Villa Ephrussi Rothschild

As part of our visit to Cap Ferrat, we visit the Ephrussi Rothschild House. Evocative of an Italian palazzo, its outer facade is made up of four parts: on the far left, a staircase tower with a very open, fantastical design; on the far right, a low, porticoed wing which draws its inspiration from the Italian Renaissance; in the centre, an entrance porch in a flamboyant Gothic style and an internal staircase bay in the style of the Florentine Renaissance.

In the courtyard, there is a Venetian well made from Verona marble and curious wrought iron, as well as a backdrop of vegetation decorated with bas-reliefs from Catalan cloisters, and a fountain with a Crouching Venus who appears to be getting out of her bath.

All the designs come from the Florence and Venice schools. For example, the frames in the bays and the pilasters form a strict geometric network, faithfully reproducing the style of some Venetian churches. What is more, the same types of marble are used: red Verona marble, white Carrara marble, light grey marble. These highly accurate reproductions were enabled by casts and photographs provided by Italian craftsmen and these references were then set in a modern composition, allowing for a few adaptations.

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