Thursday, June 1, 2017

Paris When it Drizzles
























I love Paris in the springtime, and though winter may be done with, it still drizzles. We had a rather full schedule on our last full day in Paris (don't worry, there's a few more posts left still, but I'm jumping around!) which included a walk around Montmartre in the morning, metroing over to Parc Monceau and visiting the Musée Nissim de Camondo, tea at Laduree over on Rue Royale, and then taking a nighttime river cruise along the seine. We had plenty of time for all of this in the one day, I love to plan out an itinerary!

Still, planning a few days in Paris can be an interesting puzzle due to museum opening days and times. The Orsay is closed on Mondays, the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, and various other museums follow the same patterns ensuring that one must arrange days with care. The Musée Nissim de Camondo pictured above, is closed on both Mondays and Tuesdays, so I planned to visit on our last full day, a Thursday. It pays to work all these things out before you arrive you know ;)

Situated near the stunning Parc Monceau, which you simply must walk through even if you have limited time, the Musée Nissim de Camondo is a house museum full of gorgeous 18th century furnishings and decorative arts. Built in 1911 by the Comte Moïse de Camondo to house his collection of 18th century furniture and artworks, parts of the house were fittingly inspired by the Petit Trianon. Sadly the decades following the creation of this beautiful home were filled with tragedy for the Camondo family, their son Nissim (for which the museum is named) died in WWI, the Comte died in 1935, and his daughter and her husband and children were taken to and murdered at Auschwitz in 1943. Such a sad story to hold in your mind while exploring the beautiful house they left behind. Moïse had left the house and its contents to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs upon his death in honor of his son, and had withdrawn from much of public life after Nissim died in 1917, so perhaps it was better he himself did not live to see the terror of WWII having already experienced so much loss.



Moïse's collection of furnishings is beautiful, and includes some very special objects like the Sevres porcelain set just above, carpets woven for the grand gallery of the Louvre palace in 1678, and other objects with royal provenance like the petrified wood lidded vases with chased gilt bronze mounts pictured above (the urns with the golden snakes labeled 118) which belonged to Marie Antoinette at Versailles. Also in the collection was a sewing table from Queen Marie Antoinette’s private apartments at the Château de Saint-Cloud. Strange to imagine Marie Antoinette sitting at a sewing table isn't it? Sewing and embroidery link us modern needle-crafters to so many women, fascinating or forgotten, throughout history and I find a kind of magic in that fact. So much has changed since that sewing table was delivered in 1788, but we all thread our needles for hand sewing in much the same way the Queen did then.

I wore one of my 1920's one hour dresses for the afternoon of museums and tea treats. It was raining off and on all afternoon, and was quite chilly, but we still managed to walk around the Parc Monceau a little bit despite the weather making itself a nuisance. The parc itself also has a fascinating history, having been originally built in 1779 by cousin of the then king Louis XVI, Phillippe d'Orléans as a folly filled fantasy garden inspired by English and Chinese gardens and complete with a miniature Egyptian pyramid amongst other unique ornaments. While all of the original (fun but perhaps disparate) elements and changes throughout the centuries have shaped a different garden than the one first finished in 1779, it is a bit mad to realize the Camondo house, with furnishings belonging to Marie Antoinette, overlooks a garden once created by her husband's cousin. A cousin that later voted in the revolutions national assembly for Louis XVI's execution, though it wasn't enough to save him from the purging of royalty and he lost his own head not long after. Ah history, such an endlessly fascinating subject!

Dress, Handbag, Necklace & Earrings: Made by me
Shoes: Urban Outfitters (painted gold by me)
Bracelets: Vintage

6 comments:

  1. What a beautiful museum! And such a sad story of the family.

    I have tried to go to the Musée d'Orsay every time I've been to Paris, and every single time it's been closed for some reason. (I think it was strikes last time.)

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    1. Indeed it was super gorgeous <3 That's a bummer about the Orsay, I wanted to visit the Carnavalet this last trip but it is closed till 2019!

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  2. Your title made me chuckle! Well it may have been drizzling, but you're certainly sizzling in that dress. One of my faves on you. I still haven't finished my version of a one hour dress (it must have taken me at least a year by now...) x

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    1. Thank you Porcelina! They never take me just an hour, though I'm well due to make another one...

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  3. Looks like a really fascinating museum. So much to look at. Love the pictures in front of that giant door!

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    1. Thanks Kate-Em! Paris has many useful giant doors :)

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