"Andre Le Notre was born in 1613 into a family of royal gardeners, but he would take the profession way beyond a trade. That's according to Jacques Moulin, Versailles' current gardener — or architect — the 30th since Le Notre."
"Le Notre transformed the profession of gardener into a high-level royal service and turned his trade into a grand art," Moulin says. "He became the interlocutor of kings and princes across Europe and built a huge art collection."
According to Architect Georges Farhat, who helped assemble the exhibit on Le Notre being hosted at Versailles, the designer's impact diffused far beyond the bounds of royal gardens. "Fahrat says the roots of modern urban planning can be found in the gardens of Versailles, with its avenues and allies radiating to infinity."
Another acolyte is landscape architect Peter Walker, whose Sept. 11 memorial was inspired by "the void evoked in Le Notre's waterfalls at the far end of the Vaux le Vicomte gardens' grand axis."