Académie des Beaux-Arts
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The Ephrussi de Rothschild Foundation at St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat


Enchanted by the beauty of Cap Ferrat, in 1905 the Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild, wife of Maurice Ephrussi, acquired seven hectares of land on the narrowest part of the peninsula - one of the Côte d'Azur's most magnificent sites.

Seven years' work resulted in a palace reminiscent of Venice, Florence and Ravenna, a stunning yet fragile setting designed to accommodate all the decorative items, from the 15th to the 19th century, collected by the Baroness in the course of her extensive travels. Its grounds were divided up into stylised gardens: "Spanish", "Florentine", "lapidary", "Japanese", "exotic", "English" and "French".

The Villa Ile-de-France, bequeathed with its collections to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1934 and opened to the public in 1937, provides an especially lifelike impression of a great art-lover's residence during the Belle Epoque.

While there is an unmistakable predilection for the 18th century, each room has been arranged to meet the tastes and the instructions of the palace's founder. All the decorative genres are represented: Savonnerie carpets made for royalty, Beauvais tapestries, Sèvres, Dresden and Meissen china, Fragonard washes, Boucher paintings, Coypel ceilings and furniture from the 17th and 18th centuries' most illustrious cabinetmakers. Add to all this an Oriental gallery-reception room whose doors had come from the Imperial Palace in Peking, and we begin to grasp the exuberant richness of a residence which, in its reflection of an inspired collector's taste, is a source of endless astonishment, admiration and curiosity.

Administrator :
M. Bruno-Henri Rousseau

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