Hostess of the most important literary salon in Paris
Born in Rome to a noble family, Catherine (b. 1588) married Charles d’Angennes, vicomte de Le Mans (later marquis de Rambouillet) in 1600. A genuinely virtuous and faithful young woman, she was quickly turned off by the intrigue and iniquity of court life. She began to entertain a small group of friends, for the purpose of edifying discussion. The marquise supervised the reconstruction of her residence, the Hôtel de Rambouillet, located near the Louvre, to better accomodate visitors; as is the style of the time, the most important place of meeting in the residence is the marquise’s bedroom, known as the Blue Room for the blue velvet lining the walls (unusual in a city where tan and red are the dominant colors for decorating).