Edmond Rostand originally wanted to design the facades of the building only in a white color, like the Villa Arnaga in Cambo-les-Bains (Département Pyrénées-Atlantiques), but ultimately the villa was painted in pink, which was also his favorite color.
Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild developed ideas and plans for the design and use of her villa according to her specifications. According to their ideas, the furnishings were predominantly kept in ocher, the individual cabinets, bedrooms and boudoirs were designed, and opportunities for exhibitions and galleries were created.
The patio was the place where Béatrice welcomed her visitors and held her receptions. Its architecture is inspired by that of Italian Renaissance villas. Most of the pink columns supporting the arches are made from Verona marble; the remainder are metal columns supporting the structure. Béatrice elected to conceal the latter with a clever trompe-l’œil technique, imitating the characteristic veins of pink marble.
Elements from churches or convents punctuate the décor of this room, the style of which is in stark contrast to the rooms surrounding it.
The decoration on the arches of the gallery surrounding the patio is copied from a Venetian palazzo. The suspended ceiling was originally decorated with a trompe-l’œil sky.
The patio where Beatrice gives her parties Valencia hosts a school’s altarpiece (15th century) representing St. Bridget of Ireland, accompanied by St. Anthony Hermit and St. Roch.
Colonnades in pink Verona marble support archways in the Italian Renaissance style.
Above, one can see galleries with Hispano-Moorish vaults bordered by balconies where the musicians stood.
The patio has kept its vocation as a gallery and presents a group of medieval and Renaissance works of art, including a painting attributed to the Venetian Carpaccio (c. 1460-1525) representing a condottiere.
The Grand Salon
The walls of the large salon are decorated with painted wood paneling from the 18th century, some of which still come from the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. The salon was completed at the beginning of the 20th century and today shows a large number of original pieces that had once belonged to the French king or other nobles. These include the gilded bronze sculptures, such as the faune et bacchante by Pierre Gouthière and a chandelier by his student and successor Pierre-Philippe Thomire. The first part of the salon shows a number of Louis seize chairs, which were stamped by Parmentier from Lyon. Furthermore is a Trictrac Game table attributed to the cabinetmaker François Hache from Grenoble. There is a carpet from the time of Louis XV on the floor. made in the Savonnerie factory and intended for the royal chapel in Versailles.
The parquet of the second part is covered with another carpet, which also comes from the Savonnerie manufactory. The carpet is the 87th in a series of 104 carpets commissioned by Louis XIV for the Grande Galerie du Palais du Louvre. The ceiling of the room is covered with a fabric by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo(1696-1770) was painted, it shows a motif that “the tank of love that is drawn by pigeons”. All around there are other pieces of furniture that once belonged to Marie-Antoinette, such as the Whist game table, painted with putti as monochrome painting by René Dubois, the Queen’s first carpenter. The furniture is covered with fabrics from the tapestry factories of Aubusson, and the fables of Jean de La Fontaine show.
The grand salon, the most sumptuous in the Villa, looks out onto the Baie des Fourmis at Beaulieu-sur-Mer. It is the perfect illustration of Béatrice’s sophistication and pronounced taste for the 18th century.
The panelling that adorns the walls came from the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. In 1907, this mansion was completely renovated to turn it into the palace that it is today. The former décor was removed and Béatrice got hold of these wall panels from the architect responsible for the work. The furniture is in the purer style of Louis XVI. The feet of the tables and armchairs are straight or tapered, unlike the curved feet of Louis XV style furniture.
The ceiling in the second part of the grand salon is decorated with a marouflage canvas by the Venetian painter Giandomenico Tiepolo depicting the chariot of Venus drawn by doves. Its exact provenance is unknown, but we know that Béatrice travelled regularly to Italy and certainly brought it back from there. The recent restoration of this canvas was financed by the Friends of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
Two large carpets on the floor. The first carpet was made in the time of Louis XV: two large, intertwining “L”s in gold can be seen in the centre of the composition. This carpet came from the chapel at the Palace of Versailles, where there were five of them, all made by the royal Savonnerie Manufactory. The four others were burned during the Revolution.
The second carpet was commissioned by Louis XIV. It was part of a range of 104 carpets that were also made at the Savonnerie Manufactory and designed to decorate the Grande Galerie at the Palais du Louvre.
The gaming tables. Béatrice liked to play all sorts of games. She regularly invited her friends to parties to play chess, bridge, poker or tric-trac. Here, we can see a small tric-trac table (a Far Eastern game which gets its name from the sound of the counters and was probably a forerunner of modern-day backgammon) and a whist table. The latter was created in the 18th century by the cabinetmaker René Dubois and was a gift from Marie-Antoinette to one of her friends.
The large living room whose walls are decorated with painted woodwork of the 18th century – partly from the Hotel Crillon in Paris and complemented the beginning of the 20th century – home to many royal or aristocratic original parts as well as many bronzes gold high quality, including a clock Wildlife and bacchanal of Gouthière and a pair of candelabra his disciple and successor Thomire.
The over-doors of the living room as well as the door of the boudoir come from the castle of Aunay, which belonged to Madame de Pompadour, then to the Duke of Penthièvre; the 19th century they were acquired by Honore de Balzac to adorn his Paris home, the former Folie Beaujon, which he bought in 1846 and which was destroyed in 1882.
The first part of the show presents a set of Louis XVI seats with medallion backs stamped with Parmentier in Lyon as well as a backgammon table attributed to Grenoble cabinetmaker François Hache and recalls the baroness’ taste for play. is covered with a carpet from the Manufacture de la Savonnerie with a figure of Louis XV and made for the royal chapel of Versailles.
The floor of the second portion is covered with another mat Soaps, the 87th of the series of belt 104 controlled by Louis XIV for high the Louvre gallery. On the ceiling, a canvas mounted with the Tiepolo (1696-1770) represents the chariot of Love pulled by doves. Around, having belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette, the whist table painted with puttis in monochrome and signed by René Dubois, the Queen’s first tablet maker. The sofa and the armchairs are covered with Aubusson tapestry illustrating the Fables of La Fontaine.
The Small Salon
The small salon is accessed through a door decorated by the French painter Étienne de La Vallée Poussin and originally made from Baujon film, which belonged to Nicolas Beaujon and later Salomon Rothschild. There are a pair of Louis XV style armchairs covered with tapestries designed by François Boucher. In the room there is also a small oval table with a painted miniature by Thomas Compigné, tabletier privilégié du roi, representing the Palais-Royal. There are also statues from the late 18th century and vases from thePorcelain factory by Sèvres. Two tapestries from the Histoire de Don Quichotte based on designs by Charles-Antoine Coypel are hung in the niches.
With its two alcoves, this room was designed for after-dinner conversation. It is decorated with tapestries from the end of the 18th century woven at the royal Gobelins Manufactory in Paris and depicting scenes from the adventures of Don Quixote.
The paintings. There are three paintings here from the studio of François Boucher: L’Amour aux colombes, Sommeil de Vénus and Diane sur les nuées. This ensemble of pictures is complemented by some charming dancers painted by Jean-Frédéric Schall, who made this something of a speciality at the end of the 18th century.
The marouflage canvas on the ceiling. This is the work of Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, a Venetian artist from the 18th century. Drawing inspiration from Greek mythology, it depicts Phaeton losing control of the chariot belonging to his father, the sun-god Helios, and being struck down to prevent the world from burning up.
The fire screen. This bears the monogram AM of Marie-Antoinette and, in all likelihood, belonged to her.
The pedestal table. The pewter top is signed Compigné. It is gilded and painted with a view in perspective of the Palais Royal in Paris. The premier tabletier of King Louis XV, Compigné was famous for his scenes stamped in pewter, then gilded with gold leaf and painted.
The small living room which is accessed by a door decorated by La Vallée-Poussin and coming from the Beaujon madness, property of Baroness Salomon de Rothschild, is widely open to the South on a marble terrace which precedes the esplanade of the French garden. A pair of Louis XV style armchairs decorated with tapestries executed after cartoons by François Boucher surround a small oval table with a Compigné painting representing the Palais-Royal. Louis XVI style flares and a pair of remarkable pairs of Sèvres porcelain vases complete the decor. On either side of the room, suspended in alcoves, two Gobelins tapestries, woven from Coypel cartons, are dedicated to the adventures of Don Quixote. On the walls, the dancers of Jean-Frédéric Schall go round around L’Amour aux Colombes. Around, two canvases Phaéton and Le Char du Soleil.
On the walls there are paintings by Jean-Frédéric Schall, such as L’Amour aux Colombes, as well as Phaéton and Le Char du Soleil.
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, also called villa Île-de-France, is a French seaside villa located at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera.
The villa was designed by the French architect Aaron Messiah, and constructed between 1905 and 1912 by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild (1864–1934). A member of the Rothschild banking family and the wife of the banker Baron Maurice de Ephrussi, Béatrice de Rothschild built her rose-colored villa on a promontory on the isthmus of Cap Ferrat overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a sumptuous residence surrounded by nine idyllic gardens in Saint-Jean-Cap Ferrat on the Côte d’Azur, was constructed during the Belle Epoque by Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, an extraordinary woman, whose everyday life and taste for art are forever embodied in the villa.
The Baroness filled the mansion with antique furniture, Old Master paintings, sculptures, objets d’art, and assembled an extensive collection of rare porcelain. The gardens are classified by the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Notable Gardens of France.
The Villa is a collector’s residence, where porcelain manufactured by the royal Manufactory of Sèvres stands beside Gobelins tapestries, paintings by the masters and rare items of furniture. The nine gardens are decorated with columns, waterfalls, ornamental ponds, flowerbeds and rare species of trees.
On her death in 1934, the Baroness donated the property and its collections to the Académie des Beaux Arts division of the Institut de France and it is now open to the public. The role of the Académie des Beaux-Arts is to defend and highlight France’s artistic heritage and promote its growth in all its forms of expression.