Thursday, October 20, 2011

you're invited

L'Hotel Particulier au Cite d'Architecture.....I finally made it to this exhibition and four hours later I walked away on a cloud.....

You see, I have a rather romantic and idylic love affair with the old mansions of Paris.  Once belonging to the aristocracy, the social and financial elite, many were acquired by the state and now house government offices and national trust companies or in some cases museums.  Few are still inhabited by said elite.....and sadly many have just disappeared.

Unfortunately I couldn't take photos of the exhibit but here's a little bit of detail to entice you to go:::::

Hotel de Cluny was built in 1471.  This Burgundian Abbey was home to the Archbishop and cluniac monks during his visits to Paris - it's now the Musee de la Moyen Age.

Banker Edouard Andre married artist Nelie Jacquemart in 1881 and she bequethed their family mansion Hotel Andre, to the Institut de France and is now the beautiful Musee Jacquemart-Andre.

In 1605 under Henri V Place Royale, now known as Place des Vosges, was built with an open plan in mind for the bourgeois with the Place Vendome rule, wherein the facade of the townhouses remained the same yet the families were free to decorate inside to their own taste.  Boutiques and studios were downstairs with homes on top.  A beautiful example still standing!
(It also sits behind one of my favourites, Hotel de Sully)

Baron Pierre-Victore de Besenval bought Hotel de Chanac-Pompodour which is now the the Swiss Embassy.  He was also friends with Marie-Antoinette.

The Duchess de Maine entertained in the Hotel de Bron which is now the Rodin Museum.

Princess Potocka held renowned parties in her salon on Avenue Friedland which is now the Paris Chamber of Commerce.

I liked this guys name: Duke Sosthenes de La Rocheforcault-Doudeaville.

Architects were often commissioned via friends of friends and thus many hotel particuliers bear the same architect......Hotel Le Brun and Hotel de Soubise by Germain Bouffrand......Hotel de Montmorency and Hotel de Thelusson by Nicolas Ledoux..

Le Palais Rose is probably one of my favourites, built by Ernest Sanson on what is now Avenue Foch in 1896 for the great dandy of the Belle Epoque, Boniface de Castellane, 'Boni'.
It was a variation of the Grand Trianon at Versailles (very common) and it represented the art of fine living as practiced by the noble elite during the belle epoque.  Unfortunately it was destroyed in 1969 which has been said 'demostrates the incomprehension of the Thirty Glorious Years that faced the triumphant eclecticism of the 19th century'.

The exhibit has some beautiful scale models of the mansions that are equisite. 

The entryway has a beautiful black and white map which shows Paris in the 1700s....

"A mansion, like a family, is a long term committement, it is a sign of prestige."

do go and see it....L x

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