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Charlotte, Baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild) (née de Rothschild) (1825-1899)

Charlotte de Rothschild was the eldest child and only daughter of James and Betty de Rothschild. In 1842 she married her English cousin, Nat, the son of James's brother Nathan Rothschild.

Charlotte was amongst the most outstanding artistic characters in her family. In 1839 she studied music under Chopin, and published her own melodies. She studied watercolours under Eugène Lami, with whom she founded the Society of French Watercolour Painters. Between 1835 and 1890, her homes became the focus of celebrated soirées attended by the most gifted artists, musicians, literary figures and bibliophiles.

After her marriage, she lived in the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, and although Nat bought Mouton in 1853, the couple never made a residence there. Charlotte had four children. The first, Nathalie, died in infancy, and the third, Mayer Albert, lived for just four years. Her youngest child, Arthur, never married, and scandalised some of the family with his behaviour. However, Charlotte and he remained close. James Edouard, Charlotte's second child, married a Frankfurt cousin.

In 1873, in the early years of her widowhood, she bought the Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay, restoring and redeveloping this Cistercian property, and making it her summer residence. She was a generous benefactor of charities, founding the Guild of Young Jewish Women. On her death in 1899, some of her magnificent collections were bequeathed to the Louvre, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Cluny Museum.

See Art Collection, Works by Rothschilds, for engravings of artwork by Charlotte.

Charlotte de Rothschild (1825-1899): musical scores, [c.1840; 1872]

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Modern photocopy of 4 pieces Baronne Nath[ani]el de Rothschild - Quatre Pieces pour Piano par la Baronne Nathaniel de Rothschild, published by J Maho, 25 faubourg St Honore 25, Paris. Musical score for four pieces for piano by Baroness Charlotte de Rothschild (1825-1899). Chopin gave lessons to Betty de Rothschild (1805-1866), her daughter Charlotte (1825-1899) and her niece Hannah Mathilde (1832-1924). Charlotte published these piano pieces in the style of Chopin; closer inspection reveals that the first piece is a Chopin nocturne and the third one a Chopin waltz and the second and fourth pieces are likely to be original compositions by Charlotte de Rothschild; Modern reproduction volume containing the above, plus Deux Pieces pour Piano & Violoncelle par la Baronne Nathaniel de Rothschild, originally published c.1872.

Charlotte Rothschild, poetry dedicated to her, 1891

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Poésies hébraïco-provençales du ritual israélite comtadin (Avignon, 1891). A poetry collection transcribed and translated by S.M. Dom Pedro II d’Alcantara, Empereur du Brésil. Dedicated to Mme la Baronne Veuve Nathaniel de Rothschild. In his preface, Dom Pedro d’Alcantara writes:“Ces chants naïfs, composés pour les fêtes de famille, rappellent les noëls de l’Église catholique et sont encore répandus, de nos jours, dans les quatre communautés de l’ancien Comtat-Venaissin : Avignon, Carpentras, L’Isle, Cavaillon, et dans toutes les communautés qui en dérivent, soit de la Provence, soit du Languedoc." [These naive songs, composed for family celebrations, recall the Christmas of the Catholic Church and are still prevalent today in the four communities of the former Comtat-Venaissin: Avignon, Carpentras, L'Isle, Cavaillon, and in all the communities that derive from it, whether from Provence or Languedoc.]