France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Musée Jean-Jacques Henner, Paris
Not as well known as many of his peers, Henner's work is moving and interesting.

L'Alsace: Elle attend, by JJ Henner, Paris
L'Alsace: Elle Attend, by
Jean-Jacques Henner.




Jean-Jacques Henner was born in Alsace in 1829. By 1848 he was in Paris, studying at the École des Beaux Arts, and by 1858 he had won the coveted Prix de Rome for his painting, Adam and Eve finding the body of Abel. This led to him staying five years in Rome at the Villa Medici, where he hobnobbed with other artists and developed his career.

Returning to Paris, he exhibited at many salons, starting in 1863, and won a Grand Prix for painting at the Paris Exposition (World's Fair) in 1900. He painted based on classical and historic themes and also became known for his portraits. One of his most famous harkened back to the land of his birth: L'Alsace: Elle Attend (Alsace: She waits).

According to the museum web site, "It is not really possible to classify Henner in any artistic movement of the second half of the nineteenth century."

One thing that is known is that Henner often painted red heads, ranging from nudes to Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Recognizing this, the museum presented a special exhibition focusing on red heads, using much of Henner's work as well as examples of other artists, from Renoir to Sonia Rykiel to modern photographers. His studio includes a number of paintings that feature red heads, particularly women.

Musee Jean-Jacques Henner, Paris
Many of Henner's paintings feature women with red hair.

The Musée National Jean-Jacques Henner is housed in a 19th century mansion in Paris's 17th arrondissement, not far from the Parc Monceau. The mansion was originally owned by painter Guillaume Dubufe, and was bought in 1921 by Marie Henner, widow of Jean-Jacques's nephew, to serve as a museum. The museum opened in 1924.

Part of the charm of visiting is the chance to wander through the rooms of this old mansion, complete with creaking floors and varied lighting. It was renovated in 2009, and ongoing improvements continue.

Métro: Malesherbes, Monceau, Wagram
RER: Line C, Pereire
Bus: 30, 31, 94

Closed Tuesdays; Open from 11:00 - 6:00; until 9:00 second Thursday of the month.

Musée national Jean-Jacques Henner
43, avenue de Villiers
75017, Paris
+33 (0)1 47 63 42 73

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Musée JJ Henner, Paris

Above, The mansion housing the Musée national Jean-Jacques Henner.

Below, Jesus and Mary Magdalene, both shown with red hair, by Jean-Jacques Henner (1896)


Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Henner, Paris



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