Baroness Charlotte Beatrice de Rothschild, was born in Paris on September 14, 1864 in the family of Alfons de Rothschild. She was the first of the Rothschild clan who escaped the traditional marriage between cousins. Her chosen one was a man fifteen years older than her: Maurice Ephrussi, a banker and oil tycoon who moved to Paris from Odessa. Unfortunately, very soon, she realized that they had very little in common. After 21 years of an unhappy marriage, in 1904, she initiated divorce proceedings when the debts of Baron Ephrussy began to threaten the estate of the Rothschilds. She kept his surname with hers.

Beatrice inherited 700 million francs at the death of her father. She bought seven hectares of bare rocks on top of the hill of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat between Nice and Monaco. Dynamite broke the mountain and fertile soil was brought in for the gardens. Beatrice chose French architect Aaron Messiah. She wanted someone who would execute her orders. She named the property "Ile-de-France" as its design resembled the shape of a ship, with the Mediterranean on both sides. Beatrice acquired an invaluable collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture and porcelain of the XV-XVIII centuries. The uniqueness of the building rests with its nine theme gardens, considered to be real works of art.

She bequeathed the property and its collections to the Académie des Beaux-Arts and it is now open to the public. The villa was registered as a historical monument in 1996.

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