Musée Jacquemart-André

Today we’re going to visit Musée Jacquemart-André , which was actually the home of a 19th century couple in Paris. We walked a long ways down rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré, past store after store of high end luxury goods, past Hôtel Matignon, which houses the French Prime Minister. There must have been some sort of meeting that just adjourned, as you could see through the gates that there was a group of ceremonial guards stationed at the courtyard door. The people exiting the meeting didn’t include anyone I recognized.

Hôtel Matignon

Often, you’ll pass an entryway or large set of doors between buildings, not knowing what’s back there. Sometimes, it’s the garbage dumpster, but sometimes it’s a small jewel of a garden hidden away from the street.

Parking in Paris always seems problematic. There are parking garages,sometimes underneath the building, but you don’t see urban parking garage buildings like you find in the US because land costs are so high. Cars are mostly small or tiny, unless it’s one of the ubiquitous black Mercedes with a driver.

How do you get your car out of such tight parking?

This is why there are so many other alternative firms of transportation, like

Another ride sharing service

This section of rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré is one we’ve not visited before. There seem to be quite a number of art galleries in this neighborhood.

Our destination is Musée Jacquemart-André, on Boulevard Hausmann.

Unlike many museums , Musée Jacquemart-André is a private museum, The museum was created from the private home of Édouard André (1833–1894) and Nélie Jacquemart (1841–1912) to display the art they collected during their lives. The incredible collection of art they assembled during their lives together is housed in what was their home.

We were happy the musée had an English audio guide that was keyed to room numbers and certain individual pieces in a room.

Édouard André was the scion of a banking family, devoted his considerable fortune to buying works of art. He then exhibited them in his new mansion built in 1869. He married a well-known society painter, Nélie Jacquemart, who had painted his portrait 10 years earlier. Every year, the couple would travel in Italy, amassing one of the finest collections of Italian art in France. When Edouard André died, Nélie Jacquemart completed the decoration of the Italian Museum and travelled in the Orient to add more precious works to the collection. Faithful to the plan agreed with her husband, she bequeathed the mansion and its collections to the Institut de France as a museum, and it opened to the public in 1913.

Each room in their home was full of art; the rooms were “themed” with picture gallery, a tapestry room, a music room, a “study” a library, winter garden, smoking room (“fumoir”), an Italian atelier. Much, though not all of their collection came from their travels in Italy. Their collection included art from the Italian Renaissance, 18th century French painters and masterpieces from the 17C Flemish school. The collection included not only paintings, but furniture, sculpture, frescoes, entire fireplaces, etc that were transported back to their home. Some of the rooms in their home were designed (wall sized) with particular tapestries they had.

I would find it difficult to do the description of the rooms justice. Please read thru the description of the rooms and collections. The house itself underwent some changes to accommodate their collection, but also incorporated some revolutionary designs that allowed the walls in the Grand Salon to be hydraulically lowered or raised, which enabled the room to be enlarged and could accommodate 1,000 guests.

This is the entry courtyard, a prime example of the jewels that might hide behind a set of doors.

Twin staircase

Glass roof of the Winter Garden
Tapestry room
Ceiling painting

Stalles d’eglise Bois et marqueterie

Italian atelier
Florentine Gallery

We decided that walking back the same route was more than our weary feet were prepared to accept, so we took the Metro from Miromesnil. It was 5pm and it was the evening rush, but only 1 change in stations and a few stops.

Prior trips

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