Friday, February 15, 2013

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

This magnificent seaside palace was built in between 1905 and 1915 for the Baroness Beatrice de Rothschild. The villa, named Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, overlooks the Mediterranean.
Ephrussi was the Baroness' married name. It is located on the Cap Ferrat which is a narrow isthmus surrounded on both sides by the sea. It is one of 3 major capes on the French Riveria In 2012 the Cap Ferrat was the second most expensive residential location after Monaco.
The Rothschilds were so well know for designing their palaces with extravagant interiors that their style became known as "Gout Rothschild" This detailed and elaborate style of interior decorating was emulated by many of rich and powerful families of the 19th Century.
There are nine gardens surrounding the home designed by Achille Duchene. The gardens have received the moniker of one of the "Notable Gardens of France" by the French Ministry of Culture.

Below are my favorite rooms in the villa.

The Grand Salon

The Grand Salon is a splendid example of Le Gout Rothschild.  The outside provides views of the the Baie des Fourmis at Beaulieu-sur-Mer while the inside surrounds you in sumptuous wall panels from the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. Louis XVI furniture, beautiful drapery and carpets  completes the palatial salon.
While the spectacular furnishings and accessories are great, I take pause at the painted vines on the pillars. It seems like a departure from the elegance that anchors the rest of the Salon.

The Small Salon

The Small Salon. With its two alcoves, this room was designed for after-dinner conversation beneath 18th century tapestries woven at the royal Gobelins Manufactory in Paris and depicting scenes from the adventures of Don Quixote.

The Tapestry Room
 This room takes its name from the huge tapestries that hang on the walls. Again, like in other rooms of the palace, the tapestries are from royal Gobelins Manufactory.

 Cartoons by François Bouche inspired two of the tapestries that show pastoral and romantic scenes. The racy subject matter includes a young couple among the trees with the woman's breast exposed.
To see and learn more about this estate, visit the Ephrussi de Rothschild Villa and Gardens website.


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