Saturday, May 14, 2011
25 Champs Elysees
The Hotel Paiva ~
some of the information was taken from the book by Peter Fleetwood Hesketh.
Deeply recessed and half hidden by modern commercial buildings, stands the dim facade of the only remaining hotel particulier in the Avenue des Champs -Elysees, a monument to the triumphal ascent from obscure poverty, to fortune and fame, of one of the most dedicated adventuresses of 19th-century Europe.
It is now the Travellers Club.
Thérèse Lachmann, later Mme Villoing, later Mme la Marquise de Païva, later Countess Henckel von Donnersmarck (1819-84)
She was described as possessing a beautiful figure, a Grecian neck, thick auburn hair and superb eyes. With these attributes, an astute mind, an indomitable will and almost unlimited energy as her sole assets.
In 1855 the first step was taken towards the realization of Therese's ambition to build the most sumptuous house in Paris.
 la Païva was said to be the best and most elegant hôtel in Paris, her dinners are reputed to be exquisite, she entertains many artists and men of letters, and her conversation is said to be witty.
Its completion took many years, Therese supervising every detail and it was not until 1866 that she moved in and held her housewarming party, said to have included the entire literary, artistic, political, and diplomatic life of Paris and for its lavishness to have resembled something out of the Arabian Nights.
Come and I will show you around
A great oval in the ceiling contains a portrait of Day pursuing Night, whose figure of Night is said to portray Mme de Paiva herself.
It is by Paul Baudry, better known for his work at the Opera.
The fireplace in the Grand Salon decorated with two marble figures which many believe to be the likeness, of the Marquise de Paiva herself.
The hôtel Païva was to be, as its châtelaine intended, the most luxurious private hôtel in Paris.
Walking around this home really took your breath away, with the look of opulence, the sparkling chandeliers, the vibrant colours, and all the wonderful antique treasures.
My first post I had written sadly was deleted by the blogger meltdown.
I had published it and even and had some comments, so had to redo this.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend