In 1852, Napoleon III put Georges-Eugene Haussmann in charge of the modernization of Paris. Baron Haussmann’s sweeping changes destroyed a good deal of Medieval Paris, while creating a new city with wide, sweeping avenues along with functional sewer and water systems. Edouard Andre purchased a plot of land on the newly created Boulevard Haussman and built his sumptuous mansion there.
It was completed in 1875, and he and his wife, Nelie Jacquemart, proceeded to travel and collect some very fine art to fill it with.
It contains one of the finest collections of 15th and 16th Century Italian sculpture in France.
In 1913, according to their wishes, the house, which was deeded to the Institut de France, was opened as a museum.
It’s like looking through a window into the world of the super-rich denizens of Paris during the last quarter of the 18th century.
There are grand salons such as the Picture Gallery, devoted to French artists such as Boucher and Chardin. The music room all done up in Second Empire décor, was transformed into a ballroom for gala events.
Upstairs, on the first floor, it’s a veritable Italian museum with a stunning Florentine Gallery and Venetian Gallery.
Here you will find the works of Botticelli, Ucello, Mantegna and Carpaccio.
The museum café is located in the former dining room.
It is definitely worth taking the self-guided audio tour in this museum. The history of the house and the collection and the lives of this couple, is pretty fascinating. It doesn’t take very long to do, and afterwards, you can take tea in the café, while marveling at the frescoed ceiling by Tiepolo.
158 Boulevard Haussmann
Metro: St-Phillippe-du-Roule or Miromesnil
Open Daily 10am to 6pm