This museum houses some well-known paintings by Chardin, Watteau, Boucher, Drouais, Tiepolo, Wright of Derby, Reynolds, Lawrence and very many charming genre scenes.
The 16th- century Hotel Donon has become the home of the Musee Cognacq-Jay. The facade and much of the collection is from the eighteenth-century. Covering four floors surrounding a courtyard, the twenty small rooms display the delightful collection assembled by Ernest Cognacq, founder of the Samaritaine (Rue de Rivoli) department store, and his wife Louise Jay. It was bequeathed to the nation on his death in 1928.
This museum houses some well-known paintings by Chardin, Watteau, Boucher, Drouais, Tiepolo, Wright of Derby, Reynolds, Lawrence and very many charming genre scenes. There is also some wonderful porcelain, statuary, furniture and carpets, all beautifully displayed. The panelling in the first room is from the Chateau d’Eu in Normandy, that in the third room dates from the seventeenth century and is original to the house. From the entrance a clockwise tour takes one round the small, intimate rooms, the contents of which are clearly but discreetly described on a label, up to the attic where display cabinets contain extraordinary objets d’art: a perfume pistol, toilet articles, inlaid boxes, sewing cases, cigar cutters and wrought metalwork scissors. A visit here offers the experience of being transported back two centuries ago to a house whose occupants have mometarily left. The museum has a charming, intimate atmosphere.
Admission to the Cognac Jay museum is free, only temporary exhibitions are chargeable.
8 rue Elzevir
Tel : 01 40 27 07 21
How to get there
Subway lines 1,8 or 11 : Saint-Paul, Chemin Vert, Rambuteau
Buses : 29, 69, 76, 96
10 am to 5.40 pm
(last admission 4.30 pm)