The Florentine Gallery
Originally this room was home to objets d’art: in her correspondence, Nélie spoke of it as a library. According to these first descriptions, it contained a whole series of small objects, plaques, medals and tokens, as well as parchments, jewellery and ceramics, illustrating the richness of the Italian decorative arts. The death of Edouard André changed everything. Nélie had often spoken of her desire to concentrate on Florence over the rest of Italy. So she devised a mausoleum in the form of a private chapel, bringing together all of her most precious possessions: presented on the one hand as a place of worship in which works inspired by religion were assembled (choir stalls, altarpiece and funerary monument), this room is also a gallery of paintings favouring the Florentine school.
Variations on a single theme – a series of Virgins and child from the same studio – display their resemblances and their distinctive features: the pupil, Sandro Botticelli created an early masterpiece, while his master, Le Pérugin, executed a masterly work, miraculously preserved. These panels are enough to make this room one of the most precious in the museum. It also contains another major work, Saint George and the dragon by Paolo Uccello.