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de Vivonne, Marquise de Rambouillet
center of Paris culture
Catherine de Vivonne was born in Rome in 1588, the daughter of Jean de Vivonne, Marquis of Pisani, and Giulia Savelli, who was of a noble family. At the age of 12 she was married to Charles d'Angennes, Vidame of Le Mans, and later Marquis de Rambouillet, to whom she eventually bore seven children. The couple made their home in Paris, where her husband was part of the royal court.
Catherine found court life not to her liking, so, after the birth of her eldest daughter in 1607, she established herself at Hôtel Pisani, later renamed Hôtel de Rambouillet, in Paris, where she gathered an impressive array of intellectuals, aristocrats, and men of letters. The Marquise's salons resulted in many collections of sonnets and other literary works that exerted great influence on French language and literature for an entire generation. Molière satirized the extravagances of Hôtel de Rambouillet in Les précieuses ridicules (The Affected Young Ladies), in 1659.
The Marquise died on December 2, 1665. Her Hôtel de Rambouillet faded into history soon after.
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This page was last updated on June 28, 2017.