The Sun King’s rival?
From 5 September 2016 to 2 January 2017, in the Jeu de Paume, the Domaine de Chantilly will pay tribute to one of the most flamboyant characters in the History of France, Louis II de Bourbon, prince of Condé (1621-1686), better known as the "Grand Condé".
Prince of Arms, Prince of Arts
This exhibition – the first on the subject! – will make it possible to discover the personality of the man who was both the greatest warrior of his time and a true hero, but also a rebel during the Fronde. It invites the visitor to wonder if the first Prince of Blood competed with his cousin Louis XIV in the areas of politics, military affairs, the arts and culture (by making Chantilly an "anti-Versailles", more free and tolerant). It will also enable visitors to see that in fact he was one of his most devoted servants.
There is no doubt that the Grand Condé was an art lover. The exhibition will be an opportunity to discover the showpieces in his collection of paintings, where the Old Masters (Van Dyck) brush shoulders with the great painters of Louis XIV's reign (Le Brun, Mignard). The prince was also a lover of literature ad theatre. He welcomed Molière, Racine, Boileau and La Fontaine to his château in Chantilly. Over 120 works and historic documents of primary importance will be exhibited, with prestigious loans from the greatest museums of France and other countries (museum of the Army in France, château de Versailles, Louvre museum, Victoria and Albert Museum in the UK...).
Among these works, some will be returning to Chantilly for the first time since the Revolution!
The Grand Condé's Chantilly
It was the Grand Condé who transformed Chantilly and made it a prestigious residence. He called on the gardener André Le Nôtre to create the magnificent grounds we have today, and the famous maître d’hôtel Vatel to organise the lavish parties that gave Chantilly its reputation. Visitors can rediscover the wonderful story of Vatel, at the time the main orchestrator of the prince’s delights, who was dishonoured by the late delivery of an order of fish and seafood for the festivities organised by the Grand Condé in honour of the king in 1671. His tragic ending – he pierced his body with a sword – contributed to his legend and a document from the period never before exhibited will illustrate this story.
Under the Direction of
Mathieu Deldicque, Heritage Curator at the Condé Museum – Domaine de Chantilly.
Exhibition organised with the exceptional participation of the French Museum of the Army.
Tickets and rates
Exhibition included (with no extra cost) in the Domain ticket.
Domain ticket (château, gardens, great stables + exhibition) : 17€ Full rate / 10€ Reduced rate
Exhibition ticket + gardens : 10€ Full rate / 6€ Reduced rate