Patrick Devedjian was considered a great art lover and, although he had even become delinquent in his youth, had made it into an important politician. When the former minister under Chirac and Sarkozy, as well as long-time president of the Hauts-de-Seine department, died in 2020 at the age of 75, the project of a collector's museum in Saint-Cloud threatened to fail. The 92 département ruled from Nanterre includes elegant municipalities such as Neuilly-sur-Seine, Rueil-Malmaison or Bourg-la-Reine and the economic and commercial center of La Défense. But it had to be assumed that the corona follow-up costs would be too high to be able to afford a new cultural institute even in one of the richest departments in France.The skepticism about the realization of the project, valued at one hundred million euros, then turned out to be unfounded. The Département Council stuck to Devedjian's vision and had Georges Siffredi, its new president, sign a donation agreement between Hauts-de-Seine and the collector Pierre Rosenberg, the father of the project.

Pierre Rosenberg, who was born in Paris in 1936 as the son of German emigrants and lives near the Jardin du Luxembourg, became internationally known as the former curator and director of the Louvre - his trademark: a red scarf wrapped around in summer and winter. The captivatingly spirited and eloquent lawyer and art historian curated numerous exhibitions and was a museum scholar in the classical sense until his retirement - trying to discover and research. His passion was always French, but also Italian art of the 17th and 18th centuries, his greatest attention to artists such as Nicolas Poussin, Jean Siméon Chardin, the brothers Le Nain, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Antoine Watteau and George de La Tour,but also less prominent ones such as Pierre-Jean Mariette or Michel-François Dandré-Bardon. Rosenberg, a member of the Académie Française, is the author or editor of more than six hundred publications, from the miscella to catalog raisonnés; In German he published a “Complete Directory of French Paintings of the 17th and 18th Centuries in German Collections”.

A considerable foundation

Rosenberg became less well known as a collector: 680 paintings and 3,500 drawings from five centuries now form the basis of the planned museum, including works from the 17th and 18th centuries, for example by Laurent de La Hyre or Jean-Baptiste Oudry, but also those from the 19th century and 20th century, like a portrait by Thomas Couture presumably showing the young Edgar Degas. The collection of mostly small and medium-sized formats is estimated at thirty million euros. To this end, two barracks buildings on the banks of the Seine at Saint-Cloud will be renovated in the coming years. The location of the Caserne Sully on the outskirts of Paris is not ideal because of the concrete and asphalt-rich surroundings, this is where the Autoroute de Normandie begins and runs a four-lane embankment.A big plus, on the other hand, is the immediate vicinity of the Saint-Cloud Castle Park.

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