Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Courtney's Summer of Museums: Musee Jacquemart-Andre

Brief notes:

  • Built for a bachelor: Edouard Andre, who was from a wealthy Protestant family. He married a "rags-to-riches" noted society painter, Nelie Jacquemart. The Plein Monceau area was put into the grand plan by Haussman. Before it was, like the rest of Paris, a small village on its own. 
  • The wealthy built their homes here to show off along the new Haussman Boulevard. Andre, interested in standing out from the others, built his set-back from the road to make people pause and notice it. It was also unique in that the driveway wound from the front to the back, where the entrance was. Then carriage drivers could continue driving around and exit on the other side of the building, to prevent traffic jams during the balls and popular soirees they held. 
  • The Entrance was the Grand Salon with an adjoining Music room, which had walls that moved down into the floor to make an even bigger reception room for the balls. 
  • Mme Jacquemart's Boudoir bathroom still has the columns and alcove were the bathtub was. I loved the clock--horizontal with two rows of numbers for hours and minutes. She wanted to move closer to her husband and moved her bedroom apartments over to his side of the house. 
  • The Winter Garden was gorgeous: all light and marble and mirrors and ferns and plants. The double-staircase is one of the building's more notable features. Of course the mural on the wall and ceiling were highlighted features as well.
  • The Smoking room was originally for men to smoke after the dinners; while the ladies went into another room. These were traditionally decorated in Chinoiserie style. Nelie bough the English portraits after Edouard died.
  • After going from the Winter Garden staircase to overlooking the Music room from a balcony to...BAM! A complete Italian Museum! Whoa. This was wild. They really made their upper floor a real museum to showcase all their collections from Venice, Florence and other Italian artwork and architectural details. Amazing. 
  • Then another wing was completely redone in modern style to showcase a current exhibit: Eygptian art. Fascinating.

2012: Musee Jacquemart-Andre