Uno dei plus excellents Bastiments de France nelle mani dei Savoia-Carignano-Soissons: il castello di Creil
In: Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia dell'Architettura: 75-76, 2022
This essay focuses on the presence of the Carignano-Soissons family at Creil, north of Paris, during the Seventeenth century. It is a little-known topic. While the family’s Paris residence, the Hôtel de Soissons, has been the subject of several studies, historiography has so far neglected the suburban residences, which represented an indispensable complement to the urban one. Some drawings – including two, hitherto unidentified, preserved in the archives of the Princes of Carignano today in Turin’s State archives –, together with excerpts from the family’s correspondence, expense accounts, and travelogues, allow us to sketch a description of the castle – now almost completely destroyed – and of its park, which has long since disappeared. Some attention is also given to the reasons for the downfall, and sale, of the property circa 1700. Documentation also allows us to take a closer look at Du Cerceau’s celebrated drawings, and etchings, of Creil, as the French architect-draftsman classed the castle, once owned by the crown, as one of the plus excellents Bastiments de France.