Work starts at château that made Louis XIV jealous

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, a smaller-scale precursor to the Château de Versailles, is in the process of restoration. Built near Fontainebleau between 1658 and 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, finance minister to Louis XIV, it showed for the first time the combined talents of the architect Louis Le Vau, the painter Charles Le Brun and the landscape gardener André Le Nôtre. The king was so impressed that he hired all three for Versailles, and jailed his minister for misappropriating public funds. The €450,000 restoration of the château, financed by the US collector Alexis Gregory, has begun with work on the decorative ceiling of Fouquet’s state room, the Chambre des Muses.