Painting Collections

Painting Gallery-detail©Béatrice Lécuyer-Bibal
The Condé Museum's painting collection makes it the most unparalleled museum of ancient paintings (prior to 1850) in France after the Louvre Museum. With more than a dozen rooms, you'll discover throughout the tour over 800 masterpieces of French, Italian, Flemish, English painting and more. Many art pieces complete this collection.
Stag Gallery ©Béatrice Lécuyer-Bibal

The Stag Gallery

The Stag Gallery, the Duke of Aumale's huge reception dining room, was erected between 1875 and 1880 by architect Honoré Daumet.

 

The Prince hosted the entire artistic and intellectual elite of his time, under Maximilien's hunting tapestries, inspired by Bernard van Orley's Brussels tapestries. This piece was created at the Manufacture des Gobelins at the end of the seventeenth century for the Count of Toulouse, Louis the XIV's illegitimate son. A tribune faces the entrance door, to stage musicians during dinners.

 

The Painting Gallery

It is typical of museum presentations in the nineteenth century, whether they  be private or public. The Duke of Aumale

requested, in his will, that this hanging arrangements be kept as they were and that the works not be lent. It is a vast room with broken angles, lit by a zenithal window ceiling; the works are presented frame to frame on the pompeii red cymas, according to their size, without chronological logic: on the left wall, the Italien paintings (Carrache, Guido Reni, Salvator Rosa), or those painted in Italy (Poussin, Dughet), on the right wall, the Ecole Francaise.

 

Numerous French historic portraits from the seventeenth-eighteenth centuries, such as Mazarin or Richelieu by Philippe de Champaigne. Some belonged to the Condés (Portrait de Mlle de Clermont, sister of the Duke of Bourbon, by Nattier, 1729); others, such as Portrait de Marie-Antoinette, Dauphine in 1773 by Drouais (a Louis XV commission for the chateau of Choisy) were acquired, along with Alexandre Lenoir's collection, by the Duke of Aumale in the nineteenth century. King Louis XV ordered The oysters Lunch by J.F of Troy and Le Déjeuner de jambon by Nicolas Lancret (1735, on the side of each staircase leading to the Rotunda) for the dining room of the small apartments of Versailles.

 

Neoclassicism (Gérard, Les Trois Ages, 1806, coll. Caroline Murat) and romanticism (Delacroix, The Two Foscari, 1855).

The Duke of Aumale, who had lived in Algeria, was fond of orientalism (right wall), and particularly enjoyed Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps, or even Horace Vernet, Marilhat, Ziem and Fromentin (Heron Hunting in Algeria, 1865). Former General Duke of Aumale  also acquired military paintings by Meissonier (Les Cuirassiers de 1805) and Alphonse de Neuville.

 

The Logis Galeries (Lodging House)

Both galleries originally belonged in the apartment of the Count of Paris, heir to the throne and nephew of the Duke of Aumale, hence the name "Lodging house". They were turned, between 1886 and 1889, during the Duke of Aumale's second exile, into museum rooms and dedicated to the presentation of drawings. These two galleries now show works pertaining to Chantilly's transformations during its history and the historic events which took place there, such as the visit of the Count of the North (son of the Great Catherine II of Russia and the future tsar Paul I) in 1782 or the first Hippodrome horse-races in 1836.

 

The Clouet Room

Renaissance French Portraits including all the kings and queens of France in the sixteenth century: François Ier, Henri II, Charles IX, Henri III and Queen Catherine of Medicis (four different portraits), as well as the writer Montaigne. In the sixteenth century, the art of the portrait was transformed due to the presence in France of artists of Flemish descent, like Jean Clouet or Corneille of The Haye, known as Corneille of Lyon.

 

The Caroline Room 

The Caroline room, named as such in honor of the Duchess of Aumale, Marie-Caroline of Bourbon-Siciles, Princess of Salerne, presents French portraits from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Madame de Pompadour, Louis XVI, his brother the count of Provence, future king Louis XVIII), two galant scenes of Watteau, Le Donneur de sérénade and The Worried Lover, and four heads of study of Greuze, including a study for the famous painting L'Accordée de Village (Louvre museum).

 

Salon of Orléans

A former drawing cabinet of the Duke of Aumale, the Salon of Orléans is dedicated to Chantilly's porcelain collection. Created in 1725 thanks to the Duke of Bourbon, to limit importation of Chinese or Japanese porcelain, the porcelain factory originally produced rooms inspired by far East porcelains with "kakiemon" motives, followed by blue setting pieces, "à la brindille" or "à l'œillet", specific French techniques. Chantilly's porcelain, which actually happens to be only thin-coated earthenware, rapidly faced competiton after 1750 by the production of the royal factory of Vincennes-Sèvres, using real kaolin. Having become somewhat of a rarity, it is now very popular among collectors.

 

A showcase window is dedicated to Chantilly's magnificent laces. The first lace workshops were developed thanks to the support of Anne of Bavière, princess of Condé, at the end of the seventeenth century. In the nineteenth century, the magnificent black laces were worn atop court dresses; the Duchess of Aumale, under the July Monarchy, and later the Empress Eugénie, under the Second Empire, contributed to make them famous.

 

The Isabelle room

All of the nineteenth century currents are represented: neoclassicism, with Ingres (Paolo and Francesca); romanticism, with Géricault, Gudin and Leopold Robert; orientalism, with Decamps and Delacroix who, in 1832, follows a French diplomatic mission to Morocco (The guard house in Morocco, 1847); School of Barbizon, with Theodore Rousseau and Daubigny; academicism with Gérome, J. P. Laurens, Meissonier and Protais.

 

The Giotto Cabinet

The Giotto Cabinet is devoted to the Italian primitive painting: Fra Angelico, Maso di Banco, Giotto student, Giovanni di Paolo, Pesellino. The Merciful Virgin of the Cadard family (1453), Enguerrand Quarton's masterpiece, comes from the Celestine chapel of Avignon. The Merciful Virgin, according to an iconography from the late Medieval Ages, protects with her mantle the layman on one side (Emperor, king and queen, rich bourgeois, simple farmers) and the religious on the other (Pope, cardinal, bishop, tonsured monks). It is framed by the donors Jean and Jeanne Cadard in orans, presented by their patron saint, Saint Jean Baptist and Saint Jean evangelist.

 

The Minerva room

This room regroups portraits of the family of Orléans which show the evolution of portrait art in France from the late seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth century. Wonderful portrait of a Duchess by Jean-Marc Nattier (1744).

 

The Smalah room

The Smalah room is dedicated to the evocation of Abd el-Kader's smalah's capture, the main feat of arms of the young Duke of Aumale in Algeria on May 16, 1843: surrender of the Emir in front of the Duke of Aumale in December 1847, the horse Baba-Ali ridden by the prince during the capture of the smalah, etc. It also presents works given to the Condé Museum in 1997 by the Friends of the Condé Museum on the occasion of the centenary of Duke of Aumale's death and acquired during the sale of the county of Paris in 1996: portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Aumale by Jalabert (1866), of the Duke in Chantilly a few months before his death (1897). There are also other portraits of the Chantilly's main patron at the French Institute by Leon Bonnat and by Cain. 

 

The Psyche Gallery

Stained-glass windows in greyness of the chateau of Ecouen gallery ( 1542-1544 ) based on the story of Psyche.

The 44 stained-glass windows come from the chateau of Ecouen (sixteenth century), now the national museum of the Renaissance.

Constable Anne of Montmorency commissioned these panels for the chateau of Ecouen gallery. They are painted in greyness with highlights of silver yellow on plain glass. They tell the story of Psyche, from The Golden Ass of Apuleius: Venus, intent on punishing Psyche (whose beauty overcast hers) missions her son Cupid to avenge her; alas, Cupid falls in love with Psyche; Venus becomes angry and persecutes the young people who receive Jupiter's protection; finally, reconciliation brings all the protagonists together in the Gods banquet. This love theme was recurrent during the Renaissance. The stained-glass windows style is closer to the art of Fontainebleau in terms of character attitudes, ornamental elements and the accessories added to the scenes. Several panels bear dates: 1542 and 1543.

 

Santuario

In this room, you will discover two Raphael - the Three Graces, inspired by an ancient marble, and the Virgin of the House of Orléans, from the collection of Orléans scattered in 1791 - a panel of the story of Esther by Filippino Lippi, and 40 miniatures of Jean Fouquet for the Book of Hours (of prayers) of Etienne Chevallier, treasurer of King Charles VII, represented as a wise man. 

 

The Gemstones Cabinet

This room, dedicated to the presentation of small art objects, presents among other notable pieces the magnificent collection of miniature portraits of the Condé Museum (345 pieces total, among whicha few enamels and many portraits painted on ivory), dated between the fifteenth century with queen Anne, Duchess of Brittany, and the end of the nineteenth century with queen Victoria; aside from the kings and queens of France (Henri II, Henri IV, Louis XIV), all the imperial and royal families of Europe (Hapsburg of Austria, Bourbons of Naples, Bonaparte family) can also be found.

Among other most remarkable art pieces, the monstrance of Braga (Portugal), goldsmith elements dating from the First Empire, and the copy of the famous pink diamond (9,01 carats), named the Grand Condé, because this prince, as the story says, carried it on the knob of his cane. This exceptional stone, stolen in October, 1926, was found several months later in weird circumstances, hidden inside an apple by the thieves who had not been able to sell it.

 

The Tribune

The Masterpiece room. Its name is a reminder of The Tribuna of the Uffizi in Florence. The Duke of Aumale dedicated two walls to the Renaissance (the magnificent piece by Sassetta, The Wedding of Saint François of Assise with Poverty, is but a fragment of a polyptich today dismembered), a wall to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Poussin, Champaigne, L'Amour désarmé by Watteau and Le Plaisir pastoral, fête galante of which he created the genre, Prud'hon), and two walls to the nineteenth century, setting neo-classicism and romanticism face to face.

 

Neoclassicism is illustrated by the Portrait de Bonaparte by Gérard and by Ingres masterpieces, Self-portrait at twenty-four which the painter repeatedly came back to work on until he was well over his sixties, Portrait of Mme DevauçayVénus Anadyomène and Antiochus and Stratonice, paintings belonging to the Duke of Orléans, the older brother of the Duke of Aumale.

 

Romanticism is represented with The Entry of the Crusaders in Constantinople by Eugène Delacroix, The Murder of the Duke of Guise by Paul Delaroche and the Portrait of Talleyrand by Ary Scheffer.

Cabinet de Clouet © Béatrice Lécuyer-Bibal
Cabinet du Giotto © Béatrice Lécuyer-Bibal
Salle-Caroline © Béatrice Lécuyer-Bibal
Salle de la tribune © Béatrice Lécuyer-Bibal
The Oyster Lunch-Jean-François de Troy©RMN.
Vierge de Lorette-Raphaël©RMN
Simonetta Vespucci-Piero di Cosimo©RMN
Napoléon Bonaparte Consul-François Gérard©RMN
Elisabeth d'Autriche-Atelier François Clouet©-RMN
La maladie d'Antiochus-Ingres©RMN
Enfants turcs près d'une fontaine-Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps©RMN
Vénus endormie avec des amours- Annibale Carrache©RMN