Tuesday, December 30, 2014

High end 17th century luxury housing

Chers Amis de L’Ecole du Bon Gout.   When I was in Paris last fall visiting Musee Carnavalet, I had the truly delicious experience of seeing the two newly reopened 17th century rooms which had been closed for almost a decade of restoration.

These rooms are virtual “treasure boxes” of 17th century architecture, fine art and decorative arts, and are rare surviving examples of 17th century Parisian high end luxury residential living. The “bon gout formula” here includes: vibrant colors, complex boiserie, architectural sculpture in stucco, illusionistic fresco painting, faux marble, silk damask wall coverings, and oak parquet de Versailles flooring : all this richness seamed together with lots of gold leafing . This is NOT the “less is more” approach svp.

The main Hotel Carnavalet building was first constructed from 1548 to 1560 and is in itself a rare surviving example of Renaissance domestic architecture in Paris.  Beginning in 1655, the famous architect Francois Mansart completed the hotel by raising the height of the wing on the entrance facade.  Carnavalet is also noted as the residence of Mme. de Sevigne from 1667 till 1696, and retains two rooms dedicated to her.
In 1866 the city of Paris purchased the building to be transformed into a museum. Through the years many additions have been made to make more space for a library, many other period rooms, and temporary exhibition spaces. Carnavalet was the cutting edge in the museum world to begin acquiring period rooms as part of their collection with their first complete room purchased in 1867. In the private sector, New Orleans’ own La baronne de Pontalba (1795 –1874) was one of the first individuals inspired to install entire early 18th century rooms collected from buildings being demolished, in her Parisian mansion completed in 1840. Today this mansion houses the “Residence de L’Ambassadeur American”.

Musee Carnavalet is truly a “High Temple of Bon Gout” and is opened from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am till 6:00 pm and is FREE to the public, svp! So next time you are in Paris, give yourself a real treat and visit Musee Carnavalet!

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith

Additional Images

Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852