|"LA FOLIE MONVEL"|
Treanor & Fatio, Architects
He had stipulated, when he discussed his winter home in Palm Beach with the architect, Maurice Fatio, that he wanted privacy and a studio with a north light, and that he had a penchant for a house which would not be irregular in shape but a pure geometrical form. This last stipulation might have proved a cramping restriction to some architects, but inspired Mr. Fatio to create an ingenious octagonal house, most efficient for its purpose.
|Terraces lay on three of the sides, with a driveway entry on the fourth, or southern, side.|
|The octangular pool at Bernard Boutet de Monvel's Palm Beach is 25 feet by 25 feet in size; 7 feet deep at the north side, and 4 feet 3 inches deep at the south side by the steps.|
|A perfect intimacy was achieved by building the house on top of the only hill in Palm Beach. A terrace overlooks a lake, another golf course; and to the east terrace, a view has been open to the sea.|
The studio-dining room is an extraverted room in a most attractive way. It looks outside through three sets of glass doors under half round arches, one pair of doors onto each of the living terraces. The glass doors that lead into the little hallway to the kitchen and front door, and those that open into the dressing room, and bedrooms, have mirrored panes reflecting like windows. The interior treatment, with the wood flooring following the shape of the room and continuing in horizontal courses up the walls to merge with the lofty ceiling, has somewhat the quality of the cypress groves from which the wood came. The uncluttered simplicity of the interior, depending on this beautiful natural wood, the brilliant blue glass top for the central table, the light summery rattan furniture and the tree forms of my favorite palm, the fishtail, in tubs here and there, all contribute to the outdoor atmosphere. The plan and treatment should be stimulating to anyone considering a week-end or vacation house.
|The interior of the house had natural-colored rattan furniture with dark blue upholstery. The walls and ceilings were completely covered in natural cypress, and the floor was oak laid in an octagonal pattern.|
|Light - a sine qua non of the artist - is provided by a huge window facing north in the large octagonal room, that balance a fireplace on the opposite wall.|
The main room, octagonal - which combines a room and workshop - opens four smaller square and independent parts. Adjoining terraces complete construction on three sides, while the entrance is through the fourth side
|Bernard Boutet de Monvel in Palm Beach before the portrait of WK Vanderbilt in 1937.|
Inspired by two pavilions designed by Louis Sue for the Paris Expo 1925.
|Louis Sue and Andre Mare, Grand Salon, Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1925|
Bernard Boutet de Monvel was born in Paris in 1884, the son of Maurice de Monvel, a painter and etcher. A student of Luc Olivier Merson, Bernard attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts from 1908 to 1910. De Monvel was a talented portrait artist, but he was best known for his fashion illustrations in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and as an illustrator of children's books. De Monvel died on the island of San Miguel in a plane crash in the Azores on 28 October 1949. He died in the same plane crash that killed the boxer Marcel Cerdan and the violinist Ginette Neveu. He had sold "La Folie Monvel" just months before, wanting to return to France after the war.
A Harper's Bazaar article gives some insight into his thinking regarding his fondness for geometric shapes - "Bernard Boutet de Monvel's focus is to search among all tangled lines that blur the vision of ordinary people, just a few lines, a few essential lines: those that give the woman, animal or a home, both his personality and projecting its sculptural beauty."
|BERNARD BOUTET DE MONVEL|
Self-portrait with the Place Vendȏme in the background.
|MRS. PAYNE WHITNEY|
Millicent's mother had been a life-long patron, and de Monvel often painted generations of a family.
|MRS. SAMUEL L. BARLOW|
Barlow was a society decorator under the professional name of Ernesta Beaux and was the wife of composer Samuel L. Barlow.
|MR, WILLIAM K. VANDERBILT JR., 1936|
Fatio and de Monvel made a unique agreement to cover the cost of the house's design: Fatio offered his plan in exchange for a portrait of his daughter.
In 1990 the four wings were demolished and the octagon moved to a corner of the property in order to build a new and larger house.
BING - A better understanding of the terrain(the highest hill in Palm Beach) can be found at Bing's Streetside view.