In the heart of Touraine, in a majestic setting where the whiteness of tufa limestone blends harmoniously with the ever-changing green of the Indre river, the Château de l’Islette possesses the peculiarity of being a living monument of the 21st century, not only offering testimony to history but also being home for today’s owners. Camille Claudel and Rodin were repeatedly guests at a château where you will be transported by the romantic charm of the Indre valley.
A long rectangular three-story dwelling framed by two square pavilions, the Château de l’Islette owes its construction in 1530 (the Renaissance era) to the determination of René de Maillé. Given its architectural conception and its location, the building brings to mind its neighbor d’Azay-le-Rideau, monument to which the same workers contributed. The two edifices present the same double rows of moldings between each story, and their mullioned windows have the same proportions with a scroll motif in the center of the lintels; moreover, they are topped by the same machicolated footpath. The resemblance was even more striking prior to the early 19th century, at which time the moats were filled in, the attic gables reduced in size, and the towers lowered, giving the structure its present-day appearance.

Centerpiece of the Château de l’Islette, the Grande Salle (Great Hall), which served as an atelier for Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin, is replete with remarkable late 16th-century and early 17th-century pictorial decorations. Even today, l’Islette seems to echo the tempestuous love affair of these two renowned sculptors, who sojourned there in the early 1890s. A crucible of creation and source of inspiration, this is where Rodin worked on his celebrated Balzac, a statue commissioned by the Société des Gens de Lettres (society of men of letters) in August 1891. As for Camille Claudel, l’Islette is where she sculpted one of her major achievements, La Petite Châtelaine, for which her model was the granddaughter of the owners of the castle during that period. “You can’t imagine how nice it is to be at l’Islette… and it is so pretty here … If you are kind enough to keep your promise, we will experience paradise”, wrote Camille Claudel to Auguste Rodin.
Today’s owners take pleasure in sharing their residence, allowing visitors to discover the rooms currently in use, to appreciate the layout of a 21st-century château and, more generally, to be transported as they explore an animated monument.
The monument has been open to the public since 2010 thanks to the results of a number of restoration campaigns.



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