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Jewellery and Poetry: Cassandra Goad's tribute to Vaux le Vicomte's Songe

In the realm of French literature, few names shine as brightly as that of Jean de La Fontaine. He was a French poet who wrote the famous "Songe de Vaux." This magnificent poem showcases his versatility as a writer and his deep appreciation of beauty and aesthetics. His works often draw on classical themes and literature, infusing them with his unique charm and style.

Songe de Vaux is one of La Fontaine's poems. It is essentially an ode to the beauty and grandeur of the Château de Vaux le Vicomte, a magnificent French château located in Maincy, in the Seine-et-Marne département of France. Built by Nicolas Fouquet, the Superintendent of Finances to Louis XIV and patron of the arts at that time, the château is a marvel of architecture, art, and landscape design. In "Songe de Vaux," La Fontaine transports his readers into a dreamlike world where he describes a fantastical journey through the château's lavish gardens, sumptuous rooms, and beautiful surroundings. Through his verses, he brings to life the opulence and grace of Vaux le Vicomte, inviting readers to savor the beauty of this magnificent place as if they were there in person.

"J'ignore l'art de bien parler,/ Et n'emploirai pour tout langage/ Que ces moments qu'on voit couler/ Que ces moments qu'on voit couler/ Parmi les fleurs et de l'ombrage./ Là luit un soleil tout nouveau;/ Les nuits sont douces et tranquilles;/ Et ces agréables séjours/ L'air est plus pur, le jour plus beau;/ Chassent le soin, hôte des villes,/ Et la crainte, hôtesse des Cours. (...)

"I am ignorant of the art of good speech,/ And my only language/ These moments that we see flowing/ Among flowers and shade./ There shines a brand new sun;/ The air is purer, the day more beautiful;/ The nights are soft and quiet;/ And these pleasant stays/ Drive away care, the guest of cities,/ And fear, hostess of the courts. (...)

J'embellis les fruits et les fleurs:/ Je sais parer Pomone et flore;/ C'est pour moi que coulent les pleurs/ Qu'en se levant verse l'Aurore./ Les vergers, les parcs, les jardins,/ De mon savoir et de mes mains/ Tiennent leurs grâces nonpareilles;/ Là j'ai des prés, là j'ai des bois;/ Et j'ai partout tant de merveilles/ Que l'on s'égare dans leur choix".

I embellish fruit and flowers:/ I can adorn Pomona and flora;/ For me flow the tears/ When the dawn breaks/ Orchards, parks, gardens,/ From my knowledge and my hands/ Hold their nonpareil graces;/ There I have meadows, there I have woods;/ And everywhere I have so many wonders/ That one gets lost in their choice".

The magic of "Songe de Vaux" lies in La Fontaine's ability to paint vivid imagery with his words. He masterfully captures the essence of Vaux le Vicomte, its gardens, and its interiors, creating a sensory experience for the reader. The poem is a testament to La Fontaine's keen observation and his talent for weaving stories that transport readers to distant realms. Besides, "Songe de Vaux" serves as a celebration of the cultural and artistic achievements of its time. It highlights the grandeur of the French Baroque era, where opulence, elegance, and artistry flourished. Through his poetic vision, La Fontaine immortalized the château and the spirit of the period.

Cassandra Goad, known for her meticulous attention to detail and her passion for history and art, has created a pendant inspired by the boiseries adorning the Château of Vaux le Vicomte. This design pays homage to the timeless allure of this historical masterpiece. Cassandra's pendant not only underscores her commitment to thorough research but also her dedication to capturing the essence of the château's splendid interiors. With meticulous care, she has seamlessly integrated the intricate details of the boiseries into a wearable masterpiece, enabling wearers to carry a piece of French history and culture with them.

Much like La Fontaine's poem, Cassandra's pendant serves as a significant link between the past and present, offering admirers an opportunity to embrace the rich heritage it represents.

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