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The Cognacq-Jay Museum displays the sumptuous art collection assembled by Théodore-Ernest Cognacq and his wife Marie-Louise Jaÿ, founder of the famous department store La Samaritaine.
The story of the museum is interlock with the Samaritaine creation. From 1925, Ernest Cognacq used to exhibit his collection of furniture and decorative art in the store.
In 1927, he wanted to open a museum next to the Samaritaine. His death the following year didn't modify his wishes and the project was continued by Edouard Jonas, the director of the Samaritaine.
When the Samaritains was sold in 1981, the collections where installed in this beautiful hotel, listed historical monument (built between the 16th and 18th centuries) located in the heart of the Marais neighborhood. The three levels and the intimate size are meant to emphasize the collection.
With the notable exception of an early painting by Rembrandt, most of the artwork on display dates back to the 18th century: paintings by Canaletto, Tiepolo, Boucher, Fragonard, Greuze, Reynolds; pastels by La Tour and Perronneau; sculptures by Houdon, Lemoyne, Clodion; porcelain by Saxe; gold and silver work; furniture bearing the marks of master woodworkers…
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