Félix Duban
Hôtel Galliera

Decoration for a music room, Paris, hôtel Galliera
Félix Duban (1797-1870)
Decoration for a music room, Paris, hôtel Galliera
1853
Graphite, watercolour, gouache and gold highlights
H. 37.5; W. 54 cm
© Musée d'Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt


Hôtel Galliera, design for a ceiling
Hôtel Galliera, designs for the decoration in the hall, dining room and main room, elevations and details of fireplaces and mirror frames
Hôtel Galliera, design for the decoration of a music room and ceiling design, first version
Hôtel Galliera, design for the decoration of a music room and ceiling design, second version
Hôtel Galliera, designs for ceilings for rooms on the ground floor

Hôtel Galliera, projet de décoration pour un salon de musique [Hôtel Galliera, design for the decoration of a music room]


The restoration of the Hôtel Galliera, today the Hôtel Matignon, occupied Félix Duban for about ten years. This 18th century building, with its high quality architecture and decoration, was bought by Raphaël Ferrari, Duke of Galliera (1803-1876), in 1852.

Initially, Galliera entrusted the works to Guillaume-Abel Blouet (1795-1853) and, on Blouet's death, chose Duban to replace him. The architect had already won fame for restoring 18th century interiors at Dampierre and the Hôtel de Mole. Galliera asked Duban to redesign all the interior decoration, replace all the ceilings, modernise the dining room, the pink drawing room and the hall, and to create a music room. For the music room, the architect suggested a Neo-Grec décor playing on the contrast of bare walls in vivid colours, and sumptuous friezes in muted colours.

Five further drawings, also in the Musée d'Orsay, give us a more complete overview of Duban's project. In particular one can see his ideas for decorating the hall, the dining room and drawing room, and for the many ceilings. This collection of drawings provides one of the few insights into the architect's work at the Hôtel Galliera, along with a few photographs by Atget, kept at the Carnavalet Museum.




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