Fodor's Expert Review Musée Cognacq-Jay

The Marais Free

One of the loveliest museums in Paris, this 16th-century, rococo-style mansion contains an outstanding collection of mostly 18th-century artwork in its rooms of boiserie (intricately carved wood paneling). A tour through them allows a rare glimpse into the lifestyle of wealthy 19th-century Parisians. Ernest Cognacq, founder of the department store La Samaritaine, and his wife, Louise Jay, amassed furniture, porcelain, and paintings—notably by Fragonard, Watteau, François Boucher, and Tiepolo—to create one of the world's finest private collections of this period. Some of the best displays are also the smallest, like the tiny enamel medallion portraits showcased on the second floor, and on the third floor, the glass cases filled with exquisite inlaid snuff boxes, sewing cases, pocket watches, perfume bottles, and cigar cutters. Exhibits are labeled in French only, but free pamphlets and €5 audioguides are available in English.

Free Art Museum

Quick Facts

8 rue Elzévir
Paris, Île-de-France  75003, France


Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free; €8 for temporary exhibitions, Closed Mon.

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