Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild
|Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild|
14 September 1864|
|Died||7 April 1934
|Spouse(s)||Maurice Ephrussi (m. 1883–1916)|
|Parent(s)||Alphonse J. de Rothschild (1827-1905)
& Leonora de Rothschild (1837-1911)
Charlotte Béatrice de Rothschild (French pronunciation: [ʃaʁlɔt beatʁis də ʁɔtʃild]) (14 September 1864 - 7 April 1934) was a French socialite, art collector, and a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of France.
In 1883 Béatrice de Rothschild married the Russian-born banker Maurice Ephrussi (1849–1916) member of the Ephrussi family and who had been involved in with Rothschild families' oil business in the Baku area of present-day Azerbaijan. The couple maintained a home in Monte Carlo and Béatrice de Rothschild used her wealth to travel the world and to acquire a collection of paintings including Old Masters, plus sculptures, objets d'art, rare porcelain and antique furniture. She also commissioned the Rothschild Fabergé egg in 1902, presenting it to her future sister-in-law, Germaine Alice Halphen, on the occasion of her engagement to Édouard Alphonse James de Rothschild.
In 1902, her husband's cousin, Théodore Reinach began building a Grecian-style villa at Beaulieu-sur-Mer on what became known as the French Riviera. Visiting his Villa Kerylos, Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild fell in love with the area and acquired a 17-acre (69,000 m2) parcel of land on Cap Ferrat where she built a luxurious Venetian style villa in the Goût Rothschild. She filled it with many of her collections and created her own private zoo with exotic birds and animals including flamingos budgerigars, monkeys, mongooses, antelopes, and gazelles.
In 1934, Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild died at the age of 69 at the Hôtel d’Angleterre in Davos, Switzerland. She was buried in Paris in the Père Lachaise cemetery. The couple was childless, as Béatrice caught a disease from her husband, which left her infertile.
In her will, the Baroness bequeathed Villa Ephrussi and its art collections to the Académie des Beaux Arts division of the Institut de France for use as a museum. The property is now open to public visitation. The Friends of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild are helping to restore the works of art.
The Baroness in Literature
The poet Andre de Fouquières wrote: "I remember well the face of Mrs. Maurice Ephrussi, née de Rothschild, a face with immaculately delicate features, framed by silver hair. She was always dressed elegantly in blue, with a ribbon of the same color, and a small fox terrier lying at her feet... Born into a limitless horizon of wealth, yet not conspicuous, except when she held generous parties and, I remember, in particular, one summer night, when we had the privilege to see, in her gardens, which drew from her mansion across to the sea, and bathed in moonlight, Anna Pavlova dancing to the Chopin nocturnes."
- André de Fouquières évoque ses souvenirs, Traces écrites, 1951
- Support the Museum Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.com
- Villa Ephrussi website: "A Bit of History: Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild"
- Les Azuriales Opera Festival