DELORME, Philibert
(b. ca. 1515, Lyon, d. 1570, Paris)

Exterior view

Château, Chenonceau (Indre-et-Loire)

From 1535 the Château de Chenonceau belonged to the French Crown. In 1547, Henry II offered the château as a gift to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. In 1555, Diane de Poitiers commissioned Philibert Delorme to undertake works at her newly acquired château. He began on the construction of a bridge carrying a gallery to link the existing château on the north bank of the River Cher with the south bank. When work was suspended on the death of the King in 1559, only the arches of the bridge had been completed. Works were later resumed when Chenonceau passed to Catherine de' Medici. The magnificent plans for the further extension of the château published by Du Cerceau in Les Plus Excellents Bastiments have been variously attributed to Delorme and to Bullant.