There is a charm to the newly restored house of Jean-Jacques Henner, similar to that of Gustave Moreau on rue La Rochefoucauld. The artist is less well known and the museum serves as residence for young artists who just graduated from Les Beaux Arts. To enliven the place, the curator Claire Bessède, had the idea of inviting Eugénie Alméras to paint there for one year. Her work is exhibited in the galleries.
It was quite exciting and embarrassing at the same time to visit the show with the tall male model whose nudes were all over the museum… But Eugénie Alméras chose this theme of numerous nudes to match some of Henner’s portraits. A circus tent with a white sheet responds to Henner’s drawings of linen. If it brings a little public into this beautiful house which is totally unknown to Parisians, why not?
Jean Jacques Henner died in 1905, having won a Prix de Rome and studied with Jean Hippolyte Flandrin. He was born in Alsace and many of his paintings are shown in Colmar. He won the Grand Prix at the Exposition Universelle in 1900 in Paris. He specialized in saints and classical themes but also painted many nudes which are hanging on the two floors of the house.
I must say I would love to hold a musical evening in the space and have lots of petits fours being served with witty conversation. The downstairs conservatory is perfect for entertaining! And Henner’s art will surely come back in fashion very soon…
But if you are near boulevard Malesherbes, make sure to visit this pretty space. And the great contrast between 1880 paintings and today’s nudes by Alméras will amuse you.
On July 3, at 7.30 pm, a film with live music devoted to Alice Guy, the first woman cinematographer, who worked with Gaumont and spent most of her life in the US will be screened. Concerts take place on Thursday 14 and 21 June. Musée Henner, 43 avenue de Villiers, 17 th.
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