Oftentimes, we are drawn to visit a place just because of a picture that operated some kind of magic on our sense of aesthetics. And for me this enchantment escalates when I am put on the path to the discovery of a smaller museum devoted to not only the works of an artist but also to his private life.
This stunning spiral staircase is in the intimate Gustave Moreau Museum-Home in Paris.
The travel writer, Thirza Valois, gives us some background in her article "The Gustave Moreau Museum-Home." "Unlike the homes of his peers – Delacroix, Ingres, Chopin, George Sand… – the house of the Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau has survived as it was when he died in 1898, the only home I can think of that was turned into a museum during the lifetime of its occupier, at his own initiative moreover. It was his “dearest wish to keep his artwork together so as to allow the artist’s work and efforts during his lifetime to be appraised.” The idea materialised in 1895, but converting the modest family home into a museum required the help of an architect, Albert Lafon. The house had been bought in 1852 by Moreau’s parents on their son’s behalf. All three shared the first floor until their passing (his mother in 1884). Moreau’s studio was set up on the floor above; the ground floor was let out. Standing on an 80sqm plot, the house was way too small for its future purpose. Space was gained by doing away with the front garden and aligning the house with the street, but there was no available space elsewhere other than vertically. So a studio/gallery was added above the lower studio, and a steep spiral staircase leading to it." (Picture found on Pinterest)