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Saturday, 1 August 2015

The CARNAVALET Museum in Paris | 18th century style WOODCARVING | Carved boiserie and paneling | Panelled rooms

Carnavalet in Paris

Carnavalet Museum in Paris

This blog entry is about the visit to the Carnavalet Museum in Paris. A very nice museum  with panelled rooms, boiserie and 17th and 18th century paneling. A  real source of inspiration if you want to see examples of 18th century style woodcarving  and its applications

The Carnavalet Museum is located in the fascinating neighborhood “The Marais”, known for its beautiful mansions, de private “hôtels” (city palaces), but also for the many boutiques, galleries and restaurants.

For anyone who wants to learn more about the rich and turbulent history of Paris, the Carnavalet museum is a must. Carnavalet is also the official museum of the City of Paris.

The collection is chronological and shows the history of Paris, its inhabitants and their troubled times with photographs, paintings and exhibitions.

Some rooms are not open all the time, the schedule with their opening hours hangs at the entrance of the Museum, every day. And something to take into consideration: the access is free of charge.


The building

The Carnavalet Museum is housed in two adjacent buildings that were known as the Hôtel Carnavalet and the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau. The entrance to the Museum is located in the main building, the Hôtel Carnavalet from the 16th century. In 1548 Jacques des Ligneris, Paris Parlament chairman ordered the construction of the mansion, known as Hôtel Carnavalet; the construction was completed in 1560. In 1578 the widow of Francois de Kernevenoy bought the property, later known as the Carnavalet building.

During the 17th century thebuilding was expandes and modernized by the “King’s Architect”, Francois Mansart (1598-1666). One of its well-known inhabitants of the Carnavalet was the Parisian aristocrat Madame de Sevigne (1626-1696), wife of the Marquis de Sevigne. She was part of the French nobility and became known as a writer through her letter, which are part of the classics of the French literature.

The Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, considered a masterpiece of the Renaissance, was built in the mid-16th century. It was originally known as the Hôtel d'Orgeval. It was purchased by Michel Le Peletier and eventually passed to his grandson, Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau (a representative of the nobility in the States-General of 1789).  In 1793, Le Peletier voted for the execution of Louis XVI. In revenge for his voting, the same day of the execution of the King, Le Peletier was assassinated.

Courtyard /gardens

In the center of the small courtyard at the entrance of the Carnavalet Museum is a statue of Louis XIV, the only statue from Louis XIV remained after the French Revolution. The beautiful gardens on the other courtyards are built in a typical formal French style.


The museum is mainly decorated with sculpted paneling or carved paneling took from another buildings.  Within the two mansions there are particularly room styles that are furnished as in the past. For example, you will find rooms and lounges from the 17th and the 8th centuries; two rooms designed by the renowned classicist architect Nicolas Ledoux. Another highlight is the painted ceiling, made by Charles Le Brun.
I was very impressed by the décor of the Fouguet jewelry (1900). The interior design of the store was made by the famous Czech Art Nouveau designer and painter Alfonso Mucha (1860-1939). Well worth the reconstruction of the ballroom of the Hôtel de Wendel, from the early 20th century.

 Panelled Rooms

Besides the historical rooms, there are also objects from the Roman era, antique maps and paintings depicting Paris through the years are exhibit. Around 2,600 paintings; 20,000 drawings and 300,000 engravings; 2,000 sculptures and 800 pieces of furniture are included in the collection of the Museum and together with thousands of other object, are the base of the collection. There are even some rooms decorated with personal items and belongings of some Parisian celebrities, such as Marcel Proust.

The beautiful style rooms with sculpted -carved paneling in Louis-styles are magnificent decorated with many works of art (paintings, drawings, and graphic work), applied art and archaeological objects. For those who are only interested in the most important art collections, he better skips this museum.

A visit to this museum is for sure more than worthy.

The museum began to take its present form when the Hôtel Carnavalet was expanded in 1989 when it started using some rooms of the het Hôtel Le Peletier. Within each of the two mansions are entire rooms from certain periods in history on display.

The collection is primary organized chronologically and shows the history of Paris till all the way back to 1789, in more than 100 rooms.

© Text and pictures, Patrick Damiaens
Translation  Lis Alvarado


Some pictures from my last visit 
to this charming Parisian Museum (2014).
 Carved boiserie and paneling | The Carnavalet Museum Paris

Carved Panelling

Carved and gilded panelling |  Boiserie | Carnavalet Paris

Oak carved Panelling

 Panelled Rooms

18th century style WOODCARVING

The CARNAVALET Museum in Paris

18th century style WOODCARVING

The CARNAVALET Museum in Paris

18th century style WOODCARVING

 A book about the carved wall panelling

A book about the carved wall panels or 'Les Boiseries' Musee Carnavalet, for sale in the museum shop, highly recommended.

Editions Vial, Les boiseries du Musée Carnavalet (2010)
ISBN: 978-2-85101-147-3

Musée Carnavalet
16, rue des Francs-Bourgeois
75003 Paris

Opening hours
From Tuesday to Sunday 10: 00-18: 00
Last entrance at 17:30.
Closed Monday and holidays





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