What is the History of the Hotel Lambert Paris – France?
The Hotel Lambert on the Île de Saint-Louis (river island of the Seine in central Paris) opposite the Île de la Cité. This Palace is one of the most beautiful of the many in the city of Paris (the so-called private hotels). The address is: Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 2.
The Hotel Lambert in Paris has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1991. The Hôtel de Lauzun, owned by the city of Paris since 1928 and with which the Hôtel Lambert forms a coherent architectural ensemble, also belongs to the Heritage of the Humanity.
As Hôtels particulier (private hotels), they represent exemplary Parisian architecture and cultural heritage of the 17th and 18th centuries. Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral and the Sainte-Chapelle, both masterpieces of Gothic architecture, are among the most outstanding buildings on the Seine Islands.
History of Hotel Lambert
The palace was built between 1639 and 1644 by Louis Le Vau (1), one of the most famous French architects of his time. He was the builder of the Palais Vaux-le-Vicomte southeast of Paris, who also played a key role in the construction of the Palace of Versailles.
Jean-Baptiste Lambert ordered a first decoration from Eustache Le Sueur, but died in 1644. His brother inherited the hotel and ordered the rest of the decoration from François Perrier (1590-1650) and Charles Le Brun.
The builder was initially Jean-Baptiste Lambert and, after his death, his brother Nicolas Lambert de Thorigny, president of the Chambre des comptes (“Royal Chamber of Accounts”). This person was one of the richest men in France. Lambert de Thorigny was fined one million pounds in the wake of the 1661 trial against King Louis XIV‘s (6) finance minister and owner of Vaux-le-Vicomte, Nicolas Fouquet (3).
Who were the artists of the Hotel Lambert Paris?
The artists Charles Le Brun (2) and Eustache Le Sueur participated in the expansion of the Hôtel Lambert. The façade, rotunda and garden of Le Vau, together with the Hercules Gallery, a work by Le Bruns that points towards the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles (5). This forms an ensemble that constitutes one of the most splendid urban representative buildings of the seventeenth century in Paris.
In 1732, the descendants of Lambert de Thorigny sold the palace to the financier Claude Dupin (1686-1769), whose second wife, Madeleine Fontaine, had a salon there.
Afterwards the Hôtel Lambert changed hands several times. For a time it belonged to Jean-Pierre Bachasson de Montalivet, Napoleon’s Minister of the Interior, and was finally acquired in May 1842 by the Czartoryski family of Polish magnates, who bought the city of Paris at auction. The new owners immediately began renovating the Hôtel Lambert, which in the following decades became the center of political life for Polish emigrants.
In 1975, the Czartoryskis sold the property to banker Guy de Rothschild, who in 2007 sold it to Hamad bin Chalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, for about € 60 million. The sale sparked a violent legal dispute, which could only be resolved through the intervention of the Ministry of Culture and the Paris city administration. The conversion to a luxury residence included plans for an underground parking garage, which was eventually abandoned.
Fire in Hôtel Lambert
The building was to be renovated in 2013 for 50 million euros. During the renovation works, a fire broke out in the roof structure on the night of July 9-10, 2013, which quickly spread to the entire building. The roof structure was completely burned, the Minister of Culture, Aurélie Filippetti, announced that part of the damage was irreversible, such as the destruction of an artistically decorated bathroom by the painter Eustache Le Sueur. The whole ceiling collapsed on him. There was also damage to the particularly valuable frescoes by the painter Charles Le Brun, the so-called Gallery of Hercules.
After the failed uprising in Poland, in November 1830/1831, a part of the civil and military leadership of the rebels emigrated from Poland to Western Europe. They settled mainly in the City of Paris.
The head of the emigration was Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski, supported by his younger brother, Prince Konstanty Adam Czartoryski, the military leader of the November uprising. Its headquarters was the Hôtel Lambert, the Parisian home of the Czartoryski family, which also gave its name to the political option dominated by the Czartoryski, the liberal-aristocratic camp within emigration.
Politics at the Lambert Hotel
The policy of the “Hôtel Lambert” was aimed at restoring Poland as a constitutional monarchy in accordance with the provisions of the Polish constitution of May 3, 1791. Prince Adam Jerzy was the successor to the last King of Poland, Stanislaus II August Poniatowski, who abdicated in 1795. Furthermore, the “Hôtel Lambert” came out in favor of an agrarian reform based on the Prussian model. This reform would have meant the complete abolition of serfdom for the Polish peasants.
Intense diplomatic efforts were carried out in France and Great Britain and the struggle for the independence of the Balkan peoples was supported. A doctrine was adopted that only a European war could restore the independence of Poland as a state. This doctrine turned out to be correct, but it did not become apparent until 1918, after the First World War.
Culture at the Lambert Hotel
The cultural leadership role of the Hotel Lambert Paris during the 19th century in the life of Polish émigrés was very important.
A whole series of political and historical emigration magazines were published, two schools for Polish boys and girls were created in Paris to prepare for university studies in France. Today it is housed in the Hotel Lambert in Paris, the Bibliothèque polonaise de Paris (Polish Library of Paris).
The Hôtel Lambert became a center of social life in the French capital, and regularly held costume balls were very popular. In addition to the greats of Polish emigration such as Frédéric Chopin, Zygmunt Krasiński, Michał Czajkowski and Adam Mickiewicz, there were artists and writers such as Alphonse de Lamartine, George Sand, Honoré de Balzac, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt and Eugène Delacroix. regular guests of the royal family.
Literature of the Hotel Lambert in Paris
The novel Paula Monti ou L’Hôtel Lambert (1842) by Eugène Sue gives an idea of that time. The famous art collection of the Prince’s House was also housed here until 1876, after which it returned to Poland, where it can still be seen in the Krakow Czartoryski Museum to this day.
After the death of Prince Jerzy Adam in 1861, his son Władysław Czartoryski continued his father’s work.
The Lambert Hotel, owned by Prince Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani, was bought by Frenchman Xavier Niel for $226 million, according to reports. The transaction is the largest ever for a private property in Paris, surpassing the $113 million paid for the Hotel de Soyecourt in 2011.
Xavier Niel is the founder of the Iliad SA telecommunications group, and he doesn’t plan to live in the 43,000-square-foot row house. Instead, he is considering using the property for a cultural foundation. Xavier Niel declined to comment, and representatives for the al-Thani family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
House prices are rising after the Covid pandemic. In the US last year, at least 40 residential properties sold for more than $50 million. In London, house prices are rising fastest in at least two decades, according to a report. French President Emmanuel Macron has also cut taxes for the wealthy, removing one of the biggest impediments to high-income earners considering working in France, a move that has attracted interest from high-earners.
The Hotel Lambert is the largest real estate acquisition in Paris
The acquisition of the Hotel Lambert Paris is perhaps Niel’s most notable real estate investment to date. With a fortune of 8.4 billion dollars according to the Bloomberg index, he already owns dozens of prestigious properties in Paris. An enthusiastic investor in startups, he created Station F, a giant incubator housed in a former train station.
First built for financier Jean-Baptiste Lambert de Thorigny, the Hotel Lambert housed literary salons attended by Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. With owners such as the Polish princess Anna Czartoryska and the banker Guy de Rothschild, in 2007 it was sold for more than 60 million euros to Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani, brother of the former emir of Qatar.
A controversy was sparked in 2009 when the Qatar Lambert’s extensive renovation plan was made public, including a car lift that was later abandoned. In 2013, a fire forced the owner to carry out another round of major renovations, for a total cost of up to €130 million, according to Le Figaro.
The owner’s son, Hamad bin Abdullah al-Thani, participated in the restoration. Known as a passionate art collector, with a collection of 5,000 antique jewelery and artefacts currently on display in Paris, he also owns Dudley House, one of the most expensive residences in London.
The Cabinet de l’Amour, which Le Sueur painted between 1645 and 1647. Originally part of the decoration of the Hotel Lambert and now housed in the Louvre Museum.
References European Palaces Decor
(1) Louis Le Vau: French architect (Paris, 1612-1670). He served as royal architect in the court of Louis XIV. See More National Library of France
(3) Nicolas Fouquet, marquis de Belle-Île, vicomte de Melun et Vaux (23 February 1615 – 23 March 1680) was the Superintendent of Finances in France from 1653 until 1661 under King Louis XIV. See More
(4) Jean-Baptiste Colbert: French statesman and economist (Reims, 1619 – Paris, 1683) implements mercantilist ideas from his position as general supervisor of Finance of Louis XIV. See More Library of Congress
(5) The Hall of Mirrors Official Site – Palace of Versailles – France
(6) France’s King Louis XIV died of gangrene on September 1, 1715, just four days short of his 77th birthday See More
François Perrier was a French painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. Perrier was instrumental in introducing to France the great style of Roman Baroque decorative painters. He is also remembered for his two collections of etchings after ancient sculptures, the Segmenta nobilium signorum et statuarum quae temporis dentem invidium evasere (Paris, 1638), and Icones et segmenta… quae Romae adhuc extant (Paris, 1645 ). These prints provided visual repertoires of classical models for generations of European artists and connoisseurs.
Perrier was born in Pontarlier. During the years 1620-1625 he resided in Rome, where he took as his model the practitioner of academic baroque classicism, Giovanni Lanfranco, while working on the fresco decoration of the dome of S. Andrea della Valle, one of the earliest examples. of roman baroque ceiling decoration.
On his return to France, after a brief stay in Lyon, he settled in Paris in 1630. Here he worked in the classicist circle of Simon Vouet. In 1632-1634 he studied under Charles Le Brun, who was to become a central figure in official French painting at the time of Louis XIV.
Perrier returned to Rome in 1635, remaining there for the next decade. During this period he made decorations for the Palazzo Peretti and saw to the publication in Paris of the great repertoire of images of him. In 1645, once again in Paris, he painted the ceiling of the gallery of the Hôtel de La Vrillière, now the seat of the Banque de France , and worked with Eustache Le Sueur on the cabinet de l’amour of the Hôtel Lambert. .
In 1648 Perrier was one of the founders of the Royal French Academy of Painting and Sculpture and was chosen as one of the original twelve elders in charge of its operation.
In 1869, the French city of Mâcon founded its Musée des Beaux-arts with a bequest of eight Perrier canvases.
Eustache Le Sueur. Clio, Euterpe et Thalie
Le Sueur’s painting was painted to decorate the Chambre des Muses in President Nicolas Lambert de Thorigny’s hotel in Paris. Better known as Hotel Lambert
In Greek mythology, Clio, Euterpe and Thalia are three of the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, called muses. Clio is the muse of epic poetry and history. In iconography, she is often depicted seated or standing crowned with laurels and holding a book in her hand. It appears here on the left with the trumpet which celebrates the great facts of humanity. Euterpe, on the right, is the muse of music, often represented with a flute. Thalie, muse of comedy is in the center with her attribute, a mask, which evokes the ancient theater.