The home of Balzac for about 7 years, this building is interesting and well-located in an accessible location in the 16th, not far from Passy metro. The landscape there is interesting and the location of the building is quite dramatic. It has an exhibition focused on "Passion in the Desert", part of a larger work by Balzac. Without this, there would be little else to see about him. There is text from this short story on the wall next to various paintings that illustrate it. My disappointment - the unaddressed questions - was that the paintings are of much later creation and are frankly not very good, other than some excellent smaller depictions of panthers, and the overall effect is that the text serves the paintings whereas it should be the other way around. There is a huge painting of the man and the panther, which is not inconsistent with the story, but the story is both more subtle and different from that. The closing text of the story is that in the desert there is everything and nothing; it is God without mankind. I feel that in the mansion of Balzac the focus should be on what those words tell us and any pictures should be secondary. Also it would be interesting to see more philosophical reflection on the meanings. We all know of the link to Dante, but something more of ithe story's meaning could have been explored. That said, entry is only €6, it is worth supporting and it did give me something to think about. Often, visits to museums are spectacular and often jaw-dropping but also don't necessarily prompt reflection.
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