L'Ouest Hôtel

Discover the Jean Jacques Henner Museum

Categories : Exhibitions and Museum, published on : 5/14/18

Close to the Ouest Hotel is the Musée Jean Jacques Henner, a museum which pays tribute to the life and work of this 19th century portraitist and landscape painter through more than 1,000 drawings and 520 paintings. From May 16th, 2018, the museum is hosting a brand-new exhibition entitled Résonances - Eugénie Alméras / Jean-Jacques Henner.


Jean-Jacques Henner, the most Alsatian of Parisian painters

Except for the people of Alsace, lovers of 19th century paintings, collectors and art historians, few people among the general public are aware of this artist who was born in Bernwiller in the south of Alsace in 1829. Jean-Jacques Henner has, however, made his mark on the world of art through more than 2,300 works including hundreds of portraits. He is best known for his many female nudes, with their red hair, pale flesh and languid poses. Remaining throughout his life on the outside of the artistic trends of his time, Jean-Jacques Henner is nevertheless now considered to be one of the greatest painters of his time, noted for such masterpieces as L’Alsace, Les Naiades, Fabiola and Elle Attend.


Three floors and two themes

Spread over three floors, the museum is centred around two themes; the career of an official artist and his studio work. Amidst the intimacy of the rooms, the museum retraces the artist's life and work from his beginnings in his native Alsace to his career in Paris. The pictorial journey also evokes his stay at the Villa Medici in Italy, where he lived for some time after being awarded the Prix de Rome.

The scope of the artist’s considerable talent is revealed from room to room as we trace his creativity from Alsace to Italian landscapes to religious and historical paintings and, of course, his famous portraits of women with long, flowing hair. The last room exhibits a succession of nudes including his famous 1877 painting Naiades.

On the third floor the visitor enters the studio, which is dedicated to the artist’s process of creation. Here you will find many unfinished works, sketches, objects and plaster statues from his workshop in the Place Pigalle.


The exhibition Résonances - Jean-Jacques Henner / Eugénie Alméras

From May 16th to September 4th, 2018, the Musée Jean-Jacques Henner will present the paintings of Eugénie Alméras. This young painter, who was born in 1988, had something of an epiphany regarding Henner’s art in July 2016 when she first saw his portrait of the Countess Kessler. Inspired by her study of the works of Jean-Jacques Henner, she has since subtly echoed several aspects of his paintings, including naked red-haired women, drapery, portraits and Alsatian landscapes.

The commonalities and affinities of Eugénie Alméras and Jean-Jacques Henner can also be discerned in the pictorial sensitivity that we find in the choice of muted tones, luminosity and the use of sometimes bright touches mixing reds and tans in an evocation of discreet melancholy. Beyond such stylistic similarities her work is also an exploration of the intimate; a modest and subtle autobiography inviting us to discover the woman behind the artist.



Photo Credit : Site Officiel © Hartl-Meyer