LE NÔTRE, André
(b. 1613, Paris, d. 1700, Paris)

Biography

French architect, landscape architect and garden designer. He was the grandson of Pierre Le Nôtre, gardener in the service of Catherine de' Medici. He succeeded his father, Jean Le Nôtre, as 'premier jardinier du Roi au grand jardin des Tuileries' in 1637 under Louis XIII.

As principal gardener of King Louis XIV, he was the landscape architect who designed the park of the Palace of Versailles, and his work represents the height of the French formal garden style.

Prior to working on Versailles, Le Nôtre collaborated with Louis Le Vau and Charles Le Brun on the park at Vaux-le-Vicomte. His other works include the design of gardens and parks at Chantilly, Fontainebleau, Saint-Cloud and Saint-Germain. His contribution to planning was also significant: at the Tuileries he extended the westward vista, which later became the avenue of the Champs-Élysées and comprise the Axe historique.

He acted mainly as a landscape gardener but on occasion may have actually turned architect. Le Nôtre is usually given credit for the designs of the architectural motifs in the 'bosquet' of the Arc de Triomphe at Versailles and the staircases in the Tuileries gardens. His name is also closely associated with the design of a house for M. de Lauzun at Saint-Germain-en-Laye. In 1666, Le Nôtre was named 'conseiller du Roi aux conseils et contrôleur général des bâtiments de Sa majesté'. He is listed as a member of the 'Académie Royale d'Architecture' as early as 1681.