Musée Jacquemart-André is right up there as one of the best museums in the city. Of course, one needs to do the Louvre and the d'Orsay but in the event that a tourist has extra time (I am not suggesting that this museum is only "extra-time" worthy but I understand time constraints when it comes to a week-long visit in Paris and how does one choose what to see), a visit to this gem is well worth it.
This beautiful space started out as the home of Édouard André, descendent of a famous banking family, and his wife, Nélie Jacquemart, a well-known society portraitist. The couple devoted their life to travel, mainly Italy, bringing back a collection of art that is one of the finest of Italian art in France. After Monsieur André's death, his wife continued to fill their home with works from all over the world, including the Orient, to complete their dream. Once the mansion was adequately filled, the museum was bequeathed to the Institut de France and opened its doors to the public in 1913.
My love for this museum stems from the fact that first, it is a wonderful love story about two people who met as a result of art (Madame Jacquemart was commissioned to paint Monsieur André's portrait) and they shared their passion not only with each other but were committed to sharing it with the world. Without being totally overwhelmed you are able to come in contact with magnificent works from around the world in a most intimate setting. No, you will not find the Mona Lisa here, but your experience will be much richer as you are welcomed as a guest in this handsome home.
An added bonus is taking in a light snack, lunch or Sunday brunch in the thé salon, regaled as one of the best in Paris. On warm, sunny days, a spot on the terrace is a coveted table for tourists and Parisians alike.
Additional information: Musée Jacquemart-André
Photo credit: Wikipedia