L’art et la nature des jardins d’André Le Nôtre by Pierre BONNAURE – Château de Bénouville

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L’art et la nature des jardins d’André Le Nôtre by Pierre BONNAURE – Château de Bénouville

The art and nature of Le Nôtre’s gardens

Via examples of the most prestigious of Le Nôtre’s works: Versailles, Trianon, Fontainebleau, Chantilly, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Sceaux and the Tuileries, but also many other, lesser known sites, we will set off on a discovery of the secrets of the king’s gardener’s trade (embroideries of boxwood and topiaries) and of how he composed his masterpieces (symmetry, perspective, optical effects, diverse ornamental features: trellis work, vases and flowers). In brief, a journey through the history of the finest “French formal” gardens.

Pierre Bonnaure


Pierre Bonnaure developed a taste for nature and historic heritage at a very early age, thanks to his father, a great lover of fortified castles, to his own passion for mountain hiking and as a matter of family heredity: his peasant roots are in Normandy! After obtaining his Baccalauréat in 1996, he headed for Paris where he studied history of art at the École du Louvre. In 1999, a summer job in Versailles offered him an opportunity to work on historic documents on the subject of gardens. In 2001, after a BTS (Technical Diploma) in landscape planning at the Institut de Genech, he believed he had accumulated sufficient knowledge to embark on his future profession. He then continued, preparing over the next two years two Master’s Degrees, one in the history of gardens at the School of Architecture in Versailles, the other in the history of architecture at the University of Paris I. In 2003, he began his thesis on the history of art focusing on the plants used by Le Nôtre for the gardens of the Château de Versailles, Clagny and Trianon from 1663 to 1693. In 2007, Pierre Bonnaure successfully completed the academic competition to become manager of major historic gardens belonging to the French national estate, which later led to his current position at the Jardin des Tuileries.