Friday, May 27, 2011

Musée Jacquemart-André

Last week John and I visited the art collection of 19th century banker, Eduoard André and his wife, Nélie Jacquemart in their palatial home on  Boulevard Hausmann just below Parc Monceau.
The house itself is an amazing example of Second Empire grandeur and the collection of furnishings and art superb.
Every detail is perfectly arranged.
 We're not familiar with J. M. Nattier (1685-1766) this sculptor, but we like this Portrait de la marquise d'Antin.
The visitor is first led through the formal reception rooms like this, the Tapestry Room. Love that chaise lounge!
The suggestion is of life on a grand scale and attention to detail. These ground floors also feature their collection of European art including paintings by Fragonard, Boucher, Rembrant and van Dyck.
We love this idea of displaying a painting on a book-stand. We have two wooden book-stands at home. We're going to try rotating some of our art on them.
One of our favourite rooms is the Smoking Room set to one side
and furnished with comfortable furniture and English 18th century portraits.
A grand spiral leads up to the upper floor,
featuring a grand fresco by Tiepolo at the top, of which this is only a detail. It represents the reception of Henry III at the Villa Contarini in Venice.
It is the introduction to the fantastic rooms of Italian painting that obsessed the art-collecting couple, featuring Uccello, Botticelli, Mantegna, Donatello and Crivelli. When we visited there was also an excellent special exhibition of the paintings of French Impressionist, Gustave Caillebotte, and his brother, Martial, a photographer.
 Returning to the ground floor, we were treated to a glimpse of the private apartments including Nélie's bedroom
and another favourite for us, the couple's private morning room.
If you want to soak in the grandeur, you could have a seat in the Tea Room before heading back into the street.

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