Metro Saint-Philippe du Roule
phone: (33) 01 45 62 11 59
open: 10 am – 6 pm daily
Prices: 8 euros – adults, 6 euros – students, price includes audioguide
When you buy a ticket (ticket office and bookshop are all in one), you get a coupon (which is good for over 2 years) for free entry to one of the other museums owned by Institut de France and managed for it by Culture Espaces. These include Chateau de Valencay, Villa Ephrussi de Rotschilde, Villa Kerylos, Chateau de Baux, Theatre Antique d’Orange and Musee National de l’Automobile Collection Schlumpf Mulhouse.
"A glimpse into refinement and wealth," says the board on the outside wall of the museum. And it is most certainly true. This large collection of paintings, frescoes, statues and furniture was collected by Edouard André and Nelie Jacquemart. Part of the collection was put together by André before he married Nelie (who was an accomplished painter and you can see her works through the building). After they were married they spent lots of time in Italy collecting and then more time at home rebuilding the house to accommodate the collection. Here every room is a treasure.
From the outside through the ticket office and along the alley lined with blooming tall red cannas you walk into a large courtyard with 4 lion statues guarding the entrance to the museum, but they seem to be doing it quite lazily – one is sleeping, the other one is yawning.
Inside you start with the Salon des Peintures (Picture room) – here are paintings by Canaletto, de Witt, Boucher on the walls. In the middle is a beautiful marble statue of a girl with pigeons by Pampaloni.
From this room we enter the Grand Salon that was a reception room; the décor of it is a mixture of the 18th century and second empire styles.
Salon des tapisseries (Tapestry room) next door has 3 large tapestries from Manufacture Royal de Beauvais (they still make tapestries in Beauvais); these tapestries are part of the series "Russian games" with very fresh yellow, red, pink and blue colors. In this room you can also see two large Chinese vases and beautiful furniture with peacock patterns.
You continue to the Cabinet de travail (Working room) that has the most precious works in the building – French school paintings among which the most important are works by Fragonard and Greuze, the ceiling plafond is by Tiepolo. There is also a Louis XIV armoire with amazing inlays.
Continued in Part II