Nicolas Fouquet

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Nicolas Fouquet
Known for Superintendent of Finances in France
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fouquet, Nicolas


(also N. Foucquet; Viscomte de Vaux, Marquis de Belle-Isle). Born 1615 in Paris; died Mar. 23, 1680, in the Château de Pignerol. French state figure.

Fouquet began his career as an intendant. During the Fronde he gained advancement by supporting Cardinal Mazarin. Mazarin brought Fouquet into the Royal Council, making him a minister and principal director of the Compagnie des Iles d’Amérique. From 1653 to 1661, Fouquet was superintendent of finances; he shared the post with A. Servien until 1659, when the post became Fouquet’s alone.

Following the example of Mazarin and Cardinal Richelieu, Fouquet sought to concentrate power in his own hands. He strengthened the system of loans and tax farming and surrounded himself with people who had made fortunes through the system. He transformed the Breton island of Belle-Isle, which he had bought, into a fortress. These actions alarmed Louis XIV, who had not forgotten the Fronde; the king feared that Belle-Isle would be put to use in a struggle against royal authority. Largely through the influence of J. B. Colbert, Fouquet was arrested at Nantes in September 1661 and in 1664 was found guilty of conspiracy and of embezzling state funds. Fouquet’s property was confiscated, and he spent the last 15 years of his life imprisoned in the Château de Pignerol.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Embezzlement and High Treason in Louis XIV's France: The Trial of Nicolas Fouquet. By Vincent J.
Vaux-le-Vicomte, designed for Nicolas Fouquet by the architect Louis Le Vau and the garden designer Andre Le Notre In the mid 17th century
Unlike the 17th-century French nobleman Nicolas Fouquet, who hosted a party so lavish it gave Louis XIV an excuse to arrest him, the faithful presidential aide is simply enjoying the just rewards of his hard labour.
tries to explain, as part of an interesting theory, why the splendid garden of Nicolas Fouquet, who fell from Louis XIV's grace, in Vaux le Vicomte is not mentioned in the poem (134-42).
Historians might also raise an eyebrow at his claim that France's first King of Bling, Louis XIV, had his finance minister Nicolas Fouquet imprisoned for the rest of his life simply because he was jealous of his garden at Vaux-le-Vicomte.
This masterpiece of baroque architecture belonged to Nicolas Fouquet, one-time finance minister to Louis XIV, who upon seeing the magnificent palace and grounds, had his minister arrested, confiscated the property, and proceeded to build Versailles to an even grander scale.
Louis XIV Rupert Penry-Jones Nicolas Fouquet Robert Lindsay Henriett d'Angleterre Geraldine Somerville Jean-Baptiste Colbert Stephen Boxer Louise de la Valliere Hattie Morahan Anne of Austria Barbara Jefford Philippe, Duc d'Orleans Jonathan Slinger Power" serves up a slice of 17th-century France without much, well, power, though some may well be seduced by the surface glitz of a National Theater production from director Lindsay Posner ("Sexual Perversity in Chicago") that allows a starry cast its chance to preen.
In 1657 he became one of the proteges of Nicolas Fouquet, the wealthy superintendent of finance.
The later sections presenting Le Brun's productions for Nicolas Fouquet, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and Louis XIV are slightly less exciting.
The performance took place at the notorious festival held in Louis XIV's honor at Nicolas Fouquet's lavish chateau, Vaux-le-Vicomte.
Or as the cardinal's finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, observed: "and then, with Cardinal Mazarin one could not be certain of the rules in money matters.