Nicolas Fouquet in Vaux-le-Vicomte castle: fatal delusions of grandeur
Here, the vicomte ("viscount") was Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV's Lord High Treasurer!
Based on plans by Le Vau, he raised in 1656 the most beautiful castle ever seen in Europe, at that time!
French writer Voltaire wrote that "gardens cost him 18 millions of livres"... Fouquet even "bought 3 entire villages" in order to raise his palace.
Just imagine the splendour! Fouquet called the best artists to decorate apartments: Le Brun, Mignard...
Fouquet's device, crowned by a squirrel, Quo non ascendam? ("Whither will I not rise?") seems to echo the delusions of grandeur he suffered... Royal and magnificent parties took place here, in honour of the king, on August 17th 1661.
A big feast, fireworks, and so on... even Molière wrote a play on that occasion, Le Fâcheux!
Oooo, the king... he was chocked: who on earth did Fouquet think he was? God all mighty?! Rien ne va plus, and Louis XIV started to see red: Fouquet was accused of conspiracy and misappropriation! He was arrested in September 1661 and he died in the stronghold of Pignerolles in 1680...