Right in the centre of the Marais, the Cognacq-Jay museum is an elegant little museum for a nice visit.
Mostly unknown of the public, it is interesting for its collections of works of art and furniture of the 18th century, but also for the beauty of the Hôtel particulier in which it is hosted (the Hôtel de Donon), one of the few witnesses of the Parisian hôtels of the 16th century, and to discover the story of the Cognacq-Jay couple, founders of the department store La Samaritaine and art lovers.
Another pretty important good point: the entry to the permanent collections is free.
Over several floors, you will discover an eclectic choice of works of all kinds. From paintings of old masters to furniture in Louis XV and Louis XVI style through a big variety of precious objects (candy dishes, snuff boxes, vases,…): it isn’t an exhaustive representation of the 18th century’s art that this museum pretends to show, but more one of its versions seen through the prism of one man, his taste and an epoch.
Amongst the paintings, you will see some beautiful works of Canaletto and Guardi (masters of the vedutismo), Boucher, Fragonard and even an early work of Rembrandt, one of the only exceptions that don’t date from the 18th century. You will also discover a lot of sculptures while wandering through the sumptuous rooms of the Hôtel Particulier, which the city of Paris bought in 1974 and had entirely renovated to host this museum. By the way, don’t miss the last floor, where a remarkable framework has been left to see.
A museum to discover, for example, during a walk in the Marais.
- Other sights in the surroundings