Posted by: vlibrizzi | November 2, 2009

A visit to the Musee Jacquemart-Andre

DSC_0037C. and I took the train into Paris yesterday afternoon to visit the Jacquemarte-Andre museum. After waiting outside in the rain for over an hour (thank goodness we brought our parapluies!), we were finally able to enter the museum. Next time, we’ll make sure to buy our tickets online so that we could skip the long lines and just enter the musuem. 

The beautiful art museum was once the home to an “upper-middle class” couple in the late 19th century — but if this is the way that the upper middle class lived back then, then who needed aristocracy? Monsieur and Madame Andre did not have any children, so instead, spent their time and money on acquiring pieces of art from the famous Parisian art auctions. Over the years, they amassed quite a collection of famous pieces—from paintings by Fragonard and Rembrandt, to ancient Egyptian carved amulets. 

The pieces in the collection were left exactly as they were in the 19th century so you felt as if you were walking through a home as well as an art museum. The place reminded us very much of the Barnes collection in Pennsylvania, but the art was quite different, and the home decor was 19th century French as opposed to American.

DSC_0029We loved walking through the large music room where the Andre’s hosted many concerts.










DSC_0025We also enjoyed walking through the ballroom with it’s removable walls so that the Andres could host up to 1000 people in their home.








We loved the Andre’s study, with a painting of Madame Andre in the center. Apparently, Madame Andre was an accoplished portrait artist before she married M. Andre. Perhaps that is why the two of them had such an interested in art collection.




DSC_0030But most of all, we loved climbing the marble spiral staircase in the Winter Garden. The staircases were built by the architect who was the first runner up in the contest to see who could build the “new” Opera Garnier. According to our audioguide (which was fabulous!), this staircase was a way for the architect to show off his talents after being rejected for building the Opera.

On Friday I visited the Opera Garnier for the first time with a friend, so it was quite interesting to hear about the competition to be able to build the opera builiding. It is an absolutely beautiful building, but this staircase is pretty awe-inspiring too.  

Near the end of our visit through the house, we went into the special exhibit on Bruegel, Memling, and Van Eyck: The Brukenthal Collection. Now we knew why the line was so long outside the museum—the exhibit was packed! This was the first time that these pieces had ever been to France, and the French people were squeezed up to the glass to get a glimpse of some of these beautiful portraits and landscapes. Despite the crowds, the exhibit was fabulous! If you’re going to be in Paris before January 11th, you should definitely visit this exhibit….and the whole museum too! Here’s the link for the exhibit:

DSC_0035After we visited the exhibit, we toured the living quarters of the Andre’s by visiting their bedrooms and then stopped in their dining room to have some afternoon tea.

It was a wonderful afternoon, and having the tea at the end—to rest our sore backs and to get some warmth in us before heading outside in the cold—was a great way to end our visit to the museum.



  1. Please remind me about this museum. It sounds like the Frick or the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It is always interesting to see art hung ina home setting, and to imagine what it would be like to like daily with masterpieces.
    What a wonderful day!

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