France Vendeuvre (1750-1755), Asnières (1750) and Bénouville (1770-1780)
Vendeuvre was built between 1750 and 1752 from the plans of Jacques-François Blondel and is a great example of a 18th century countryhouse. Its owner, Alexandre Le Forestier, seigneur of Vendeuvre, coming from a Cotentin family that claimed descent from the Counts of Flanders, wanted a modern summer retreat built in the style of the day. The old manor was demolished, as it was damp and rebuilt partially into the hillside slope. The chateau’s plan shows that it is twice as wide as it is deep, with a suite of state rooms distributed around a central hall supported by Ionic columns. The furniture and quality of wood panelling are a comprehensive example of 18th century craftsmanship. There are many curiosities too : a chandelier with real goldfish in a bowl, a travelling enema kit, a chair with a padded elbow-rest upon which elegant ladies would kneel or sit whilst playing indoor games, so as not to crumple the arrangement of their dresses over wide panniers.