THE PAVILLON COLOMBE
On 4th September 1769, André Vassal bought Carmeaux at Sainte Brice and demolished the house. With the help of the architect Joseph Bélanger (1751-1830), Vassal constructed in its place a 'folie' - the Pavillon Colombe - for his mistress Madamoiselle Marie-Catherine Rombocoli Riggieri, called Marie-Catherine Colombe (1751-1830), a celebrated actress in the Comedié italienne. Sparing no expense on its sumptuous interiors, he commissioned the greatest artists of the period to embellish the interior in a manner that would personalize the property to Marie-Catherine - in particular employing her initials 'M.C', and Fragonard painted portraits of Marie-Catherine and her two sisters.
The pavillion was restored after the Great War by the American romancière Edith Wharton (1862-1937) who abandoned her fashionable Paris apartment and purchased the property in 1919. Edith affectionally described the pavillion as 'my little châteaulet' and legendarily redecorated it in the most fashionable taste of the day. The property subsequently passed to the Duke and Duchess of Talleyrand who remodeled the interior closer to the original. During this period the Pavillion and its interiors were illustrated in Cyril Connolly & Jerome Zerbe, es Pavillons, New York, 1962, p.62-67.