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La Fabrique du Romantisme Salon

The Making of Romanticism

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Why you will love it?

The Musée de la Vie Romantique (“Museum of Romantic Life”) is currently exhibiting The Making of Romanticism. This exhibition retells the life of Charles Nodier, his contribution to the monumental work Voyages pittoresques et romantiques dans l’ancienne France (“Romantic and Picturesque Voyages in Ancient France”), and his influence on the art world during the second half of the 19th century. Enjoy! Parisianist.

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About this place

16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris
Line 2/12 - Pigalle

Tuesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm
more less
Monday : Closed Tuesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Wednesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Thursday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Friday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Saturday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Sunday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm
25 December 1 January

Our Insiders' Article


The Musée de la Vie Romantique (“Museum of Romantic Life”) is an intimate, easy-to-navigate museum which used to be the house and of 19th century Dutch painter Arty Scheffer. The exhibit The Making of Romanticism (“La Fabrique du Romantisme”) presents a fascinating account of Charles Nodier's life (1780-1844), paying tribute to his influence on the Romantic period and his important contributions to the monumental literary work Voyages pittoresques et romantiques dans l’ancienne France (Romantic and Picturesque Voyages in Ancient France)


The Musée de la Vie Romantique is made up of three buildings. The permanent collection, housed in the main building, is free and worth visiting. The two other buildings, found on either side of a pretty path leading to Ary Scheffer's former home, accommodate The Making of Romanticism. Set in Scheffer's painting studio, the exhibit begins with a short introduction to Charles Nodier and his literary salon at the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal (“Arsenal Library”). The second and third parts of the exhibit, located in the opposite building, go on to expose pieces from the Voyages Pittoresques as well as explain their subsequent influence on the art world. 

1st Part

The first part of the exhibit introduces Charles Nodier, a major figure for Romanticism. During the 1820s in the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Nodier hosted a prominent literary salon that quickly became a not-to-be-missed event for budding writers, given their chances of bumping into Hugo, Lamartine, Dumas, Balzac, and other important French writers. Portraits of those those who attended that literary salon hang on the walls in this first part of the exhibition, establishing Romanticism's principal players. Among them you will find Delacroix, Dumas, Boulanger, Vigny and David d'Angers, as well as Charles Nodier himself and his closest collaborator on the Voyages pittoresques et romantiques dans l’ancienne France, the Baron Taylor.

2nd Part

In 1820 Charles Nodier began his long-term collaboration with the Baron Taylor on one of the greatest works of the 19th century, the Voyages pittoresques et romantiques dans l’ancienne France. Using lithography, a new and popular printing method at the time, the two associates and numerous other collaborators set off to describe and illustrate various regions of France from both an historic and pictorial perspective. The 25 volumes that comprise the anthology (which took 40 years to complete), inspired some of the best illustrations and paintings of the countryside from this period. Many of these stunning illustrations can be seen in the second part of the exhibit.

3rd Part

Without a doubt, this monumental work was a source of inspiration for contemporary and future artists alike. The illustrations provided material that sparked new ideas across various artistic domains, for example in theater design. Many artists who worked on the project brought a fresh set of eyes to the canvas and portrayed palaces, churches, and other French architectural gems. Some of these paintings inspired by the Voyages pittoresques are on display in the third part of the exhibit alongside miniature theater sets.


The Musée de la Vie Romantique doesn't have the size nor the finances to rival any of the big museums in Paris. But for those who wish to access art and culture without the inconveniences of the big museums, The Musée de la Vie Romantique is the place to go. You can expect no long wait in line and no rush once you're inside. The exhibition The Making of Romanticismis short and its unusual theme will keep you engaged. In this intimate and inviting museum setting, you will become familiar with the life and times of Charles Nodier. Although Charles Nodier may not be a household name, he undoubtedly played a vital role in the 19th century world of French literature, leaving behind one of the greatest illustrated guide books to France. 

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