Jacquemart-André Museum

During the rain, I visited the Jacquemart-André museum, the former home world travelers and art collectors Nellie Jacquemart and her husband Edouard André.

The late 19th home itself is a museum. It was designed by architect Henri Parent and constructed during the Second Empire when Baron Haussman was creating his grand boulevards and Monceau Village was annexed to Paris. Architecturally, the home is reminiscent of the Palais Garnier Opera House and reflects the Eclectic Style with its grand staircase and elaborate gilded embellishments.

This is perhaps my least favorite architectural style in France, I liken it to Renaissance Revival bordering on garish. Nonetheless, I love touring the interior of homes and the art collection is impressive and well worth seeing, with paintings by Rembrandt, Fragonard, Vigée-Lebrun, and Boucher among others.

Much to my amazement, during the guided tour, a painting by Hubert Robert was featured for the artist’s ability to create perspective. I found this to be an incredible coincidence, because just the day before I had seen (and wrote about) the tromphe l’oeil coffered ceiling Robert had painted in the Chateau de Bagatelle.

In addition to the permanent collection, the museum hosts a number of special exhibitions. A Van Dyke exhibit opens on October 8, 2008 and runs to January 25, 2009.

There is also a lovely café on the ground floor that is decorated with Belgian tapestries and a ceiling painted by the famous Venetian painter Giambattista Tiepolo. An outdoor terrace overlooks the courtyard.

This museum is just the right size and so conveniently located that it provides the perfect opportunity for a morning guided tour, followed by a delicious lunch and more sightseeing in the surrounding neighborhood
Bonne visite!


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