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Visit the cradle of the French Renaissance with a private official guide from Paris.
A private half-day tour to the palace of Fontainebleau and to Barbizon, the nearby artists' village, is the ideal way to discover French Renaissance and classical art and architecture. Only 60 km from Paris, Fontainebleau was home to several French kings and Emperors, as well as to the Ecole de Fontainebleau artistic movement, which saw 16th century Italian painters such as Primaticcio, Rosso Fiorentino and Dell'Abbate blend their talents with those of French architects Le Breton and Du Cerceau.
Your private official guide from Paris will accompany you inside the palace to show you its highlights, including Francis I's gallery with the celebrated frescoes, the amazing ball room built by his successor Henry II, and the rooms specially refurbished for Napoleon I.
On the way back to Paris, stop off in the charming village of Barbizon which became the favorite haunt of many mid 19th century painters seeking to escape busy, polluted Paris. Those painters, notably Millet and Rousseau, were the forerunners of Impressionist painters such as Monet, who also came and painted here, and Van Gogh.
VAUX LE VICOMTE :
For an unrivalled insight into the fabulous château of Vaux le Vicomte, often considered the forerunner of Versailles, take one of the luxury small group tours offered by Driver Guide France.
Louis XIV, the "Sun King", was so envious of the splendors of Vaux le Vicomte that he decided to hire the principal artists involved in its creation: architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, painter-decorator Charles Le Brun, and in particular landscape gardener André Le Nôtre.
Our luxury tours inside the château will enable you to discover the many glories of the château, including the wonderful ceilings painted by Charles Lebrun.
The iconography, mainly dedicated to Greek mythology, was to be re-used for the Sun King at Versailles.
Our small group tours also offer you the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful landscaped gardens.
Admire them from the top of the dome or stroll around them with your guide: the perfect way to appreciate the principle of gardens "à la française."