Mantin only had a few years to indulge his aesthetic fantasies. Knowing that his death was approaching, he made a will in which he made sure his treasured house would be saved.
"In the will, he says that he wants the people of Moulins in 100 years time to be able to see what was the life of a cultured gentleman of his day," said assistant curator Maud Leyoudec.
"A bachelor with no children, he was obsessed with death and the passage of time. It was his way of becoming eternal."
When the 100-year mark passed, the house remained abandoned and in no shape to open to the public. Isabelle de Chavagnac, a descendant of Mantin's, threatened to exercise her right to inherit the mansion if it didn't open as a museum. She didn't really want the estate, but her actions forced the local government to allocate funds for renovation. The house then opened as a museum, as Mantin wished, in 2010. BBC News has a video tour of the home. Link -via Gizmodo