The Culturespaces sites
Musées et centres d’art
Monuments historiques

Villa et Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild


The Villa from yesterday to today

The Baroness moves into the Villa

Béatrice made the Villa her winter residence and came here regularly for a period of ten or so years, dividing her time between Paris, Monaco and Deauville.

The Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild made her Villa a true haven for art collectors with porcelain, furniture and paintings by the Great Masters. The Villa was decorated in the Rothschild style, i.e., with the best from each era, resulting in a somewhat eclectic mix!


Culturespaces becomes delegatee

The Académie des Beaux-Arts entrusted the management of the site to Culturespaces. The latter has overseen the renovation of the Villa’s interior, and the restoration of the gardens, respecting the original plan designed by Louis Marchand. Culturespaces is responsible for organizing several events at the site, including the Fête des Roses et des Plantes (Rose and Plant Festival) showcasing the Villa’s splendid gardens.


A harsh winter

This year was marked by a particularly harsh winter. As the Villa’s lavish gardens are more exposed to the cold wind than other gardens on the cape, the estate lost many of its tall, beautiful trees and almost all of the Mexican garden.


Following the Second World War

During the war, Cap Ferrat was deserted by its inhabitants and the area was mined. The Villa remained unattended and the gardens abandoned for two years. When Louis Marchand returned to the Villa after the war, he quickly began work on the badly neglected gardens, soon restoring them to their pre-war splendour.  The building was also renovated, and a new colour scheme chosen for the facades: once ochre yellow, the Villa was painted in reddish-pink hues, providing it with a Venetian air.


Landscaping the gardens

When the Baroness moved into the Villa, four hectares of the gardens were still to be landscaped. The Baroness had given priority to those areas of the grounds visible from the house, i.e. the French formal garden.


Work begins on the Villa

Béatrice Ephrussi was especially fastidious when it came to the choice of an architect. She refused projects submitted by a dozen or so leading architects, considering them as ‘idiotic’. The projects proposed by Claude Girault, architect of the Petit Palais and Henri-Paul Nénot, recipient of the Grand Prix de Rome and designer of the new Sorbonne, were also rejected. Architect Jacques-Marcel Auburtin was eventually entrusted with the design of the Villa, having scrupulously met all of Béatrice Ephrussi’s requirements.


Work begins on the gardens

Work on the gardens began immediately and took seven years to complete. The Baroness called upon the talents of several renowned personalities such as Harold Peto and Achille Duchêne—highly prized landscape architects in Europe and the United States at the time. The site chosen for the Villa was not particularly conducive to the creation of a garden. Indeed, creating a park on a rocky promontory covered with trees and exposed to strong winds was quite a tour de force. The Baroness had the ground dynamited and large quantities of earth were brought in to relevel the surface.