VIP visits of Paris’ museums by L’Art et ses Services
A series of visits made-to-measure
3rd – 4th – 5th May 2016
In response to a request from an important foreign delegation, L’Art et ses Services recently organised a series of visits “made-to-measure” of the House of Victor Hugo, the musée Nissim de Camondo and the furniture department of the musée du Louvre:
Tuesday 3rd May: we begin in Victor Hugo’s former Parisian flat, situated on the Place des Vosges. His furniture, souvenirs and family portraits, now reunited with those of Juliette Drouet, reconstitute the intimacy of the creator’s home and paint the portrait not only of a multifaceted genius and superlative writer but also of a great artist and decorator in his spare time. Represented in a famous portrait by Léon Bonnat (1879) at the height of his glory, this man of letters seems to await the visit of those who wish to meet him. After his exile, the writer lived at 130, avenue d’Eylau, where he spent the last years of his life. But it is in these walls, where Hugo wrote the best part of Les Misérables, that the bedroom in which he died on 22nd May 1885 has been reconstituted. Near the bed one can still admire Clésinger’s gilt-plaster sculpture of La République, which Hugo never parted from.
Wednesday 4th May, the Louvre, starting off with the Apollo Gallery, whose luxurious painted and sculpted decoration executed by the greatest artists of the 17th century (Le Brun, Girardon, the brothers Gaspard and Balthasar Marsy…) served as a prototype for Versailles’s Hall of Mirrors. Since 1861 the gallery has been home to Louis XIV’s collection of pietra dura vases which bear testimony to the Renaissance goldsmiths’ exceptional know-how. These pieces, amongst the most precious of the Decorative Arts Department, served as a wonderful introduction to the works of the greatest cabinet-maker of all time: André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732). The visit continued with the study of certain 18th century pieces of furniture exhibited in the museum’s new “period rooms”, with particular attention payed to the wainscoting and furniture of the Comte d’Artois’s Turkish Cabinet and the museum’s latest decorative arts acquisition: the Teschen Table (1779) by Johann Christian Neuber, adorned with 128 semi-precious stones… Our journey through the Decorative Arts Collections reached its climax in Napoleon III’s sumptuous red and gold reception rooms.
Thursday 5th May, the visit of the musée Camondo began, as might be expected, with an outdoor stroll through the Parc Monceau where we can still observe the vestiges of the follies designed by Louis de Carmontelle for the Duke of Chartres. The walk enabled us to admire the surroundings, the grand wrought iron gates capped with gold by architect Gabriel Davioud, as well as the rear courtyards and gardens of the private mansions constructed during the Second Empire and which give onto the park. Amongst these features the musée Nissim de Camondo whose architecture, inspired by the Petit Trianon, showcases an exceptional collection of late 18th century French furniture and works of art. The greatest cabinet-makers – Oeben, Martin Carlin, Riesener, Foliot, Jacob – rub shoulders with artists such as Hubert Robert and Madame Vigée-Lebrun. An enchanting visit, crowned by the salon des Huet’s elegant decorative cycle (1776) which illustrates the progress of love between a shepherd and shepherdess, encouraged by a scheming dog and dove. The museum also displays photographs and souvenirs to chart the poignant history of the family – a dynasty of rich bankers from Istanbul, in love with French art.
+ These private visits of Parisian museums are realized by a duo of specialist, bilingual, french-english experts. For more information or an estimate, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.