Next morning, we were invited by a painter, who was keeper of the pictures and rarities, to see his own collection. We were led through a gallery of old Rosso’s work, at the end of which, in another cabinet, were three Madonnas of Raphael, and two of Andrea del Sarto. In the Academy where the painter himself wrought, was a St. Michael of Raphael, very rare; St. John Baptist of Leonardo, and a Woman’s head; a Queen of Sicily, and St. Margaret of Raphael; two more Madonnas, whereof one very large, by the same hand; some more of del Sarto; a St. Jerome, of Perino del Vaga; the Rape of Proserpine, very good; and a great number of drawings1 .

“Saint John the Baptist ” by Leonardo da Vinci. Cicrca 1513-1516.

Returning part of our way to Paris, that day, we visited a house called Maison Rouge2 , having an excellent prospect, grot, and fountains, one whereof rises fifty feet, and resembles the noise of a tempest, battle of guns, etc., at its issue.

Thence to Essone, a house of Monsieur Essling3 , who is a great virtuoso; there are many good paintings in it; but nothing so observable as his gardens, fountains, fish-pools, especially that in a triangular form, the water cast out by a multitude of heads about it; there is a noble cascade and pretty baths, with all accommodations. Under a marble table is a fountain of serpents twisting about a globe.

We alighted next at Corbeil, a town famous for the siege by Henry IV. Here we slept, and returned next morning to Paris.


  1. Other paintings by Leonardo were recorded at Fontainbleu by visitors including the lost painting “Leda and the Swan” mentioned in a 1625 visit by Cassiano dal Pozzo– GS 

  2. Possibly the Vaux-le Vicomte as a village called Maison-Rouge was destroyed during the building up of this estate – see source. -GS 

  3. the house closely fits the description of the “Château de Courances”, a grand 16th century house with extensive gardens and water features. – GS