Le Château Gaillard, from across the Seine. (France). c. 1908. Pencil drawing. 6 1/2 x 10 7/8 (sheet 7 x 11 5/16). Provenance: a collection of Smart etchings, drawings and watercolors. Drawn on tan wove paper. Signed and titled in pencil, lower right. $175.
Château-Gaillard is a ruined medieval castle, located above the town of Les Andelys, in Normandy, France.
Richard I of England, , simultaneously feudal Duke of Normandy, ordered that the castle be built in little more than 12 months, between 1197 and 1198. The goal was to protect Rouen and Richard's duchy of Normandy from the French kings, but tragically Richard died due to an infected arrow wound on his shoulder before the fortress was complete. The construction of Château Gaillard was taken over by his brother John. The building of the castle continued but for two alterations as Johns request, one was to have an extra window built on the chapels outer wall and the other was to have an extra toilet in the chapel. The troops of Philip II of France captured it after a long siege in 1203, some 4 years after Richard's death due to one fault in the fortress. Philip told a group of his men to look for a weak point in the castle. They found the disposal shute for the toilet which John requested. They climbed up it and ended up in the chapel which was locked from the outside, so they broke a window (yes, the other thing John requested) and climbed along the castle wall and launched a surprise attack on some guards. Philips men then brought down the drawbridge and let all of Philips army in who massacred all of John and Richards supporters and leigoneries. Having lost any strategic value, Château-Gaillard was dismantled 400 years later under Henry IV of France.
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