Musée de la Vie Romantique
Entering through an unassuming green gate and following the narrow cobbled path you will find Musée de la Vie Romantique.
This enchanting hôtel particulier tucked away in the 9th arrondissement is an absolute delight.
If you didn’t know it was here – you would simply pass by
And that would be a shame …
Following the narrow cobbled pathway that leads to the main courtyard you will discover a green shuttered, two storey home with pots of pretty flowers, a charming greenhouse and garden café where you can sit and take in the ambience.
Musée de la Vie Romantique, was originally home to the Dutch born artist Ary Scheffer. It was here where he held his well known and anticipated Friday night salons.
He entertained prominent guests such as; George Sand and her partner Frederic Chopin. Others included; Franz Liszt, Gioacchino Rossini, Charles Dickens and Eugène Delacroix, to name but a few.
The house was built in 1830 and after Ary Scheffer’s passing in 1858 it remained a private dwelling. It wasn’t until 1982 that it became the Musée Renan-Scheffer.
In 1987 the building underwent extensive renovations and was renamed Musée de la Vie Romantique. Now the museum is owned by the city of Paris and is one of three ‘literary’ museums. The other two being; Maison de Balzac and the Maison de Victor Hugo.
This small, yet impressive museum is situated in the fashionable area known as La Nouvelle Athènes and offers a glimpse into a life of days gone by.
The first floor is dedicated to Lucile Aurore Dupin or better known as the trouser wearing, novelist, George Sand.
Here you will find a considerable collection of her effects.
Included in her beautiful jewellery collection is a large locket, holding a considerable amount of blonde hair.
Amongst other pieces on display is a plaster cast of her delicate hand and her boyfriend, Chopin’s small elegant hand, cast not long after his death.
My hands are long and slender but placing mine against theirs made my hand look large and awkward!
Other memorabilia includes George Sand’s watercolours, personal belongings, household items and family portraits.
Moving up to the second floor via a crooked, spiral staircase are paintings and sculptures, not only by the original owner, Ary Scheffer but also include works by; François Bouchot, Bartholdi, Dantan and more.
This enchanting museum is well worth a visit and can be combined with a visit to the extensive and neighbouring museum of Gustave Moreau.
My first encounter with Ary Scheffer, was at the Wallace Collection in London, where I was completely captivated by his painting – The Ghosts of Paolo and Francesca Appear to Dante and Virgil.
I was surprised many years later to see it also at the Louvre.
However, I noticed something wasn’t quite right. The painting in the Wallace Museum in London shows stab wounds, on both the lovers, this painting pictured here from the Louvre doesn’t. Upon further investigation, I learned, he painted two versions of this, a year apart.
Whether you are interested in Ary Scheffer and George Sand, or not, this is still a museum, well worth a visit. If only to discover a quaint cottage down a little cobbled pathway.
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Paris Adèle’s Information Nécessaire:Musée de la Vie Romantique – Official Website 16 Rue Chaptal, Paris 75009 Opening Hours: Tuesday- Sunday 10am – 6 pm Closed Mondays Free Admission to main museum Fee for the Temporary Exhibitions Fee for audio guide Obtain free ticket for entry into house/main museum via office on the left when you first enter the courtyard here you can also obtain free brochure on museum and audio guide (for a fee) Closest Metro: Saint-Georges, Pigalle & Blanche
The pretty and unusal square and metro station Saint-Georges is a 450 metre walk away: you can print this MAP
- Saint-Georges MétroOpposite the stunning l'hôtel de la marquise de Païva, with it's intricate façade, adorned with Gothic and Renaissance statues you will find the unique Saint-Georges métro entrance.
Read about my funny experience at Musee de la Vie Romantique below:
The 9th arrondissement is mostly, a pretty swanky part of Paris, at the base of Montmartre. It encompases, the Palais Garnier, the Opera House, Boulevard Haussmann, Galleries La Fayette and some seriously good food shops. Feeling like a kid in a candy shop, walking across one side of the street to the other, peering …
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