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Museo Nacional De Arte Decorativo

2,014 Reviews

Museo Nacional De Arte Decorativo

2,014 Reviews
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Avenida Del Libertador 1902, Buenos Aires C1425AAS Argentina
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Gaucho Day Tour Ranch in San Antonio de Areco from Buenos Aires
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Gaucho Day Tour Ranch in San Antonio de Areco from Buenos Aires

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El Ombu de Areco Estancia is a traditional ranch located in San Antonio de Areco, at the heart of gaucho (cowboy) country and an easy drive from Buenos Aires. On this tour, spend an entire day at the estancia, with activities including horseback riding, a traditional ‘asado’ barbecue lunch, and a thrilling gaucho show.
$159.00 per adult
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WImom wrote a review Apr 2020
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin2,339 contributions376 helpful votes
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This museum is free of charge and open from 12:30-19:00. Closed on Mondays. There is an English tour at 1:30 PM which we briefly took part in. This is a residence of a wealthy family, the Alvears, in Argentina. There are many beautiful antiques and paintings in a multi-story museum. Spent about an hour here.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Vincent M wrote a review Mar 2020
New Orleans, Louisiana2,195 contributions870 helpful votes
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Ever wonder what it would be like to be an billionaire? Find out. This museum is a time capsule of a 1920s aristocratic grand mansion. “1920s” is misleading, though: the rooms really reflect the royal styles of 250 to 500 years ago. The palacio Errázuriz was commissioned by Matías and Josefina Errázruriz. Josefina, née de Alvear, was the great-granddaughter of Diego de Alvear y Ponce de León, who commanded the artillery in the defence of Cadiz against Napoleon’s French; and the granddaughter of Carlos María de Alvear, the Supreme Dictator of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata. Torcuate de Alvear was the dynamic mayor of Buenos Aires who helped transform the city into the Paris of South America in the 1880s. In the 1920s, when the balls in the palacio Errázruriz were at their grandest, another relative, Marcelo T. de Alvear, was the President of Argentina. Matías Errázruriz was a distinguished diplomat himself, and the couple collected artistic works during his career. In 1911, they commissioned this mansion, designed by a French architect (probably with a great deal of “no, this is what we want for the dining hall” and that sort of thing). It took 5 years to finish, and another 2 years to fill it up with the best art and antiques available on the European market (probably an incredible buyer’s market in 1917-18). After his wife’s death, Matías Errázruriz bequeathed the house to the nation, and it opened as a museum in 1937. So what you’ll walk into, is the palacio of one of the most prominent, aristocratic, and cultured families in the Americas, exactly as it was a century ago. By the time you pass through the elegant 5-metre-high wrought iron gateway, walk down the sett-paved drive, and get your first glance at the mansion’s massive Beaux-Arts exterior and carriageway, you’ll already be impressed (see Entrance photo; if you continue down Av. del Libertador to the mansion’s Neoclassical facade: its triangular tympanum above the four Corinthian columns is carved in very, very high relief! Puts the cathedral’s low relief tympanum to shame.) From the museum entrance, a flight of carpeted stairs in the vestibule leads up to a landing, providing a hint of how your visit will go: the vestibule has graceful statues along the stairway, an elegant Louis XVI ceiling with cartouches and putti, and the landing at the top has more square footage than many a high-rise condo unit in California. (Stairway, Vestibule Ceiling, and Landing photos). They used reconstituted stone, meaning you grind marble or quartz into dust and then glue the stone dust into whatever shape and size you like, a far faster and more foolproof method than hiring a sculptor to spend 10 years chiselling away at a ceiling-sized solid slab of Carrera marble. Some rooms you can peer into, but not walk through: for example Matías’s study (tagged as Louix XVI, though other than the fireplace, nothing seemed to be particularly ancien regime). You can wander round most rooms to your heart’s content. These include a “fumoir,” a species of room I’d never heard of before. If it’s a frosty July day with a half-gale blowing in from the sea, madame’s guests could enjoy live potted plants in the room and the delicate fragrances of roses and lilacs wafting up from four different censors. Close you eyes and it’s almost like being out in the garden in the merry month of December (Louis XVI Study and Louis XVI Fumoir photos). Other rooms are comparable to those found in royal palaces: for example, their Regency ballroom. If you’re a Brit, Yank, or Aussie, you’d assume this meant the British regency period at the start of the 19th century, when old George III was crazier than a bedbug. But it actually refers to a French regency a hundred years earlier, when young Louis XV was knee-high to a grasshopper. The ballroom’s spectacular panelling is a recreation of that in the music room of “Prince Rohan Soubise.” I suspect they mean Jules de Rohan, Prince of Soubise, and captain of the Royal Guards; but another possibility is his son, a marshal of France and friend of Louis XV. Whoever’s panelling it was, this long ballroom is extraordinarily elegant, though a bit narrow: no problem if the guests are doing a stately minuet, but in the 1920s they’d have been dancing energetic waltzes with whisk and chassé, or even tangos and the Charleston! Naturally the Errázrurizes wouldn’t stoop to a bourgeois Steinway for this ballroom: note the mint-condition 18th century harpsichord (Ballroom 1, Ballroom 2, and Harpsichord photos). The Dining Hall has a row of crystal chandeliers, 6-metre tall walls of exquisitely carved grey and rose marble; and huge murals of packs of hunting dogs bringing down stags and boars: quite appropriate if you’re dining on venison or boar, but rather grim for the prey. The huge dining table (seating 16) is dwarfed by the immense room itself, and carved marble shelves display elaborate Chinese porcelain vases and figures (Dining Hall photo). The most spectacular room of all is the Grand Hall, a vast Tudor/Renaissance-style room two floors high, with three towering windows, a fabulous parquet floor (hundreds of dark walnut Stars of David bordered by hexagons in light maplewood), five immense chandeliers, and by far the largest mantelpiece I’ve ever seen: four or five metres high (Grand Hall 1 and Mantelpiece photos). This room alone justifies going out of your way to see the mansion. The best of the family’s art collection is in this hall, and runs from Dutch masters to Manet and Corot (Old Masters photo). Three immense Flemish tapestries dominate the halls. I believe all three were woven in the 1500s; my favourite is a remarkable battle scene (Flemish Battle Tapestry photo). Another tapestry depicts a crowned figure at a feast with two other diners (Crowned Feast Tapestry photo). The cases in front of the Battle tapestry hold a collection of ecclesiastical treasures: a silver crucifix, a gold solar monstrance, etc. To the right of that is a very special case, on floor level where you can get a close look: it contains the most valuable painting in the Errázruriz collection: El Greco’s Jesus Bearing the Cross (Grand Hall 2 photo). A passing thought: one of their paintings, a Dutch still-life of fruits and flowers, was painted by Rachel Ruysch. Several of the best Dutch still-life painters were women, and almost all of Flanders’ best tapestry weavers were as well. Pity there was no gender-equality in Renaissance Italy or Spain: they might have doubled their masterpieces. My most interesting find in the entire mansion was sitting on an elegant table in the very centre of the Grand Hall: an exquisite matching pair of crossbows. Not duelling pistols: crossbows (Duelling Crossbows photo). Deucedly convenient location for a pair of them. Let’s say two guests enjoyed a glass or three too many of fine cognac in the Great Hall. A thoughtless comment is uttered. A challenge is immediately made, and accepted. Obviously they’re not going to use foils in the 1920s; foils are for college fenciing teams. Pistols? Those are for Chicago mobsters! Bowie knives, baseball-bats, banjos? No, no, no. The only truly aristocratic solution left was duelling crossbows. You head to one side of the hall and I’ll head to the other! We’ll notch our arrows, and as soon as Josefina drops her handkerchief, we winch our crossbows taut and fire away, honour being demonstrated on both sides, regardless of who wins. But, whatever you do, do not—repeat, NOT—aim high and shoot your arrow into Matías’s El Greco! Asian Art: Further along the building, on the first floor, is a museum of Oriental art. I refrained from going, having been to most major art museums in Asia itself. But there are also Chinese works of decorative art throughout the mansion, and at least one large case full of colourful porcelain. Most of it is Qing ware. An odd coincidence, since the Manchus’ Qing dynasty died in 1911, the same year this mansion was conceived. Large, multicoloured Chinese antiques are to be seen in a number of the rooms. My personal taste runs more towards Sung celadon, but a Sung teacup would be microscopic in the immense scale of Palacio Errázruriz’s rooms. Larger Asian works are a better fit. You’ll see Oriental screens, a fair number of huge vases, and several shishi (Lotus-topped Vase, Shishi, and Dining Hall Shishi Set photos). Shishi are mythical lion guardians; they look more like dogs than lions; but a thousand years ago, while the Chinese had heard of lions, they hadn’t actually seen any. This mansion definitely rates 5 stars, but is not a museum you’d spend several hours in; so pairing it with one or more other attractions makes sense: the Oriental Arts, Fine Arts, and Latin American Art museums, as well as Recoleta Cemetery, are all within walking distance. The nearest Subte stations are Facultad de Derecho and Las Heras, both on the H Line.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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sandy c wrote a review Mar 2020
Copenhagen, Denmark596 contributions307 helpful votes
I may not be an interior design or mansion enthusiast, But I found this palace both opulent and refined. Certainly interesting to see how the upper crust could adorn a residence with such exuberance and taste, more quality than quantity. The artworks within were well curated, and work well with the architecture of the building. There were some contemporary installations during my visit as well. This is not a museum jam-packed with relics, but a nice place to enjoy at a relaxing pace.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Cynthia T wrote a review Mar 2020
Mandeville, Louisiana36 contributions24 helpful votes
We were pleasantly surprised to find this grand, early 20th century, mansion-- which was turned into a museum-- chock full of paintings by famous artists from Fra Filippi to El Greco to Manet to sculptures by Rodin. Rare tapestries are hung on the walls. There are several floors and a grand hall, which is simply beautiful.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Flavia L wrote a review Mar 2020
Buenos Aires, Argentina33 contributions30 helpful votes
I am proud of our Fine Arts museum, it has got a great permanent collection and also traveling expositions always
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Date of experience: October 2019
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