It was seven years ago, to this day, when I first visited the Musée Jacquemart-André. Little did I know that she would become my second favorite museum in Paris (the Musée d’Orsay being my first.)
Located in the 8th arrondissement, this was originally a private residence. You enter first into a long hallway that carriages used as they arrived at the mansion. A brief visit to the ticketing area, and you’re back out onto the gravel driveway that sweeps gently off to the right before turning directly to the front of the estate. The approach is stunning. I was instantly enamored with her, tucked gently away from the bustle of Paris streets.
Édouard André was an heir to one of the greatest fortunes of the Second Empire, originally from the South-East of France (Nîmes ), André served in the personal guard of Napoleon III. In 1881, he married Nélie Jacquemart, a young painter who joined in her husband’s projects. Together they methodically collected art, with the long-term vision of turning the mansion into a museum.
Arranging their home to showcase the acquisitions, it became a center of Paris social events. To the right of the mansion’s entrance, you take note of the restaurant with its lovely terrace. Still to this day, Parisians favor lunching here in the sunshine – it’s almost as if generations of habitude can’t stop the JA from hosting. I usually start my day here, with a leisurely meal, before heading into the home.
My favorite painting in the permanent collection is the Portrait of Mathilde de Canisy, Marquise d’Antin by Jean-Marc Nattier (exhibited at the Salon of 1738). I always visit her first and say ‘bonjour’ to Mathilde – she happens to be in one of the first rooms you enter.
Find the remaining description of this experience and my tips for visiting the Musée Jacquemart-André below, in the comments.
Bisous and big hugs 🤗 from France,