Many visitors consider winter the perfect time to visit Paris. The city of lights becomes a breathtaking wonderland with fairy lights adorning the streets, and buildings and parks taking on a festive illumination. Christmas markets pop up in most arrondisements, and little stands selling roasted, piping-hot chestnuts become a common sight on busy street corners. Bûches de Noël fill the Parisian bakeries’ displays and ice rinks appear in prime locations.
Alongside sightseeing the beautifully lit-up landmarks, and Christmas shopping at traditional markets full to the brim with enchanting wooden stalls and delicious hot chocolate, you may be still hoping to fit in some cultural activities. If so, the Musée Jacquemart-André is one place you shouldn’t miss.
The Museum’s Fascinating Founders
This excellent Paris museum is housed in a mansion on Boulevard Haussmann, which was commissioned by Edouard André, the heir of a Protestant banking family. Once construction was completed in 1875, André used it to exhibit the huge number of works of art that he had acquired over many years. When he married in 1881, his new wife Nélie Jacquemart, a well-known artist of the time, shared his passion.
Together, they travelled throughout the continent, especially Italy, both for pleasure and the opportunity to visit antique dealers and auction rooms. They also made a number of trips to the Middle East, including Constantinople, Cairo, and Beirut to add to their collections.
Florence: Portraits at the Court of the Medicis (11th September 2015 – 25th January 2016)
The Musée Jacquemart-André’s current exhibition is a magnificent study of the art of portraiture, which flourished amongst Florence’s élite in the sixteenth century. Used by the upper class to capture their social status and facial physiognomy, the large number of portraits you can find in this Paris museum will be of interest to both amateur buffs and art aficionados alike.
The exhibition boasts, not only of masterpieces by Pontormo (a master of mannerism and famous pupil of Andrea del Sarto), but also as the first entirely dedicated to Florentine portraiture in France. The works of art gathered for this display allow the visitor to witness how the artists experimented with regards to the way contemporaries were represented, and to observe the style developments of the Cinquecento (the sixteenth century), a time of significant change for both religion and culture.
How to Get There
Getting to this Paris museum is easy. Located on 158 Boulevard Haussman, only 400 meters away from the Place Charles de Gaulle-Étoile, the Musée Jacquemart-André can be easily reached by foot if you are sightseeing around the area.
Public transport links are excellent as well: Metro stops Saint-Augustin, Miromesnil, and Saint-Philippe-du-Roule are all less than ten minutes’ walk away; buses 22, 43, 52, 54, 28, 80, 83, 84, and 93 will all drop you off nearby; the Réseau Express Régional (RER) line A stops at Charles de Gaulle-Étoile; and there is even a Velib station (for Paris’s rental bicycles) on the Rue de Berri.
When it comes to top Paris museums, the Jacquemart-André demands a visit, not just for its fascinating exhibitions, but also for its lovely location.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you’re planning a trip to visit a famous Paris museum or enjoy the other cultural highlights of the city, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked airport shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don’t miss your car on your holiday abroad.