In the once rural Nouvelle-Athènes quarter of the 9th arrondissement, elegant nineteenth-century residences offer artistic memories. In 1830, Dutch painter Ary Scheffer settled into an ocher-painted, Italian-style hideaway, now Museé de la Vìe Romantique, and held Friday-night gatherings for Parisian luminaries of the Romantic period: George Sand, Franz Liszt, Frédéric Chopin, Eugène Delacroix and Gustave Moreau, among others. Today, the museum recalls those times along with memorabilia from writer Sand.
Around the corner, stroll over to Musée Gustave Moreau (14 rue de la Rochefoucauld, 01-48-74-3850), a self-made shrine to the master of the fantastic. Crammed wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-floor in Moreau’s former residence, the artist’s mythological, religious, symbolic and phantasmagoric paintings and sketches give new meaning to the word clutter. If all of Moreau’s detailed sketches and pathological paintings leave you yearning for something more modern, escape to a hidden alley—not far from Luxembourg Gardens—and meander through Musée Zadkine, the former home and studio of 20th-century Russian sculptor Ossip Zadkine.