The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a testament to the dreams and determination of Beatrice Rothschild.
She’s been described as eccentric, self-confident, an elegant and capricious dreamer, an artistic mind and strong spirit. A woman who kept chimpanzees as pets, and went to boxing matches, who was part of the flying club, drove herself, chose her own husband. Today we might assume some of these things as normal, but Beatrice stood out in her time, as a free and determined woman, most notably, a woman with dreams. She lived outside of what society considered as normal at that time. Her dreams didn’t fit inside boxes, and they weren’t defeated when obstacles made them seem difficult. The Villa is testimony to that. What was once a large mound of hard rock, between two unassuming fishing villages, is today one of the most significant architectural and cultural monuments of European society.
Beatrice chose her architect on the basis that he would cooperate completely with her wishes. This is the basis for these photographs. Every single detail, was part of her artistic vision. Every tapestry, tile, moulding, column, angle, pane of glass, colour, is Beatrice. The following photographic series captures some of these striking details, as well as portraying the passage of time across the villa through in-camera technique. The series pulls the viewer into the very essence of the building, allowing details that are sometimes lost in the overall grandeur, to command our attention.