A tribute to legendary women, these small apartments with bedrooms and delightfully intimate lounges offer the fullness of stolen moments from time in an exquisite symphony of rare fabrics, delicate paintings, and art objects.
The private mansion, which still bears the name of La Païva, splendidly testifies to the story of one of the most famous courtesans of the Belle Époque.
Situated on the Champs-Élysées, the most fashionable promenade of that time, the building, inspired by Italian Renaissance, is a marvel of ostentatious luxury with its spectacular staircase made of yellow Algerian onyx, its marbles, paintings, and sculptures bearing illustrious signatures. The construction lasted for ten years and cost the exorbitant sum of 10 million gold francs: excluded from aristocratic salons due to her past as a demimondaine, La Païva was determined to impress the capital at any cost. Her mansion welcomed crowned heads, wealthy dandies, artists, and writers, including the famous Goncourt brothers, who dubbed her palace the “Louvre du cul”, not only for its suggestive decor but also for its licentious soirées.
indian & Art Deco Inspiration
“With her hand on her hip, adorned with pearls, armored with diamonds, Liane de Pougy moved among the tables of Maxim’s with the indifference of the stars. Men would rise, salute her. She would continue on her way,” wrote Jean Cocteau about the woman who transformed from a mother to a renowned “grande horizontale”: Paul Helleu, Antonio de la Gandera, and Nadar immortalized her mysterious charm and slender silhouette. Associated with Jean Lorrain, advised by Sarah Bernhardt at a time when she imagined herself as an actress (“she acts better lying down than standing,” the critics would assure…), Liane became the subject of articles in Paris-Parisien and Gil Blas that established her as one of the most visible courtesans in Paris. Composer Reynaldo Hahn saw her as a “supernatural beauty,” journalist Reutlinger as “the very essence of feminine charm.” Liane de Pougy was associated with Max Jacob, Father Mugnier, and Jean Cocteau, of whom she comically said, “Cocteau is a dazzling, ardent, ironic, bouncing, elegant, and abundant conversationalist…”