The Chaumont-sur-Loire estate

Published on 13 April 2017 - Updated 16 November 2018

Contemporary art, nature, gardens and heritage

The Chaumont-sur-Loire estate
Look to the south, at the top of the hillside.
“You glimpse a magical outline standing out from a uniformly green landscape – a dream château that gradually makes its appearance, immediately etching itself on the imagination as it does so. A journey in time and space.”
Chantal Colleu-Dumond, Director, Chaumont sur Loire estate.
“Chaumont sur Loire has three identities, the first to do with the history of its extraordinary château, owned by so many great names over the course of the centuries. It was once the d’Amboise family’s property; and between 1550 and 1560 it belonged to Catherine de Médicis, before passing into the hands of her rival Diane of Poitiers.”
But it was a later owner, Donatien Leray, who had the north wing pulled down in the 18th century, opening up the view over the Loire and letting the château take root in the surrounding nature.
“And then there’s the identity linked to the garden festival, which had its first edition in 1992, an observatory and laboratory of contemporary creation in terms of gardens. At Chaumont, we invent new materials and new forms of plant life, we tell stories in our gardens, taking up such themes as water, colour and emotion. We weave dreams around our visitors, through the many extraordinary creations designed by landscape architects from all four corners of the globe.”
And this green thread connects nature and art wherever you go on the estate, weaving Chaumont’s third identity…
“We are talking about contemporary art, as, since 2008, we’ve been calling upon the talents of contemporary artists from throughout the world who work with nature as their theme. They only use nature’s own materials – wood, leaves, mist, water. And so, in the grounds, in the stables and in the barns, just about everywhere in fact, works are created that interact with landscape, grounds and heritage.”