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The Orléans Collection

New Orleans was named in honor of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, who was Regent of France when the city was founded in 1718; Louis XV was just eight years old at the time. By all accounts, the Duke was a hedonist; fortunately, the arts were among his great passions, and he amassed one of the world’s finest collections of paintings. This trove of nearly 800 works remained in his family until his great-grandson sold it during the French Revolution, and it was dispersed throughout Europe. In commemoration of New Orleans’ tricentennial, 40 of the finest pieces have been tracked down and reunited in The Orléans Collection. These paintings, which once graced the walls of the Palais-Royal in Paris, together serve as a microcosm of the original collection, offering insight into the Duke’s tastes. Among the artists included are Veronese, Valentin, Poussin, Rubens, and Rembrandt.