The Loggia and the Débotté

Loggia pavement-Aplanos devise du Connétable Anne de Montmorency©Musée Condé
The Loggia is located at the center of Jean Bullant's hall (sixteenth century), in lieu of the arched porte-cochere which used to be seen in an extension of the drawbridge during Anne of Montmorency's century (1493-1567), which enabled access to the Capitainerie's courtyard from the château entrance. In 1875 Henri of Orléans, Duke of Aumale (1822-1897) asked his architect George to have it destroyed.
Loggia pavement©Musée Condé

In 1876, since it didn’t serve any purpose, the Duke of Aumale closed down the vault and had it turned into a closed glass loggia, with the moat on one side and the Prince’s private entrance called the "Débotté", on the other. It connects directly with the private apartments of the Duke of Aumale (open to the public since 1993).

The room, having therefore lost all function perse, became one of the chateau’s interior rooms. The Duke of Aumale had it redecorated with a sixteenth century inspiration. This decorum is an hommage to Constable Anne of Montmorency, who built that part of the chateau, and constitutes a true pastiche of the Renaissance.

 

The ornamental tiling is directly inspired by Masseot Abaquesne’s ceramic tiles of Rouen (of which Ecouen and Chantilly own several examples). It includes various symbols dear to the Constable, such as his bare sword, presented vertically, his weapons (twelve alerions or heraldic eagles with the red “Croix de Gueules” cross), his number (AM) and his motto ( "APLANOS": Greek for "straight ahead", "to the point" ). There are also fruit and flower motifs.

 

The barrel vault inherited a painting decorum of griffins and cherubs over a crisscrossed mock mosaic golden background. This painted decor, which also includes the Constable’s sword, remained anonymous for the longest time. In June 1999, during an extended campaign to restore the paintings, a signature and a date which were invisible from the ground, revelead themselves at the very bottom of the cornice: "A. Delmotte / del. & pinxit 1876 ". Credit can now go to Jules-Adolphe Delmotte, born in Senlis in 1840. A student of Léon Bonnat showed still life paintings at the Salon between 1866 and 1875, as well as History painting in 1874, The Martyrdom of Sainte Maxence in the Fifth Century (now at the museum of Senlis), commissioned by the Church of Pont-Sainte-Maxence (Oise).

 

The walls received woodworks of Renaissance inspiration evoking the School of Fontainebleau decors and the sixteenth century. The Loggia is inlaid with Anne of Montmorency monogrammed enamels, imitating a la Leonard Limosin, reproducing the Constable’s bare sword motifs and several feminine shapes. The intricate variety of colors in the marquetry, the delicacy of the engravings and their different motifs (mascarons, hung medals, interlaced decor) attest to the great virtuosity of the artists who worked on this decor in the nineteenth century. 

 

The marvelous Loggia decor was restored thanks to the support of the Condé Museum Friends.