Côte d’Azur | Lucky hand and inspiring personality
Buildings deserve people who can recognize their value, appreciate them and bring them to life.
Without soul, heart and enthusiasm, the most magnificent building remains without charisma. And so, the sale of the Negresco in 1957 to the real estate dealer Jean-Baptiste Mesnage became a stroke of luck, because his daughter Jeanne, who had married the businessman Paul Augier, took on the hotel with all her love and formed a house that would become a unique and one-of-a-kind art collection.
Jeanne Augier was an avid art collector, and in her lifetime, she gathered together more than 6,000 top- class works of art from a wide variety of epochs, which can be found in the hotel. Five centuries of French art alone – contrasted with modern works: a fascinating field of tension that unfolds wonderfully three-dimensionally in the room.
Surprising, colorful, extraordinary and sophisticated like herself, she created spaces that want to be discovered and encourage to look again and again. On the outside, the Belle Époque façade and Niki de Saint Phalle’s Miles Davis playing a salute; on the inside, dialogues between Louis XIV, Nana Jaune, various statues and works of art that could hardly be more contradictory. From this apparent juxtaposition and coexistence of epochs, ideas, philosophies and self-conceptions, Mme. Augier composed a unique ambience that has lost none of its magical appeal to this day: oscillating back and forth between colorful, loud, garish, dignified, noble, sublime and congenial.
And so the clientele has hardly changed since the founding days: Le Negresco is “hip,” a defining gem in Nice, now designated a Living Heritage Company, and one of those places where you have to be (not only) once in your life. International jet set, artists, musicians, politicians, crowned heads are regular guests and let the myth of the Negresco live on.
And like the famous Promenade des Anglais, initiated in the 18th century by rich Englishmen wintering in Nice so that needy beggars could sit on a paved path during a very harsh winter, Jeanne Augier closed the circle to social projects. She, the animal lover, set up an endowment fund for the welfare of needy people and animals, and made it the heir to the Negresco, so that it would be preserved in her spirit.
SIGNATURE by Dianium Residence!