Return to the Forum homepage


Cécile Léonie Eugénie Gudule Lucie de Rothschild (1913-1995)

Cécile de Rothschild, born on 15 March 1913, was the daughter of Robert and Nelly. As a child she lived with her family at 23 avenue Marigny and at Laversine. In later years, Cécile lived on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, and in a house near to Laversine.

Cécile inherited many Rothschild passions: motoring, haute cuisine, yachting, wine, gardening, painting and golf; she was a member of the French team for 20 years, notably winning the Gaveau Cup in 1956.

A passion for art

Cecile's passion for art began when aged just 13, she acquired 'Les Baigneuses' (1890) by Cézanne; the story goes that upon returning from a trip to London. her father asked his children to guess what was inside the package he had brought with him. Whoever answered correctly would receive it. He gave them one hint: 'It begins with the letter "C".' Cecile guessed Cezanne, revealing her early interest in modern art; her collection would grow to include works by Picasso, Schiele and Cézanne.

Whilst in New York, where she had sought reuge during the Second World War, she developed an interest in American avant-garde art movements from 1950-1960.  She also collected decorative works including silverware, furniture, Sèvres and Italian majolica.

She was the the companion and protector of the actress Greta Garbo, who she first met at a dinner in 1960 and on the few occasions when Garbo was seen in public, she was usually accompanied by Cécile.

Cécile de Rothschild died on 17 January 1995, aged 82.