Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild
Charlotte Béatrice de Rothschild (ʃaʁlɔt beatʁis də ʁɔtʃild) (September 14, 1864 - April 7, 1934) was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

A socialite is a person who participates in social activities and spends a significant amount of time entertaining and being entertained at fashionable upper-class events....

, art collector, and a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of France
Rothschild banking family of France
The Rothschild banking family of France was founded in 1812 in Paris by James Mayer Rothschild . James was sent there from his home in Frankfurt, Germany by his father, Mayer Amschel Rothschild...



Known as Béatrice, she was born in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the daughter of banker Alphonse James de Rothschild
Alphonse James de Rothschild
Mayer Alphonse James Rothschild , was a French, financier, vineyard owner, art collector, philanthropist, racehorse owner/breeder and a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of France.-Biography:...

 (1827–1905) and Leonora de Rothschild (1837–1911), daughter of Lionel de Rothschild
Lionel de Rothschild
Baron Lionel Nathan de Rothschild was a British banker and politician.-Biography:The son of Nathan Mayer Rothschild and Hanna Barent Cohen, he was a member of the prominent Rothschild family....


In 1883 Béatrice de Rothschild married the Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n-born banker Maurice Ephrussi
Maurice Ephrussi
Maurice Ephrussi was a French banker who also bred and raced Thoroughbreds.A member of the Ephrussi family, Maurice Ephrussi was born in the free port of Odessa where his father founded the Ephrussi Bank and was involved in the business of exporting wheat...

 (1849–1916) member of the Ephrussi family
Ephrussi family
The Ephrussi family were a Jewish banking and oil dynasty who originated in Odessa, Ukraine. The family were elevated to the nobility by the Habsburg emperor. The family controlled large-scale oil resources in the Crimea and the Caucasus. They had made their initial fortune controlling grain...

 and who had been involved in with Rothschild families' oil business in the Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

 area of present-day Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

. The couple maintained a home in Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco....

 and Béatrice de Rothschild used her wealth to travel the world and to acquire a collection of paintings including Old Master
Old Master
"Old Master" is a term for a European painter of skill who worked before about 1800, or a painting by such an artist. An "old master print" is an original print made by an artist in the same period...

s, plus sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

s, objets d'art, rare porcelain
Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating raw materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between and...

 and antique furniture. She also commissioned the Rothschild Fabergé egg
Rothschild (Fabergé egg)
The Rothschild egg is a jewelled, enameled decorated egg made under the supervision of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in 1902 by the workshop of Michael Perchin, for Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, who presented the egg to Germaine Halphen upon her engagement to Béatrice's younger...

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
Théodore Reinach
Théodore Reinach was a French archaeologist, mathematician, lawyer, papyrologist, philologist, epigrapher, historian, numismatist, musicologist, professor, and politician....

 began building a Grecian
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

-style villa at Beaulieu-sur-Mer
Beaulieu-sur-Mer , Italian: Belluogo, is a seaside village on the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco. It is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department and borders the communes of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Èze, and Villefranche-sur-Mer.-History:...

 on what became known as the French Riviera
French Riviera
The Côte d'Azur, pronounced , often known in English as the French Riviera , is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, also including the sovereign state of Monaco...

. Visiting his Villa Kerylos
Villa Kerylos
Villa Kerylos in Beaulieu-sur-Mer was built in the early 1900s by Theodore Reinach, the famous French archaeologist and his wife Fanny Kann, a daughter of Maximilien Kann and Betty Ephrussi, of the Ephrussi family. The architect was Emmanuel Pontremoli. A Greek word, "Kerylos" means Halcyon or...

, Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild fell in love with the area and acquired a 17 acres (68,796.6 m²) parcel of land on Cap Ferrat
Cap Ferrat
Cap Ferrat is situated in Alpes-Maritimes département, in southeastern France. It is located in the commune of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.Saint Hospitius lived here as a recluse during the sixth century...

 where she built a luxurious Venetian
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 style villa in the Goût Rothschild
Goût Rothschild
Le Goût Rothschild, , describes a style of glamorous interior decoration and living which has its origin in France, Britain and Germany in the 19th century. It was the time when the fame, wealth and power of the Rothschild Dynasty was at its height...

. She filled it with many of her collections and created her own private zoo
A zoological garden, zoological park, menagerie, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred....

 with exotic birds and animals including flamingo
Flamingos or flamingoes are gregarious wading birds in the genus Phoenicopterus , the only genus in the family Phoenicopteridae...

s budgerigar
The Budgerigar , also known as Common Pet Parakeet or Shell Parakeet informally nicknamed the budgie, is a small, long-tailed, seed-eating parrot, and the only species in the Australian genus Melopsittacus...

s, monkey
A monkey is a primate, either an Old World monkey or a New World monkey. There are about 260 known living species of monkey. Many are arboreal, although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent. Unlike apes, monkeys...

s, mongoose
Mongoose are a family of 33 living species of small carnivorans from southern Eurasia and mainland Africa. Four additional species from Madagascar in the subfamily Galidiinae, which were previously classified in this family, are also referred to as "mongooses" or "mongoose-like"...

s, antelope
Antelope is a term referring to many even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a miscellaneous group within the family Bovidae, encompassing those old-world species that are neither cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, nor goats...

s, and gazelle
A gazelle is any of many antelope species in the genus Gazella, or formerly considered to belong to it. Six species are included in two genera, Eudorcas and Nanger, which were formerly considered subgenera...


Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild died in Davos, Switzerland in 1934. In her will, the Baroness charitably gifted Villa Ephrussi
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a French seaside palazzo constructed between 1905 and 1912 at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild in the Goût Rothschild. It was designed by the Belgian architect Aaron Messiah...

 and its art collections to the Académie des Beaux Arts division of the Institut de France
Institut de France
The Institut de France is a French learned society, grouping five académies, the most famous of which is the Académie française.The institute, located in Paris, manages approximately 1,000 foundations, as well as museums and chateaux open for visit. It also awards prizes and subsidies, which...

 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. "

External links

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