practice, images and text, art and history, they favoured the emergence of the new profession of architect before being superseded by a more technical form of literature.
Large in format, richly illustrated and magnificently laid out, architecture books demand great skill in making them and benefit from the involvement of talented artists. Rare and precious from early on, they were immediately appreciated and sought after by collectors. The Duke of Aumale’s book collection contains spectacular examples either acquired by the "prince of bibliophiles" or given to him, sometimes added later by individuals close to the Duke of Aumale such as the architect and bibliophile Louis Bernier (1845-1919).
Marie-Pierre Dion, Conservateur Général des Bibliothèques
assisted by Hélène Jacquemard and Florent Picouleau
Location: The Reading Room (château)
Exhibition included in the Domain ticket with no extra cost