Hello, my friends! I have been dutifully gathering pictures and stories to share with you, but my laptop is STILL at the Opera Apple store, so I have been stifled, hog-tied, silenced. Frustrated. Mark, however, has performed some heroics on this old computer of ours, and I think it just might be able to eke out this post. Fingers crossed.
My favorite museums in Paris are the small ones housed within beautiful mansions along the street. The Musee Jacquemart-Andre is just such a place, and is conveniently located 4 minutes from my apartment. This morning , as I was walking to Parc Monceau, I noticed that the queue that frequently occupies the sidewalk in front of the museum was not there. And that is how I ended up visiting this lovely museum for only the second time since I moved here. What is wrong with me? And what is wrong with the rest of Paris who is not flocking to this exhibit? Who could resist this little vixen, feigning modesty?
After purchasing my ticket, I walked up this pretty driveway which reveals the 17th century mansion in all its glory.
Edouard Andre was from a very successful banking family. He devoted much of his fortune to his passion for collecting art, which he displayed in the fabulous mansion he had built by the architect Henri Parent. Monsieur Parent was smarting from his second place finish in the contest to design the new Garnier Opera, and he appeared to have used this project to show the city of Paris what it missed. Edouard married a successful portrait painter, Nelie Jacquemart, relatively late in life, and they spent their 13 year marriage traveling and collecting art. Edouard had a particular passion for Italian art, and that impressive collection is displayed upstairs.
When the Jacquemart-Andres bought art while traveling, they didn’t just purchase small, easily transportable items. They bought entire panels and ceilings, such as this one, which I believe was by Titian. I would love to see what was involved in getting these pieces delivered to Paris from Italy. Some items, such as ceilings, required that structural changes be made to the home in order to accommodate them.
This wallpaper could be from today!
This pretty door was in her first bedroom, before she changed rooms to be closer to her husband’s room.
love this sweet chair
ceiling above the music room
The part of the house that garnered the most attention when it was first opened to Paris society was the “winter garden”. This was a large sunny space with a tiled floor, the back of which was flanked by two gorgeous staircases.
The man is standing in the entrance to the “smoking room”, which is where the menfolk went to smoke their cigars and talk business after dinner. I swear it still smelled of tobacco.
The gorgeous steps led to their bedrooms and to the Italian art collection. Only close friends and collectors were invited up to see the Italian art.
Nelie was Catholic and collected depictions of Madonna and child. This one was by Botticelli, although that was not known at the time they purchased it.
ceiling in one of the Italian Collection rooms
The private bedrooms were right off of the Italian galleries.
her little office, attached to her bedroom
This little room was between their bedrooms and was where they had breakfast every morning.
His bedroom, which looks a bit frou-frou because she re-decorated it after his death. I guess she had been waiting to do something with that room….
view into his attached bathroom
All the guidebooks will tell you not to leave the Musee Jacquemart-Andre without a stop in its cafe, which is a lovely room with a painted ceiling. My photo came out blurry, so I won’t post it, but there might be a photo on their website, which I will link at the bottom of this post. I opted to sit on the enclosed terrace, where the light was nicer.
The nicest part of my time on the terrace was my conversation with the sweet American couple sitting next to me. They were renting an apartment by the Eiffel Tower for 4 weeks before joining friends on a 2 week river cruise. They were taking the metro all over Paris, and having a great time in the City of Light. They had reservations at the restaurant in the middle of the Eiffel Tower to celebrate her birthday later this week. She was turning 82. He was 90.
Here’s to you, Lola and Mr. Ticer from San Diego! You are my inspiration!
158, bd Haussmann