Production and Framing

Le Rouge/Cross section of column house, artificial ruin in the Desert de Retz, France
In the eighteenth century, garden designers produced artificial ruins for aristocrats who, lacking authentic vestiges of antiquity, sought to recreate the sense of an inherited past. The fashion for purposefully built ruins resulted in "follies" in the shape of temple facades, hermitages, and castles. One of the most famous of these is the column house built in 1780 in the Désert de Retz, a folly garden outside of Paris. The structure takes the form of the quintessential emblem of classical antiquity, the broken fluted column, which contained the five-story residence of Monsieur de Monville.