The Jacquemart-André : For the love of Art

Edouard André’s distinction

1859 : Order of Saint-Maurice-et-Lazare
1861 : Order of Médjidié de 5ème classe
1866 : Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur
1869 : Order of Isabelle la Catholique

Nélie Jacquemart’s distinction

1868 : Medal winner at the Salon de Paris
1869 : Medal winner at the Salon de Paris
1870 : Medal winner at the Salon de Paris
1878 : Universal Exhibition of 1878

Edouard André by Nélie Jacquemart
Jacquemart-André Museum
Nélie Jacquemart by herself

Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart were an influential and wealthy couple who left an indelible mark on 19th-century art and culture. Known for their passion for art, their philanthropy and their extensive travels, their legacy continues to inspire generations around the world.

Births and early life

Edouard André, born in 1833, came from a large French family with a deep appreciation of the arts.

Raised in the cult of Napoleon 1st, he was destined for a military career, where he distinguished himself before resigning at the age of 30.

He succeeded his father as Member of Parliament for the Gard and set about building up a collection of paintings, furniture and objets d’art.

Nélie Jacquemart, born in 1841, came from a modest background. Very early on, she was taken in hand by Mme de Vatry, who introduced her to painting, a field in which the young girl excelled.

By 1870, Nélie Jacquemart was making a living from her art: she taught drawing at a school in Paris, received public commissions for churches and was renowned for her portraits.

Their shared love of art became the foundation of their lasting partnership.

Meeting and marriage

Edouard and Nélie’s paths crossed in the lively cultural circles of Paris, and Nélie painted Edouard’s portrait in 1872.

Their shared interests in art and culture brought them closer together and led to their marriage in 1881.

This union not only enriched their personal lives, but also shaped their joint projects in the fields of art collecting and philanthropy.

Art collecting and travel

The couple embarked on a lifelong journey of exploration and discovery, travelling extensively throughout Europe and beyond. Their adventures took them to Italy, where they developed a deep appreciation of Renaissance art, and to the Orient, where they immersed themselves in the beauty of Eastern culture.

Their travels have served as a source of inspiration for their growing art collection, which includes a diverse range of masterpieces spanning centuries and continents.

Philanthropic contributions

In addition to their passion for art, Edouard and Nélie were renowned for their philanthropy. They generously supported various cultural institutions, helping to preserve and promote art for future generations. Their philanthropic efforts left a lasting legacy, fostering a greater appreciation of the arts and enriching the cultural landscape of their time.

Legacy and impact

Today, the legacy of Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart lives on through their eponymous museum in Paris. The Musée Jacquemart-André, housed in their former residence, showcases their remarkable collection of works of art and provides a glimpse into their extraordinary lives.

The Château de Chaalis, north of Paris, bought by Nély Jacquemart from the Vatry couple’s heirs, displays another part of the Jacquemart-André’s fabulous collection: furniture, tapestries, sculptures, paintings, as well as panels painted by Giotto and many other objets d’art. Visitors from all over the world continue to be captivated by the couple’s passion for art and their unwavering commitment to cultural enrichment.

The story of Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart is a testament to the transformative power of art and love. Thanks to their shared passion, they not only built up an impressive collection of masterpieces, but also left a lasting legacy of cultural philanthropy. Their lives are an inspiration to art lovers and philanthropists alike, reminding us of the profound impact that individuals can have on the world through their dedication to beauty and generosity.