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JAPANESE INSPIRATION

From the latter half of the 19th century, European painters discovered Japanese art, giving rise to a movement known as “Japonism.” In the realm of decorative art, this style favored natural colors and repetitive motifs with clean lines.

This decoration can be found in the Margot and Cléo rooms.

Margot

JAPANESE INSPIRATION

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“Paris is very nice, but it’s only habitable in the good neighborhoods… In the others, there are too many poor people!” laments Marguerite Bellanger at the height of her glory. Once called Julie Leboeuf, a laundress by trade before coming to Paris and becoming a famous demi-mondaine, she hasn’t forgotten where she comes from: from the very bottom. Like all those who envelop the capital in an erotic atmosphere, the tall and blonde Marguerite treads the boards, intrigues, seduces at every turn, and lives a princely life until, in the 1860s, she becomes the mistress of Napoleon III. Madly in love with his “Margot” with a provocative charm who doesn’t hesitate to be photographed in men’s clothing and whose witty words are real “acrobatics,” they say, the emperor offers her houses and castles, carriages, jewels, and furs, until annoying the empress who will demand in no uncertain terms that she return her husband.

Cléo

JAPANESE INSPIRATION

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Porcelain complexion, dark hair, lanky figure, and something angelic in her gaze that makes her unique, miles away from the scandalous women of her time: more for her natural beauty than for her talent as a dancer, “Cléo” -nickname of Cléopâtre-Diane de Mérode, illegitimate child of a Belgian baroness and an Austrian aristocrat- quickly becomes the darling of Parisian high society. The former dancer from the Opera ballet is immortalized by the famous photographer Nadar, poses for numerous painters, Degas, Forain, Toulouse-Lautrec, and sculptors: in 1896, at the Salon des artistes français, Falguière exhibits a life-size statue supposedly molded on her naked body. She claims to have only posed for the bust…

All her life, Cléo refutes her reputation as a demi-mondaine, as well as the fact of having been the mistress of Leopold II of Belgium, one of her most ardent admirers.