Art: Prophet of Light

The Louvre, everyone knows, is the most famous museum in Paris. But which is the least famous? Until lately, a good candidate for the laurels of obscurity was the Musée Marmottan, a two-story mansion in the outer regions of the 16th Arrondissement near the Bois de Boulogne. From its opening in 1934, the place attracted about 30 visitors a month to admire a lugubrious clutter of porcelain, stained glass and Napoleonic furniture. Guidebooks ignored the Musée Marmottan. Even its hours were absurd: two afternoons a week, except during the tourist-laden summer, when the...

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