Andreus was born Zhu Huifeng on April 15th, 1661 in the Nanjing residence of his father, Zhu Yunguang (Cornelius) in the Qing Empire. His mother, the Consort Huang, died at his brother's birth (stillborn) in 1662. Andreus was the 3rd son of his father, and was therefore placed under the care of Chief Consort Mei, Andreus was raised in great isolation under the tight grip of his father's consorts, especially that of Consort Mei. He was given little education, only learning History and Fench under tutelege of a Jesuit from Marsielle.
Unlike his brother Albertus, Andreus remained out of public eye. He failed the Imperial Examinations twice, making him an outcast to much of his family. Following the move to Vienna in 1680, Andreus went further into isolation and depression.
Leaving Vienna and Move to Grandelumiere
In 1699, Andreus suffered yet another loss: his step-mother the Consort Mei. This finally pushed Andreus out to the open. He was alone in an isolated state for months. Finally on New Years, 1701, Andreus resolved to study western architecture. He sold his house in Vienna and moved to Dijon in May of 1702. He remained in contact with his family who moved nearby in early 1710, but stayed at a distance. His official portrait was supposedly painted and copied to prove to his family that he was still alive as they had strained relations after a falling out in June of 1710 through the summer of 1711. In 1711, Andreus had a son with his wife Louise the Dame du Avigne, who he named Jean-Claude Moreau, after his grand-nephew. The family remained quietly isolated through the time being. In 1713, the couple had a second child, Marie Augustine, whom Louise utterly disliked. While Andreus actually cared for her, Marie was so disliked, she was moved to live in the kitchen for much of her life. She was not freed until 1731, when she was forced to be married.Andreus eventually gained minor respect as a decent, although cheap, architect for the common farmers. In 1723, as Andreus quietly had become an architect living privately following a great scandal, his brother Albertus moved to Grandelumiere. Andreus himself had already lived there for years quietly and gained a large enough fortune to help pay for his brother's entrance. As his family was reunited, Andreus stayed independent from the family.
His grand-nephew, Henri became a major client of his, having collaborated with him on Villandry and later Giersberg. Andreus since then has become a mildly popular architect for the House Lowell-Valois and is currently working on several projects.
Revolution of 1741
With the Revolution erupting in Dijon, Andreus fled to Villandry to stay with his brother for the time-being until the revolution would end. When Villandry was ambushed one night, Andreus was taken prisoner with his brother to Middleburg. Within 2 days, Andreus escaped prison and began aiding his brother in helping others escape.
Following the revolution, Andreus has returned to a reclusive state. However, he continued to work with others in building various Chateaux.
Family and Notable Works
Andreus, as Albertus's brother, was the half-great-uncle to the Grand Dauphin Jean-Claude (1709-1744). It is widely accepted that Andreus married his former lover, the Madame du Avigne (1684-1750), after they had a child together in 1711, Jean-Claude Moreau the Duc d'Orleans. His father was the Duc d'Orleans, Cornelius Valsoir-Beauford, while his mother, the Consort Huang, was a Tibetan noble. Andreus has recognize his family to be the Lowell-Valois family, although he had no status in Court or Government.
Andreus has been involved to varying degrees in the creations of several buildings:
- Villandry (main chateau buildings and both gardens)
- Giersberg (demolished)
- Vincennes (along with the Extensions 1744-1751)
- l'Hiver (Demolished)
- Reves Eternels (Demolished)
- Paix (demolished)
- Weston-Azalea (Demolished)
He was still building several other chateaux when he died. His designs were completed by later architects.
Decline, Silent Death, and Aftermath
Andreus began to decline in health around 1751. He began to suffer from leg ulcers, making his mobility more difficult. Alongside that, Andreus had to spend much of his time at court after his disgraced son went into a state of hiatus between 1752 and 1758. Andreus's decline worsened at the death of many of his friends in 1752. His skin turned a ghostly white from the stress and shock, causing more health problems. His arthritis caught up to him, forcing him to write minimally and walk even less. On the Day of Saint Flora (October 5th) in 1759, the Cornelian Line of all members legitimate and otherwise flocked to Vincennes for wild a feast. By this point, there were only 15 remaining members of the Cornelian line. In wars and rebellions and even non-violent tribulations the family withered and died out. The feast was somber; the majority of the family knew all too well that Andreus had not long to live due to his advanced age and they feared that they would pass before their close friend, confidant and patriarchal family member.
They resolved to stay for a month, seeing as he had declined greatly in health.The month had come and gone, yet the very old Andreus, the last surviving member of the family who was born in China, was still alive. The family camped out throughout the complex within Vincennes, waiting to be hailed by Jean or servants to Andreus's bedroom. That day would finally come in April of 1760. Andreus slipped into a deep sleep the night before and would not awaken. It is believed he had suffered a stroke and had slipped into comatose in the night. He was given last rites and the following day on April 21st, 1760, the 99 year old Andreus Julius Moreau Lowell-Valois had finally passed. It was said that upon his death while his family mourned him, the bouquet in his room immediately began to wither, while the gardens just outside the building began to bud anew.
Shortly before his death, Andreus re-wrote his will, leaving his possessions to the Duc d'Orleans (his son). He also nulled the entailment as outlined by Cornelius, seeing as there was nothing left of the legitimate line other than his son who was unmarried. However, the status of his Chateaux was left with a new entailment of its own, stating that "Any of the surviving members of the Cornelian line, legitimate or otherwise, are given the right to have a single bedroom somewhere at Villandry or Vincennes, but not both." This entailment was declared still active by the Duc d'Orleans in 1765.