An exceptional museum in Paris
Categories : Exhibitions and Museum, published on : 5/9/16
Cultural outings to a museum are always an inspiration for those who appreciate painting and sculpture, history and culture. Lovers of fine art will certainly enjoy one of the major attractions of the capital when they visit the Musée Jacquemart-André, which houses a superb collection. This marvellous institution is conveniently located just ten minutes from the Ouest Hotel: what could be better?
Discovering the Jacquemart-André Museum
Situated on the Boulevard Haussmann on the Right Bank of the Seine, the Musée Jacquemart-André was inaugurated on December 8th, 1913, by the President of the Republic at the time, Raymond Poincaré. Like the Wallace Collection in London, the Frick Collection in New York and the Nissim de Camondo Collection in Paris, this collection, carefully built up in the 19th century by Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart, is housed in a fine old mansion. Completed in 1875, this was the couple’s private home during the period when they travelled widely, seeking out new pieces to quench their thirst for objects of rare beauty. Over time they made their home a temple dedicated to both fine arts and decorative arts, and this was eventually bequeathed to the Institut de France to be opened to the public as a museum.
So we have the Musée Jacquemart-André today. Within this exceptional building can be found works by Botticelli, Canaletto, Van Dyck, Houdon, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Reynolds and many other prestigious artists. Composed primarily of renowned Italian paintings, but also including Dutch, Flemish and English works, this collection also hosts a number of iconic sculptures of the Renaissance. A marvellous showcase of art and artefacts, the museum also takes advantage of its exceptional setting in the heart of Paris to welcome its visitors in sumptuous surroundings, where they can explore rooms furnished in the style of the period. The building has a Haussmann-era façade, a winter garden, state and private apartments, as well as its famed Italian Museum. Inspired by classical models, it is one of the most beautiful mansions of the 8th arrondissement.
A temple to the great painters of the past
Along with the permanent collections, which are simply breath-taking, the Musée Jacquemart-André also plays host to regular temporary exhibitions. One such, which can be particularly recommended, is entitled The Open-Air Studio; the Impressionists in Normandy, and runs until July 25th. Some fifty or so prestigious artworks, gathered together from both private collections and major European and American museums, are used to show how a new way of painting developed in the 19th century. Beginning in England, the practice of painting in the open air, as opposed to within the studio, spread throughout Europe.
Due to its magnificent and diverse scenery, its architectural heritage and the unique quality of its light, the Normandy region became the focus of this movement, an open-air studio indeed, and played a key role in the emergence of Impressionism. Artists such as Gauguin, Monet and Degas, as well as painters of the English school such as Turner, Cotman and Bonington, would seek originality and a fresh approach to their art amidst these exquisite landscapes. From this exchange between artists a French landscape school was born in Normandy and the results of this connection can now be admired at the Musée Jacquemart-André.
L'Ouest Hotel, an elegant 3-star hotel at Paris Saint-Lazare