At the end of the gardens of Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, at the corner of Berryer and Balzac streets, stands the elegant Rotonde Balzac.
Vue des jardins de l’Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild © Antoine Mercusot – Agence François Châtillon, Paris
This unusual building, commissioned by Baroness Rothschild around 1890, takes its name from the famous writer whose house was located nearby and stands on the remains of the rotunda built by the architect Eugène Monnier for Count Mniszech, Balzac’s son-in-law between 1872 and 1881.
Pushing the door means discovering a magnificent décor recomposed from the elements designed by Monnier in an oriental style combining embroidered gauze panels and carved panelling with basketry decoration, confronted dragons and other snakes. Two inlaid doors from the house of Balzac, as well as several souvenirs by the author, complete this ensemble protected as a Historic Monument.
Vue générale de l’intérieur de la rotonde en 2017 © Agence François Châtillon, Paris
Under the direction of the François Châtillon agency, since last May, our team has been working to restore this exceptional decor, which has unfortunately suffered from the ravages of time.
Entirely removed, the panelling has been carefully restored in our workshops in order to restore its coherence and stability: restitution of the lacks of the carved ornaments, stabilization of the assemblies, replacement of the unrecoverable woods…
This decor will soon be visible to the public as part of the visits to the cabinet of curiosities and gardens of the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild (by registration only: https://www.fondationdesartistes.fr/lieu/rotonde-balzac/).