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The Jacquemart-André Museum is a public museum created from the private home of Édouard André (1833–1894) and Nélie Jacquemart (1841-1912) to display the art they collected during their lives.
Édouard André, the scion of a Protestant banking family, devoted his considerable fortune to buying works of art. He then exhibited them in his new mansion built in 1869 by the architect Henri Parent, and completed in 1875.
He married a well-known society painter, Nélie Jacquemart, who had painted his portrait 10 years earlier. Every year, the couple would travel in Italy, amassing one of the finest collections of Italian art in France. When Edouard André died, Nélie Jacquemart completed the decoration of the Italian Museum and travelled in the Orient to add more precious works to the collection. Faithful to the plan agreed with her husband, she bequeathed the mansion and its collections to the Institut de France as a museum, and it opened to the public in 1913.
The visit is divided into five major parts:
The State Apartments were designed by the Andrés for their most formal receptions. They were composed of the Picture Gallery, the Music Room, the Dining Room and the Grand Salon. The decoration of those rooms show their fascination for the French school of painting and 18th century decorative art. The couple loved 18th century paintings, which the upper classes were rediscovering after having long judged them to be excessively frivolous.
The informal Apartments: The Andrés would receive their business relations in a series of smaller, more informal salons. They are composed of 4 rooms: the boudoir, the study room, the smoking room (usually decorated in an Oriental style) and the Library. These were decorated in a refined style, testifying to their talents as collectors.
The winter garden divided in three section with its remarkable fresco by Tiepolo and stairs. This part of the house testifies the artistic skill of the architect Henri Parent, who was seeking to surpass Charles Garnier, the builder of the then new Opéra Garnier.
The Italian museum is as named dedicated to italian art. The Sculpture Gallery houses collections of 15th- and 16th-century Italian sculpture, with masterpieces by Francesco Laurana, Donatello, Luca Della Robbia and others. The Florentine Gallery is both a place of worship, containing works on religious themes — choir stalls, reredos and funerary monuments — and a picture gallery focusing on the Florentine school, with works by Botticelli, Botticini and Perugino, and Ucello's celebrated St George and the Dragon. The Venetian Gallery attests to the Andrés' love of 15th-century Venetian artists. Dominated by a coffer ceiling attributed to Mocetto, paintings by Mantegna, Bellini or Carpaccio recreate the typical setting of a Venetian Palazzo.
The Private Apartments. Finally, occupying part of the mansion's ground floor, the Andrés' private apartments give the museum the feel of a family home.
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