top of page

Travel: Paris Museums visit Oct 10 & 11 /2019

Place : Paris - Museums visit

Date: Oct' 10 & 11th /2019

Basking in the period Decorative Art from eras long begone, was a sheer delight. We first visited

Musee Des Arts Décoratifs - 107 rue de Rivoli,

The museum is situated at a wing of the Louvre, and contains 5 floors of permanent collection of decorative art objects from medieval times to the present day, including: furniture, tableware, carpets, tapestry, bedroom from the 15thc, porcelain made by several factories (Sèvres, Saint-Cloud, etc.), as well as art nouveau, with its curves and floral motifs. and works by contemporary designers.

The recommended current temporary exhibit at the museum was of

A tribute to Yeshwant Rao Holkar II, better known as the Indian Maharajah of Indore patron of the 1930s who was considered a true visionary of the European cultural scene. Being an exotic and very liked member of the cultural European elitists and artists circles, he and his wife were painted and photographed at the time by many, including by the famous Mann Ray.

The exhibition showcased more than 500 objects that belonged to him, pieces commissioned for his Manik Bagh Palace - the first modernist building in his country.

From the Indi-European scene we veered gear to the Franco- Jewish

Monceau Niegborhood (8 district)

A visit to this much more sedated and relaxed upper class neighborhood of Paris, with its 19c history of a unique Jewish aristocracy presence (the Camondos, Ephrussi and Rothchilds families)is not to be missed .

It is named after a small village, a locality. The enlarged construction of Monceau dates back to the 17th c, by the Duke of Chartres.

“Jewish money” behind the origins of the neighborhood, is attributed to

Emile and Isaac Pereire, having “made their fortunes as financiers, railroad-builders and property magnates, creating colossal developments of hotels and department stores,” they also purchased the plaine Monceau with the park in the center and started to develop the surrounding area. These two Sephardic brothers from Bordeaux, also creators of the fancy neighborhood surrounding the Opéra Garnier, and the Hôtel de la Paix , dreamed of a luxurious future for this soon-to-be elitist neighborhood. The Pereire brothers were not just savvy investors with a taste for luxury, they also knew how to market, attract and convince the wealthiest Jews of France, Europe and the Mediterranean basin to come live in the plaine Monceau along with many other members of the Parisian high society.

The mansion houses, which border the charming Parc Monceau, are the residences of the wealthiest of days gone by as the homes of: Jacquemart-Andrés or Nissim Camondos which became museums

The large spacious elegant buildings of the neighborhood are Haussmannian, yet have a country flare. .

The quarter is home to a discreet and refined population concerned with calm and comfort, where everybody knows each other.

Musée Nissim de Camondo - Hotel PartiCulier 63, rue de Monceau,

A 19th c 3 floors mansion, divided to the servants and inhabitants quarters, and befitted with most modern features of the time, was transformed into a museum in 1936, as per the request of the Camondos, who bequeathed ed the house on its features and decorative art objects to the public.

This elegant French decorative private mansion built in the style of the Petit Trianon at Versailles, and houses the museum of French decorative art, is located at the edge of the Parc Monceau,

The mansion was built in 1911 by the Count Moïse de Camondo, a banker, with architect René Sergent, to set off his spectacular collection of 18c French furniture and art objects, a period he was passionate about and zealously specialized in.

Aubusson tapestries, canvases by Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun or items that once belonged to Marie-Antoinette. are in view. Also on display, are a collection of Sèvres porcelain and furniture by cabinetmakers Riesener and Oeben.

The Ottoman Jewish roots of the Camondo family

The Camondos are mentioned in Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes and in Le dernier des Camondo, or The Last of the Camondo Family, by Pierre Assouline,

A prominent Sefardic family the Camondo settled in Venice, after the 1492 Spanish decree. Following the Austrian takeover of Venice in 1798, members of the Camondo family established themselves in Istanbul. The family flourished as merchants and the business, and branched off in 1802 with the founding of their own bank becoming financiers. Isaak (1851–1911) and his brother Abraham-Solomon (1781–1873), flourished as Jewish-Turkish bankers and philanthropists . After the death of his only son Raphael (1810–1866) the eighty-six-year-old patriarch Abraham-Solomon, followed In 1869, his grand-sons Behor Abraham Camondo (1829–1889) and Nissim Camondo (1830–1889) to Paris, where they had established business connections. Nissim and Élise Fernandez de Camondo had one son Moise who in 1910 rebuilt the house. When Moïse passed away in 1935, he left the Camondo home with the entire collection inside to the French State. His only stipulation was that it be maintained untouched as an artistic dwelling of pure 18c style. Moïse chose the museum's name in homage to his father and son, both named Nissim de Camondo, the latter (son) having died in 1917 as a pilot in the French army.

This family is now extinct after the last descendants died: Nissim de Camondo was killed in aerial combat during World War I in 1917, his father Moïse de Camondo banker and art collector died in 1935, , then his daughter Béatrice de Camondo, (1894–1944), French socialite along with her two children (Fanny and Bertrand) and her ex-husband Léon Reinach, were deported and murdered in Auschwitz around 1944 .

Surviving the Spanish expulsion, how ironic and tragic it is, that this affluent family with all its philanthropic contributions of impressionism art collection to the Louvre, and the Camondo's Monceau mansion to the French Gov, couldn't be rescued and saved by the French, from the horrible fate of the Holocaust.

Park Monceau

Once a private estate, it became a park in 1861 designed by Baron Haussmann, and is the most charming park to walk through. Beautiful trees, flowers, water fall, some small pools and funny antiquated structures. Entrance to the park is through great wrought iron gates embellished with gold.

Further down on Rue Monceau to my surprise a red pagoda structure can be detected

One of the unusual houses of Paris. Built by a wealthy Chinese art dealer, Ching Tsai Loo, this Chinese pagoda denotes the rest of the neighborhood.

Food Bites

Lunch at this iconic but pricey seafood place

Marius and Jannet - 4, Avenue George V,

- Téléphone: 33-147234188

Dinner at this charming in a great location

La Mediterranee 2 place l’Odeon (across from the Odeon Theater)

To be continued ...


bottom of page