Thursday, January 12, 2017
Château de Castille
If you follow the international real estate pages of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, you are likely familiar with Château de Castille. Located near Uzès in southern France, the 18th-century château with a 13th-century foundation was put up for sale in late 2015. Still on the market (or so it seems), the château has a rich history, especially during the mid-twentieth century, when art collector and historian Douglas Cooper owned and inhabited the residence. (Cooper's then partner, art historian and Picasso expert, John Richardson, lived there for a stint during Cooper's ownership.)
A friend and patron of Pablo Picasso, Cooper engaged the artist, who supposedly coveted the house, to create a series of sandblasted murals, which appear on the walls of the château's loggia. Now officially protected as historic monuments , the frescoes are touted as the château's most famous feature, not to mention its greatest selling point. But as enticing as the murals are, it's the château's interiors that compel me more. Decorated by the under-the-radar American designer, Dick Dumas, the house's interiors are an enticing blend of traditional French fabrics (such as Le Manach's Pommes de Pin, the pinecone print seen in the blue bedroom below) and modern-looking prints, installed alongside antique furnishings and modern artwork. Despite a few tell-tale signs that Dumas likely decorated the château decades ago (namely, the prominent ceiling spot lights), little about these interiors seem dated to me.
Since Cooper's tenure as owner, the château has belonged to a French family, whose heirs made the decision to sell. After seeing these French AD photos of Château de Castille, I can only hope that a buyer sensitive to the château's unique qualities will purchase it.
Photos from French AD, François Halard photographer.