THE ZOLA HOUSE WILL REOPEN IN 2017
(restoration of the Zola house, development of a Dreyfus museum)
   
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The house in 1895.
Photographed by Émile Zola.
© Association du Musée Emile Zola

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In the garden, the Zolas and
the Charpentiers.
© Association du Musée Emile Zola

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© Association du Musée Emile Zola


    MÉDAN: “A CHARMING BURROW ON THE BANKS OF THE SEINE… ”, THERE, IN MAY 1878, THANKS TO THE SUCCESS OF L’ASSOMMOIR, ZOLA ACQUIRED A “MODEST COUNTRY RETREAT”.

Within three years, he would turn it into a vast domain where he would lead an idyllic rural life with his vegetable
garden, his farm and his greenhouses. He designed the gardens he had always dreamed of and he planted
the avenue of lime trees.

The original “rabbit hutch” was soon flanked by two towers designed by Zola himself, to give it the airs
of the gothic manor that we now recognize. In the various rooms of the house, today’s visitor will find
the same furniture and décor chosen by the author. For his publisher Georges Charpentier and his numerous
guests, Zola had the “Pavillon Charpentier” built as an annexe. Madame Zola was a marvellous hostess.
She was happy to receive artists and amateurs of good food and refined tastes: before passing into literary
posterity, the famous Soirées at Médan according to Maupassant, would always revolve around Alexandrine’s
table.

Life at Médan was healthy, rustic, comfortable, and cheerful. During the summer, festive country parties brought
together his childhood friend, Cézanne, Manet, Pissaro, Goncourt, Huysmans the Daudets, and the entire group
of writers known as the “Naturalists”.

 
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