The Villa Vauban owes its name to a fort of the former Luxembourg fortress built by the fortress architect of Louis XIV, Sébastien Le Prestre Vauban (1633 - 1707) which served as the foundation of the later residence. Today an impressive part of the fortress wall of the 18th century can be admired in the basement of the museum.
The museum complex is located in a park designed by the French architect Édouard André (1840 - 1911), one of the leading landscape planners of his time. Extensive refurbishment works will recover the park's original design, thus allowing visitors to explore historic works of art in a quiet and relaxing setting in the heart of the city.Collection
The exhibitions at the Villa Vauban will draw on the collection of the City of Luxembourg, whose focus lies on Dutch painting from the Golden Age (17th century) and 19th-century French history and landscape painting. The collection is further enhanced by European paintings, sculptures and drawings from the 17th to the 19th century.
The museum's collection finds its origins in the 19th century, when Jean-Pierre Pescatore, Leo Lippmann and Eugénie Dutreux-Pescatore, three influential local figures, bequeathed their private collections to their home city. A tobacco merchant before he established himself as a banker in Paris, Jean-Pierre Pescatore (1793 - 1855) devoted his fortune to building up an emblematic collection of art. Like most bourgeois of his time, he collected mainly 17th-century Dutch painting and contemporary French history painting as well as sculptures and drawings.
The collection of Leo Lippmann (1808 - 1883), a banker and Consul General of Luxembourg in Amsterdam, focused on 19th-century art, more particularly on established history painting.
The third body of works was bequeathed to the City of Luxembourg in 1903 by Eugénie Dutreux-Pescatore (1810 - 1902), who had inherited her collection of 18th-century history paintings, still lifes and portraits from the pharmacist Jodoc Frédéric Hochhertz († 1786). The character of the collection is thus significantly influenced by these bequests. They provide a unique insight into the collecting practice of the upper bourgeoisie during the late 18th and the 19th century and comprise works from the Golden Age of Dutch painting (17th century) by artists such as Cornelis Bega, Gerrit Dou and Jan Steen as well as French history and landscape painting from the 19th century by the likes of Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier and Jules Dupré.
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