In the mid-nineteenth century the Turkish-Jewish family of bankers de Camondo moved from Istanbul to Paris, where they became avid art collectors (today, the Musée d’Orsay houses many of their paintings).
Moïse, the son, married and had two children, but it was not long before his wife left him. He raised the little ones on his own, in the stunningly beautiful house by the Parc Monceau that he had built around his ever-expanding collection.
He adored his son Nissim, and when the young man joined the air force during WWI, he feared for the worst. On September 5th 1017, his nightmare became reality. Moïse was inconsolable. He died of grief in 1935, leaving his entire collection plus his house to the French State, on condition that the house would become a museum in memory of his son.
His daughter, her husband and their two children were murdered in Auschwitz.
Rudolf Lucieer is Moïse de Camondo, David Lucieer is Nissim.
Paris – Amsterdam, 2012 © photography Bettiena Drukker.