The Picture Gallery
The Picture Gallery is an antechamber, a passage which leads on to the Grand Salon. Lit from the outside by three picture windows, it gradually leads visitors into the State Apartments. From one panel to another, visitors follow the display which, as Edouard André and his wife intended, alternates between decorative works, overdoors, mythological compositions, still lifes, landscapes and portraits.
The prestigious artists Boucher, Chardin, Canaletto and Nattier have all been brought together in the Picture Gallery. They greet the visitor as, over 100 years ago, they greeted the guests of Mr and Mrs André, making this first apartment an extraordinary gallery of paintings. Despite his attachment to the decorative arts, in this first room Edouard André focused on striking paintings; the visitor cannot help but be impressed by the quality of all the paintings displayed side by side.
Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart loved 18th century paintings, which the upper classes were rediscovering after having long judged them to be excessively frivolous. The decadence of the 18th century is illustrated in this gallery by two oval compositions by François Boucher, Venus Asleep and The Toilet of Venus, two examples of a sophisticated erotic art.
But the 18th century was also the century of the Encyclopédie, the century of “Enlightenment”. Here it is embodied in two works by Chardin The attributes of Arts and The attributes of the sciences.