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“Raised questions for me, but worth the visit”
Review of Maison de Balzac

Maison de Balzac
Ranked #448 of 2,253 things to do in Paris
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Attraction details
Owner description: Nestled on the hillsides of Passy, the House of Balzac is the only one of the Parisian residences of the novelist which survives today. It was in the studyroom that Balzac corrected, from 1840 to 1847, « La Comédie humaine ». Through the presentation of portraits of the artist or his characters, paintings, engravings, drawings, and using an original scenography, the museum encourages the visitor to wonder about Balzac and suggests original paths for lead to the discovery as well as to the rereading of La « Comédie humaine ».
Reviewed 22 May 2017

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.

Thank leni_away
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"museum is free"
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"small museum"
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"worth a visit"
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"eiffel tower"
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"illustrations"
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"characters"
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"literature"
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"rue"
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"arrondissement"
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"study"
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"life"
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"depicting"
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9 - 13 of 98 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2016

There was nothing of the man or his work that engaged me in a visit to this house. I had understood it to be free but there was a charge of 5 euros to go in. What we found was mostly artistic reaction to Honore de Balzac but nothing of his except a small desk on which he allegedly wrote some of his great work La Comedie Humaine.
Altogether a massive disapointment. Even worse was that the garden was a place where local school children came to eat their lunches - horrid pong of Macdonalds - some one should take the whole place in hand soon. The staff were v unhelpful and the room attendants were asleep and unsure as to where Balzac was even born.

3  Thank Lizzi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2016

My husband loves the work of Balzac ( translated into English)and so we had to visit this house in Paris.
It is a lovely small museum, everything is in French but we still enjoyed our visit. ( audio tours were available but we didn't bother)
My husband really enjoyed this visit and although I do not share his passion for Balzac I enjoyed the printing blocks depicting the characters from his books.

Thank Taxidevil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2016

Just coming out here is a pleasure: the museum is an old hotel particulier, with a large garden in which you can sit and read. A pianist was playing as we enjoyed the fist sunny day in a while. The museum itself has a lot of Balzac documentation -- even the woodcuts of original illustrations -- and the current exhibit is incredibly informative. You get a great sense of early 19th century Paris just by being here (Passy was "outside" of Paris then). Be sure to walk down the old street below the house: you'll feel like you are traveling in time.

Thank Patricia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 June 2016

After one year leaving in Paris I found this beautiful small and very charming house that has become the Museum of Honoré de Balzac. Once you are inside seems to go back in time. There are beautiful pieces of art like paintings, sketches and sculptures. When you finish visiting museum there is a beautiful garden with chairs and you can relax and forget about being in a big city. Ah yes and the entrance is free! Bonne visite!

Thank Sanja M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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