The villa of Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild is one of the most extravagant and impressive manors in the French Riviera. The baroness purchased the seven-hectare territory in 1905 and commissioned a villa that was to house her sizeable art and antique collection. The villa's furniture and interior objects date from the 13th to the 18th century. Some of them even once belonged to the ill-fated queen of France, Marie Antoinette, who was executed by guillotine in 1793. The Impressionist Gallery features landscapes by Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir.
However, the villa's most outstanding feature is the colour pink. The baroness was obsessed with a specific flamingo tone that gives the edifice a surreal appearance against the blue skies of the French Riviera. The entire exterior of the villa has been pained pink, from the base of its foundations to the top of its chimneys. The baroness herself greeted her guests clad in pink, from the hat on her head to the heels of her shoes. Even her crocodile-skin purse was coloured pink. Her hair turned completely white when she reached the age of 20, giving the impression that she had coiffed it with a fine, light powder and adding to her imposing visual presence.
The spacious park that surrounds the villa incorporates nine separate gardens, each with its own theme, including a Japanese, Spanish, Provençal, rose and cliff garden. The gardens took seven years to complete, with the most renowned landscape artists of the day participating in their design. They were tended to by 30 gardeners, whom the baroness supervised and instructed from the terrace of her villa. A visit to this place is like a trip around the world, with a dizzying array of plants, colours and aromas to delight the senses. As she approached death in 1934, the baroness bequeathed the villa and its surrounding gardens to the Academy of Fine Arts (Académie des Beaux Arts) division of the Institute of France (Institut de France), which manages the property to this day.
1, Avenue Ephrussi de Rothschild
Keywords: villa, garden, park, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat