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European

You want to come to Paris, you know you do, for the holiday season. So much to do, so much to drink, um, see…but what exhibition to visit, that won’t leave you feeling tired and grumpy, jammed in queues snapping away at the Mona Lisa?

I have a suggestion.

Florence: Portraits a la cour des Medicis at the lovely jewel of a museum, Jacquemart-Andre. The museum itself, once upon a time a private house, has holiday lights, a wonderful setting and four good-looking white marble lions, purchased from the Villa Contarini in 1894. Oh, and its own rather decent café, where you can get a restorative beverage (rhymes with prosecco).

The exhibition was put together by the critic and art historian M. Carlo Falciani and it is a joy to behold. Beautifully hung in 8 rooms are portraits to make you swoon, by artists you know you love. The exhibition can be pretty much summed up by a 15th century picture by Rudolfo del Ghirlandio (otherwise known as Rudolfo Bigode, Couvercle de la Monaca,” titled “To each their own mask”.

There aren’t enough superlatives. Amazing portraits, full of beauty, malice and wit. Fabulous jewels (but oddly, no diamonds). Smart autoguides. And with a little luck no crowds.

Hurry before it’s gone.

Musee Jacquemart Andre

158 Boulevard Haussmann

12 Euros (+1 if you buy on line)

until 25 January 2016