Museum Of Romantic Life: Best Tips For Visiting In 2024

The Museum of Romantic Life (in French, Musée de la Vie Romantique) is an art museum located in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, an area of great cultural interest. In fact, the museum itself is housed in the Hôtel Scheffer-Renan, the former residence of the French-Dutch painter Ary Scheffer!

The ground floor of the Museum of Romantic Life is dedicated to the novelist George Sand, with paintings, sculptures, furniture, and jewelry from her private collection. On the other hand, the first floor of the building displays works by Ary Scheffer and his contemporaries, and also evokes the memory of the philosopher Ernest Renan!

So, do you want to know more about the Museum Of Romantic Life: Best Tips For Visiting In 2024? Keep reading!

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Museum of Romantic Life
Museum of Romantic Life

Brief History of the Museum of Romantic Life

As I mentioned in the introduction, the building that now houses the Museum of Romantic Life was the home of Ary Scheffer and his family since 1830. And, during those decades, it also became a meeting place for that time’s literary and artistic society.

Philosopher and political writer Lamennais, historian Augustin Thierry, novelist George Sand, pianists and composers Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt, and opera singer and composer Pauline Viardot were some of Ary Scheffer’s recurring guests!

When the Scheffer-Renan family donated the property to the French State in 1956, the City of Paris converted it into what it had always been: a tribute institution to the artistic and literary world of the 1820s to 1860s!

How to Get to the Museum of Romantic Life

The Museum of Romantic Life is located at 16 Rue Chaptal, a street named after Jean-Antoine Chaptal – a French chemist, physician, and politician active in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. From here, you’re very close to other points of interest, such as the Gustave Moreau Museum (450 meters), the Moulin Rouge (500 meters), and the “Je T’Aime” Wall (800 meters).

Due to its excellent location in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, the Museum of Romantic Life is served by public transport: metro (line 2, Blanche or Pigalle stations; line 12, Pigalle station) and bus (line 68, Blanche – Calais stop; line 74, Blanche – Calais, La Bruyère and Pigalle – Chaptal stops).

Opening Hours & Ticket Prices

The Museum of Romantic Life is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm, as is the Tea Room “Rose Bakery”. In addition to Mondays, the Museum of Romantic Life is closed on January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th.

As the Museum of Romantic Life is a municipal museum – one of the museums managed by the public institution Paris Musées – access to its permanent collection is free for everyone! Temporary collections cost €10 (normal rate) or €8 (reduced rate) and are free for under-18s.

Here’s the complete list of fourteen museums in the city of Paris:

  1. Maison de Balzac
  2. Maison de Victor Hugo
  3. Catacombes de Paris
  4. Crypte archéologique de l’île de la Cité
  5. Musée Bourdelle
  6. Musée Carnavalet – História de Paris
  7. Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (Palais de Tokyo)
  8. Musée de la mode de la Ville de Paris (Palais Galliera)
  9. Musée de la Vie Romantique
  10. Musée des Arts asiatiques de la Ville de Paris (Musée Cernuschi)
  11. Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris (Petit Palais)
  12. Musée du général Leclerc de Hauteclocque et de la Libération de Paris (Musée Jean Moulin)
  13. Musée du XVIIIe siècle de la Ville de Paris (Musée Cognacq-Jay)
  14. Musée Zadkine

What to See at the Museum of Romantic Life

“Portrait de George Sand”, by Auguste Charpentier

“Portrait of George Sand” (in French, “Portrait de George Sand”) is an oil painting on canvas, which Auguste Charpentier produced between 1837 and 1839. Originally rectangular in shape, the painting was transformed into a “giant medallion” by Solange Clésinger-Sand, the writer’s daughter.

George Sand was the pseudonym of Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin, Baroness of Dudevant. Acclaimed as one of the most notable and prolific figures in French literature, the novelist lived at the Château de Nohant-Vic, which is now a house-museum of the Center for National Monuments (in French, Center des Monuments Nationaux).

The George Sand Salon, at the Museum of Romantic Life, was designed by the decorator Jacques Garcia in 1997!

“L’Éducation de la Vierge”, by Eugène Delacroix

“The Education of the Virgin” (in French, “L’Éducation de la Vierge”) is an oil painting on canvas by Eugène Delacroix, an artist who was inspired by the style of the Brabantine painter Peter Paul Rubens to create this work from 1839 and many others.

These days, Eugène Delacroix is seen as the greatest representative of Romanticism in French painting. Therefore, it’s not surprising that some of his works are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Romantic Life!

“Ernest Renan”, by Henry Scheffer

“Ernest Renan” is an oil painting on canvas, which Henry Scheffer (or Hendrik Scheffer) signed in 1860. Ary Scheffer’s brother, also a French painter of Dutch origin, Henry Scheffer was Ernest Renan’s father-in-law after he married his daughter Cornélie Scheffer in 1856.

Active from the 1840s until his death in 1892, Ernest Renan distinguished himself as a writer, philologist, philosopher, epigraphist, historian, scholar, and literary critic. And on the top floor of the Museum of Romantic Life, there’s a room entirely dedicated to his life and work!

“Le Giaour”, by Ary Scheffer

“The Giaour” (in French, “Le Giaour”) is an oil painting on canvas by Ary Scheffer, from 1832. Interestingly, this painting is a reduced replica of a painting with the same name, which belongs to the collection of the Villa Vauban – Luxembourg City Museum of Art!

To accomplish this work, Ary Scheffer was inspired by the poem “The Giaour” by Lord Byron, which was first published in 1813. The term “Giaour”, which translates as “Infidel”, was an insult popularly used in the Ottoman Empire, to designate non-Muslims.

“La Suppliante”, by Claude-Marie Dubufe

“The Suppliant” (in French, “La Suppliante”) is an oil painting on canvas where Claude-Marie Dubufe immortalized the theme of supplication, in 1829. In this painting, a young woman wrapped in a red cloak reveals an image of intense devotion, with hands in prayer and eyes raised to heaven.

Claude-Marie Dubufe was a renowned Romantic painter who spent much of his career producing portraits. At a certain point, he ended up developing a series of works where female figures embody expressions – and which includes “The Supplicant”.

“La Mort d’Harold”, by Jean-François-Théodore Gechter

“The Death of Harold” (in French, “La Mort d’Harold”) is a bronze sculpture, which Jean-François-Théodore Gechter modeled in 1837 and cast in 1842. And the characters of this statue are Harold II of England (the last Anglo-Saxon king of England) and Edith Swannesha (his wife or lover).

Jean-François-Théodore Gechter was a French sculptor, who was active during the first half of the 19th century. In addition to the Museum of Romantic Life, his artwork can be seen at the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Church of la Madeleine, and the Palace of Versailles, among others!

“La Communion d’Atala”, by Pierre-Jerôme Lordon

“The Communion of Atala” (in French, “La Communion d’Atala”) is an oil painting on canvas by Pierre-Jerôme Lordon, from the year 1808. In the moment captured in this painting, Atala receives Communion from Père Aubry before dying, while her lover Chactas mourns her fate.

“Atala, or The Loves of Two Savages in the Desert” (in French, “Atala, ou Les Amours de deux sauvages dans le désert”) is a novel written by François-René de Chateaubriand. Launched in 1801, the narrative inspired several romantic artists, from painters to composers!

“Portrait de la princesse de Joinville”, by Ary Scheffer

“Portrait of the Princess of Joinville” (in French, “Portrait de la princesse de Joinville”) is an oil painting on canvas by Ary Scheffer, from 1844, where the young muse is Françoise de Bragance (or Francisca of Bragança) – a personality of the Brazilian Imperial Family and the French Royal Family.

Françoise de Bragance was Princess of Brazil and a member of the House of Bragança, as she was the daughter of Emperor Pedro I of Brazil. In addition, she became the Princess of Joinville and a member of the House of Orléans after marrying Prince Francisco de Orléans, the Prince of Joinville and son of King Louis Philippe I of France.

“Pauline Viardot”, by Ary Scheffer

“Pauline Viardot” is an oil painting on canvas by Ary Scheffer. Dating from 1840, this intimate painting portrays the Franco-Spanish lyrical singer and composer Pauline García-Viardot – who was the sister of Maria Malibran, one of the great divas of the first half of the 19th century.

Pauline Viardot was a friend of both George Sand and Ary Scheffer, having been the latter’s neighbor. For this reason, the Museum of Romantic Life dedicated a room to her, where it’s possible to admire various portraits, photographs, and other belongings of this artist of Romanticism.

“Jeanne d’Arc en prière”, by Marie d’Orléans

“Jeanne d’Arc en prière” (in French, “Jeanne d’Arc en prière”) is a bronze sculpture from 1837 and a reduction of a large marble statue, which Marie d’Orléans created in 1835 for the Palace of Versailles.

Marie d’Orléans, or Marie of Orléans, was a princess of the House of Orléans and the third daughter of King Louis Philippe I of France. And at the same time, she was a student of Ary Scheffer and a talented artist in the branches of sculpture and drawing.

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