This weekend, terraces and lawns were in the spotlight in Paris. A summer weekend in the middle of April. We opted for the green space of Parc Monceau. But before we collapsed on the grass, we passed by the Nissim de Camondo museum.
The Nissim de Camondo Museum
The private mansion of the Camondo family is a must visit but above all little known in Paris.
We explore the rooms of this hotel at the same time amazed but also very moved. Because with each new play we discover a little more of the masterpiece of Moïse de Camondo but also a little more of the tragic history of this family.
A collector’s story
A family of Jewish bankers from Constantinople, the Camondos settled in Paris in 1869. Nassim bought a private mansion located at 63 rue Monceau. His son, Moïse will destroy it entirely a few years later to build a building inspired by the Petit Trianon of Versailles.
At the same time as his banking activities, Moïse de Camondo became a renowned collector and was almost exclusively passionate about the French 18th century. His objective was, in his own words, to reproduce in his mansion “the atmosphere of an artistic residence of the eighteenth century”. For over 50 years he bought unique pieces to complete his staging.
The house is inhabited by Moïse and his two children Nissim and Béatrice, whom he raises alone following his divorce. In 1917, her son died in combat. The family seems to withdraw into itself and Moïse until his death in 1935, works to complete his collection. His work will then be bequeathed to Decorative Arts and this residence will become the Nissim de Camondo Museum.
When the Second World War broke out, Béatrice de Camondo did not think of hiding. She explains that her brother died in combat and that her father was more than generous with France. In 1942, she and her two children were arrested and then brought to Drancy. Finally deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps, the Camondo family died.
An exceptional and moving place.
Photo © clemaroundthecorner & Les Arts Décoratifs.