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The Hôtel d'Assézat was likely built by Toulouse architect Nicolas Bachelier for Pierre d'Assézat, a rich Toulouse manufacturer. The construction of the Hôtel began in 1555 and was not yet completed when Pierre d'Assézat died in 1581. It is an outstanding example of Renaissance palaces architecture of southern France, with an elaborate decoration of the cour d'honneur (courtyard) influenced by Italian manierism and by classicism. The use of brick is typical of Toulouse. The Hôtel now belongs to the City of Toulouse and was restored in the 1980s.
Two sides of the courtyard have a three-level elevation superimposing the three classical orders (Ionic order, Doric order, Corinthian order); It takes up the hierarchy of orders established by the treatise of Serlio. The imposing tower of staircase at the corner rises high enough to be visible in the distance. With the loggia, we find all the elements of a mansion of the Renaissance era. It is one of the first manifestations of French classicism.
Since 1994, the Hôtel d'Assézat has housed the Bemberg Foundation (Fondation Bemberg), an art gallery which presents to the public one of the major private collections of art in Europe: the personal collection of the wealthy Argentine Georges Bemberg (1915–2011). His foundation was created in collaboration with the City of Tolouse. The large Bemberg collection features paintings, drawings, sculptures, ancient books and furniture. Paintings and drawings are the highlights of the collection, especially 19th and early 20th century French paintings (with impressionism, Nabis, post-impressionism and fauvism) and Venetian paintings of the 16th and 18th centuries.
The painting and drawing collection includes an impressive set of 30 paintings by Pierre Bonnard and 18th century Venetian paintings by Canaletto, Francesco Guardi, Pietro Longhi, Rosalba Carriera, Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Tiepolo. 18th century French painting is represented by François Boucher, Nicolas Lancret, Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun and Hubert Robert.
From the Flemish and Netherlandish schools of painting are artworks by the studio of Rogier van der Weyden, Lucas Cranach, Gerard David, Adriaen Isenbrandt, Joachim Patinir, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Frans Pourbus the Elder. For the 17th century paintings are displayed by Antoon Van Dyck, Pieter de Hooch, Nicolaes Maes, Jan Van Goyen, Philips Wouwerman, Isaac van Ostade.
Italian Renaissance painting is centered on Venice with paintings by Paris Bordone, Jacopo Bassano, Titian, Paul Veronese and Tintoretto while for the 17th century there are works by Pietro Paolini, Giovanni Battista Carlone, Evaristo Baschenis, Mattia Preti.
French painting from the second half of the 19th century is well represented with paintings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Eugène Boudin, Claude Monet, Henri Fantin-Latour, Edgar Degas, Édouard Vuillard, Odilon Redon, Paul Sérusier, Paul Gauguin, Louis Valtat, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Gustave Caillebotte, Berthe Morisot, Paul Signac and Paul Cézanne.
20th century French art is represented by Georges Rouault, André Derain, Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy, Albert Marquet, Maurice de Vlaminck, Kees van Dongen, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Othon Friesz, Amedeo Modigliani and Maurice Utrillo.
- Bruno Tollon, Hôtels de Toulouse, p. 313-318}, in Congrès archéologique de France. 154e session. Monuments en Toulousain et Comminges. 1996, Société française d'archéologie, Paris, 2002
- Marcel Sendrail, Pierre de Gorsse, Robert Mesuret, L'Hôtel d'Assézat, Édouard Privat éditeur, Toulouse, 1961
- Guy Ahlsell de Toulza, Louis Peyrusse, Bruno Tollon, Hôtels et Demeures de Toulouse et du Midi Toulousain, Daniel Briand éditeur, Drémil Lafage, 1997
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