What better way to spend the first day of the year than to be surrounded by beautiful artwork in a magnificent house turned museum?
The Musee Jacquemart-Andre was originally the home of Edouard Jacquemart and Nelie Andre. The couple were inveterate collectors of Italian and Oriental art and luckily for us, they bequeathed their house and collection to the Institut de France, which opened the house to the public in 1913. The house itself is a magnificent structure, with its gracious lines but the real showstopper of course is the art. I mean, they had me at their Grand Salon where I spied a Canaletto hanging on the wall. I’ve only ever seen Canalettos in museum and here was one hanging almost casually on the wall. It boggles the mind to think that it used to be someone’s personal belonging. Imagine, having one now in your home and you could gaze at it anytime you wanted. Amazing right? If that wasn’t enough, the couple’s former dining room is now a café, yes, where you can sit and take your leisure and while there, you have to remember to look up and gaze at the Tiepolo painted ceiling. That’s right, Tiepolo.
The rest of the house is filled with beautiful turn of the century furniture and they had as well a fantastic collection of delicate Limoges porcelain. I loved their winter garden, this one inside the house decorated with lush exotic plants lending the room with an almost tropical look. From here, one ascends the imposing double staircases where one can once more look at yet another Tiepolo fresco. I wish I had taken more pictures of the house, but its hard to capture such beauty and grace.
Apart from its wondrous art collection, the Museum now regularly hosts temporary exhibitions. Currently running until the 24th of January is a special exhibit on Rubens, Poussin and other 17th century artists. It’s a rich exhibit and I discovered the works of Pierre Patel L’Ancien. I especially loved his Paysage de ruines avec un berger. What a great discovery!
Here's a view of the house's facade
Musee Jacquemart Andre
158 blvd. Haussman