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Hôtel Guimard: Map


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The facade of the hôtel Guimard
Hôtel Guimard, dessin de Jean-Baptiste Maréchal
Map of the Hotel Guimard, with a theater above the entrance

Marie-Madeleine Guimard was a dancer of the Opera appointed to 600 pounds annually. She made a fortune as mistress of prince de Soubise. She had an hotel in Pantin with a theater.

She built from 1770 to 1773 a new hotel at 9, rue de la Chaussée-d'Antinmarker by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux in neo-classical style.

The Hôtel Guimard was nicknamed "Terpsichore temple" by reference to Mlle Guimard (Terpsichore was the Muse of dance). There was a sculpture : "Terpsichore crowned by Apollo," with about as low relief the "Muse of Dance mounted on a chariot pulled by Amours surrounded by Bacchantes and Wildlife and followed by the graces of choreography"

Above the entrance door was a ballet hall with a ceiling painted by Taravel, painter of the king. The theater was a masterpiece with 500 seats in concurrence with the Opera.It opened on 8 December 1772, ending the shows of the hôtel of Pantin.The first dinner in the hotel was banned by the archbishop of Paris. The victuals were brought to a priest to make a distribution to the poor people.

Miss Guimard welcomed as courtesan the financier Jean-Joseph de Laborde, the bishop of Taranto and other important persons.

In a career of hitherto unequalled luxury, she offered three dinner parties a week, according to Edmond de Goncourt : one for the grandest of grands seigneurs and those of the highest consideration at Court ; a second composed of writers and artists and wits that all but rivaled the salon of Mme Geoffrin ; and a third to which were invited all the most ravishing and lascivious young women.

Getting older, Miss Guimard sold her hotel in a unique way : it held a lottery by selling 2,500 tickets of 120 pounds. On May, 25 1785, the countess of Lau who won the hotel with only one ticket. She refund the hotel for 500,000 francs to the banker Jean-Frédéric Perregaux. Jacques Laffitte began his career as a banker at that time.

The hotel was destroyed by the works of Baron Haussmann.


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