Villa-Ile-de-France (Villa Ephrussi), Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France
With the development of the railway, the French Riviera had become popular with European high society, and (Charlotte) Béatrice Ephrussi (née de Rothschild) (1864-1934) built or renovated no less than four houses along the coast.
The most impressive of these was the villa Ile-de-France designed by Aaron Messiah, a local architect. Between 1905 and 1912 Béatrice worked closely with the architect to produce a partly Italianate, partly Spanish villa with a pink and white façade and red pantiles, designed to showcase her exquisite collections. The gardens surrounding the house were particularly beautiful. However, the overall effect was more of a museum than a domestic house, and Béatrice rarely lived there.
When Béatrice died in 1934, she left the house complete with contents and gardens to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. It is now a museum and may be visited by the public.
A few papers of Béatrice Ephrussi relating to her collections, gardens and building work on the Villa Ephrussi will be found in The Moscow Papers (58 series).