Where in Paris can you take in some Dutch masters including Rembrandt, ceilings by Tiepolo, medieval Venitian and Florentine works (Uccello, Botticelli), a Vigié-Lebrun portrait and watercolors and oils by JMW Turner ? The Louvre of course, but there’s a better place. More intimate, less crowded, very personal and just the right size for a couple hours visit without wearing you out is the Musée Jacquemart André. This museum is an art history text book in one concise and pleasant space. Swoon.
Visitors, then and today, quickly sense this unique place is not only a museum, above all it is a home. Moving through the house, visitors feel the warm atmosphere of a home and the owner’s personalities. There is a certain eclecticism. The couple had no descendants and thus left their entire, carefully selected, collection and their hotel particulier to the Institut de France. It is thus intact as it was when they died and it was converted into a museum. They spent their lives collecting exquisite pieces of art from all over Europe. Nélie and Edouard didn’t just bring home the easy to transport tableaux and souvenirs form their voyages. They also sought out and transported sculpture, furniture, wood paneling and ceilings and installed them in their sumptuous home. Imagine doing that when steam trains and ships were the best modes of transport to work with! The permanent collection is a real bijou and contains priceless works. Swoon.
The museum holds temporary exhibits as well, roughly two each year. Currently the Tate Collection of Turner Paintings and Watercolors is on display. Some of these have never before been exhibited in France. JMW Turner is incontestably the greatest painter of the golden age of English watercolor painting. No painter makes more people swoon than Turner. People sigh and gasp in front of his paintings. The set of paintings on display come from Turner’s bequest to the Tate in London and they show the development and audacity of Turner’s painting. They also present his many travels in Europe to Venice, but also along the Seine. The Turner expo runs until 11 January and then will be followed by Signac in March 2021.
Open 365 days a year!
158 bd Haussamnn 75008 Paris
www.musee.jacquemart.andre.com Reserve your time slot and buy tickets online. In the permanent collection you will not have to worry about crowds, however in the Turner temporary exhibit there’s quite a few people despite the time slot reservation system. Luckily mask wearing is required and they enforce keeping it up over your nose too.
Franz-Xavier Winterhalter, Portrait d’Edouard André en uniforme des guides de la garde impériale © Institut de France / Christophe Recoura
Nélie Jacquemart, Autoportrait © Institut de France / Christophe Recoura