Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly

A Day of Rembrandt, Rare Books, and Remarkable Drawings At Chantilly

On Monday, March 19, Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly (FODC) organized an exclusive private visit at the Château de Chantilly, allowing guests the singular opportunity to tour the current “Rembrandt au Musée Condé” exhibition in the Gallery of Prints and Drawings and to view treasures from the Duke d’Aumale’s collection not on view to the public. There was a light dusting of snow on the Château grounds, lending a touch of enchantment to the day’s proceedings.

Guests arrived in the Hall of Honor to find some much needed coffee to warm them up from the cold and were greeted by Prince Amyn Aga Khan, FODC Chairman, General Jérôme Millet of the Institut de France, and Chantilly’s curators Nicole Garnier, Laurent Ferri, and Mathieu Deldicque. Before the visit, Prince Amyn thanked everyone for braving the chilly weather and for taking the time to come to Chantilly, announcing the exciting programming of exhibitions and making a note of the new exhibit in Chantilly’s library entitled “America! The House of Orléans and the United States (1778-1895)” now on view.

Prince Amyn Aga Khan welcoming guests to Chantilly.

Prince Amyn Aga Khan welcoming guests to Chantilly.

Guests then made their way downstairs towards the Gallery of Prints and Drawings. This new exhibition space, which used to house the guest rooms of the Duke d’Aumale, opened in March 2017 and now hosts two to three exhibitions a year showcasing the impressive collections of master drawings at Chantilly. FODC was delighted to provide funding for the creation of this gallery and to continue its support of drawings related initiatives in 2018. The current exhibition on view is the fascinating “Rembrandt au Musée Condé.” Nicole Garnier, who curated the show, was on hand to show guests the twenty two Rembrandt engravings comprising the exhibition which until now had never been displayed to the public. The collection is considered to be one of the largest and best preserved ensembles of Rembrandt engravings in France.

Guests were able to admire stunning master drawings from the Duke d’Aumale’s collection in the Duke’s stately personal library that is closed to the public. Chantilly curator Mathieu Deldicque carefully selected drawings by Raphael, Jacques de Bellange, François and Jean Clouet, Albrecht Dürer, Carmontelle, and Pierre Paul Prud’hon (among others) for the special viewing and was available to explain to guests the significance and history of each work. The Duke’s drawings collection spans from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century and includes some of the most acclaimed works by Jacques Bellange and Clouet.

Also exceptionally on view today were splendid literary treasures from the Duke d’Aumale’s library that were selected by curator Laurent Ferri. Among the rare books and of particular note was encyclopedia the Liber Floridus (dating from the fifteenth century). Due to its fragile state, this masterpiece had not been displayed to the public for many years but through the generosity of FODC donor Mark Pigott KBE KStJ, it was recently restored and was showcased for the first time during the visit. Other works that were brought out for guests to look at included Cantica del Inferno de Dante (dating from the fourteenth century from Italy), Les épaves de Baudelaire (late nineteenth century from France), and Quatuor Evangelia (beginning of the twelfth century from Germany).

After the tour and viewings, guests then made their way to the nearby Auberge du Jeu de Paume on the premises of Chantilly for a delicious lunch catered by the restaurant La Table du Connétable, giving them a chance to relax and discuss the visit. FODC would like to thank everyone for coming out to Chantilly despite the cold weather and for making the visit such a great success!

All photographs by © Studio Bruno Cohen.