The Alana collection of Italian treasures, at Jacquemart André

Jacopo Carucci dit Pontormo, Portrait of a luth player, ca 1529-1530

All shows are not well adapted to the small rooms of Musée Jacquemart André, but the 75 Italian Renaissance chefs d’oeuvre collected by Alvaro Saieh and Ana Guzman, have found their ideal decor in the private house on Boulevard Haussmann. They are mostly in small formats and perfectly set in the “jewelry box”  of Nelly Jacquemart and Edouard André, a couple of collectors in perfect adequation with them, a hundred years apart.

Collector Alvaro Saieh in front of Fra Angelico’s Saint Sixt, one of his favorite pieces

Alvaro Saieh is a true collector. He buys what he likes by passion with a very personal taste and has created this group of Renaissance Italian paintings in twenty years. The name of the collection Alana, is a contraction of his and his wife’s first names. Trained in Chile and at the University of Chicago, where he holds a PHD in Economics, this talented businessman has become one of the leaders of banking in Chile but he lives with his collection in the US.

Bronzino, Saint Como, ca 1543-45, Photo Allison Chipak

In the first rooms, we discover the gold of Italian primitives inspired by byzantine icons. Florence, Pisa, Sienna are represented with magical paintings by Francesco Traini, Guariento, Nardo di Cione, Antonio Vivarini.

Antonio Vivarini, St Peter Martyr exorcises a demon who disguised as the Virgin and child, ca 1450, photo Allison Chipak

Then comes 15 th century Florence with Lorenzo Monaco and a superb panel of the story of Coriolan by Giovanni di Ser Giovanni Guidi, Lo Scheggia. Venitian paintings in the 16 th century follow with Savoldo and Tintoretto. Veronese, Bronzino, Orazio Gentileschi, Annibal Carrache then are shown with religious scenes. A scene in a tavern by Manfredi and Pontormo’s portrait of luth player are the non religious paintings.

Guido Reni, Saint Apolline’s martyr, ca 1614, photo Allison Chipak

This visit is a dream and I highly recommend that you go to Musée Jacquemart André  where you can have a light lunch in the very pretty greenhouse. There is a recorded tour for smartphones in French and English. Until January 20.

A view of the collection at Alvaro Saieh’s home

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