The architecture of the home itself is nearly as fascinating as the artwork. In 1895, Gustave Moreau commissioned the young architect Albert Lafon to convert his apartment from hôtel particulier into a museum including a dedicated gallery space and atelier, with his apartment remaining on the first floor. So, here’s my journey at the Musée Gustave Moreau!
After paying your entrance fee on the front desk (€6), you will be directed to explore the first floor, where you can take a peek inside the great artist’s humble abode. You’ll be transported back to the Parisian past and see a slice of La Belle Époque of the 19th century. Collection of souvenirs, trinkets and opulent furnitures are cluttered inside the bedroom, work space and boudoir (dedicated to his muse and unrequited love for 27 years, Alexandrine Dureux #sigh).
For a very long time, it was assumed that Moreau remained single throughout his life, devotedly living with his mother until her death in 1884. However, it is now known that in 1859, he met Alexandrine Dureux, his “best and unique friend”. Sometimes labelled his “mistress”, it seems she was more like his muse, if not soulmate. They were united for 27 years, but never married, for unknown reasons. All of his correspondence with Alexandrine was burnt by the painter himself, which is why it took decades before their relationship was discovered. (Source: http://philipcoppens.com/moreau.html)
The studios are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor, separated by a this breathtaking winding staircase. This is where most of his major work are showcased. Hundreds of paintings, beautifully adorned with golden ornate frames are hang on the wall, and thousands of drawings are kept in tidy archives. The huge space on the third floor is filled with natural light, making the artworks on the canvas come to life.
Musée Gustave Moreau
14 rue de La Rochefoucauld
Tel: +33 (0)1 48 74 38 50
Fax: +33 (0)1 48 74 18 71
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10am – 12:45pm and 2pm to 5:15pm
Friday – Sunday 10am – 5:15pm (last admission 5pm).
Closed on Tuesdays, 1st January, 1st May and 25nd December.