French Properties

A romantic Parisian attic apartment with a very special provenance

Every 100 years or so a very unique property might come to market that has been in the same family for generations. The chance to own a completely one-off property with a fascinating history. This atelier on the Île Saint-Louis is one of them.

Over 130 years ago, under the eaves of a gorgeous Hotel Particulier on the island in the Seine that is Île Saint-Louis, the post-Impressionist painter Émile Bernard created his most famous works in the age of Gaugin, Van Gogh and, a few years later, Cezanne. The painter owned a larger apartment on the floor below in the elegant mansion dating from 1637 but loved to escape to the light-filled attic ‘workshop’ looking south over the courtyard garden and towards Notre-Dame, in the peaceful little oasis in the heart of Paris – where Marie Curie was a neighbour. His easel can still be found in the 80 sq m flat that has remained in the Bernard family for three generations – his great grand-daughter has most recently used it as a study and office.

Her mother was the actress Beatrice Altariba, who starred in French films in the 1950s and 1960s – who in turn was the niece of symbolist poet Paul Fort. Offering one bedroom, a small kitchen, and a generous bathroom, it would make the perfect pied a terre, charmingly preserved by the family, says our Paris agent, Helena HERMANNS, who has recently mandated the property. “This is such a special location – a small village in the middle of the Seine – that is so tranquil yet so accessible for everything. Having a quai address brings real cachet, apart from the particular history of this apartment.

It’s for sale at €835,000, find out more on our website.