Architecture: The Manse That Mocked a Monarch

Baroque has been called debased and deformed, false and exaggerated. It has also been called Europe's last great universal style. It flowered amid the extravagances of 17th century Italy, given its distinctive form by Bernini and Borromini. Yet the more restrained variant that France developed has proved almost as influential, and has inspired countless castles and churches, palaces and gardens. France's first great baroque monument was the chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, built between 1656 and 1660. This year, for the first time in centuries, visitors can view Vaux-le-Vicomte in all its oldtime...

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