Jules Rischmann
Project for a villa on the banks of the Seine

Project for a villa on the banks of the Seine
Jules Rischmann (1844 -après 1900)
Project for a villa on the banks of the Seine
Ink and watercolor
H. 75; W. 48 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Projet de villa sur les bords de la Seine [Project for a villa on the banks of the Seine]

Alongside his brilliant career as an official architect, Jules Rischmann also distinguished himself in the area of private architecture as this project from 1887 demonstrates.
The residence represented here, probably intended to be built on the banks of the Seine, is an interesting collage of styles. Whereas the main body takes up the great principles of the classical country house as established in the early 18th century at the Château de Champs-sur-Marne (a large coherent profile with a rotunda overlooking the garden), the wing, which broke up the symmetry of the facade, was a construction in polychrome brick and wood framing in a regional style.

One might think that Rischmann here intended to extend an older building or that he voluntarily adopted the principle of a heterogeneous building using two different styles, (no doubt for different purposes: entertaining on the one hand, and working, thinking and reading on the other).
In spite of a certain clumsiness in rendering the perspective, this watercolour drawing, with small characters, evoking the charms of life by the river Seine, demonstrates how the architect needed to dramatise his project, almost certainly to convince his client. Indicative of the boom in regional styles, the design also illustrates, on a broader level, the development of holiday homes on the outskirts of Paris, a key feature in the society of the second half of the 19th century, of which the Impressionist painters left some remarkable images.

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