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Impressions of Impressionism: Visiting the Musée d'Orsay

by Hannah

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Paris: Musee D'Orsay

Paris: Musee D'Orsay

I've found that getting up in the morning is made much easier when there is Nutella for breakfast. Today started a little later in the morning than last time, thankfully. After a brief visit from our landlady, where I got to play translator, we were off on the metro towards Musée d'Orsay. In between stops we admired the architecture that was so drastically different from the offices and apartments back home. It was easy to see which city was hundreds of years older than the other. While on the metro, we watched the stops one by one, noticing how the cleanliness and quality steadily improved as we progressed towards upscale Arrondissement 7.

Paris: The Continents

Paris: The Continents

Musée d'Orsay is quite the sight in itself. It's a beautiful building, even without all the amazing art inside. There are impressive bronze statues at the front, which are nice to look at whilst waiting in the long line of visitors. We suspect it was even longer than usual today, as the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. Once inside, however, you forget that you were ever impatient and simply drink it all in. After practicing some more of our French buying tickets, we entered Musée d'Orsay. A hallway filled with perfect marble and bronze statues lay below us, an arced ceiling above. Unfortunately, pictures weren't allowed beyond this point. Hopefully my descriptions do our experiences at least partial justice.

The Musée d'Orsay is largely filled with the work of Impressionists. We saw the art of Claude Monet, arguably the most famous Impressionist, throughout the museum. Other names like Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh and Éduoard Manet jumped out from the plaques beside numerous paintings. There was a roomful of van Gogh art that I could've easily lingered in for half an hour or so, staring at the textures and colours and thick brush strokes. Blue was definitely his favourite colour. Renoir often painted women, and had a way of making their faces seem friendly and alive. Monet was the chameleon of the bunch. His art ranged from pastel pinks to deep blues, soft edges to harsh lines. I don't know if it's possible to say that you simply like the whole of Monet's work, as it seems like it would take a large range of people to truly appreciate all of it. I also discovered quite a few artists that I'd never heard of before, obviously. A couple that stand out are Albert Sisley and Edgar Degas.

Nearing the end of our visit, we stopped in at a new exhibit called Impressionism and Fashion. We saw the trends and outfits of the nineteenth century on both manikins and canvases. Monet and Renoir both made appearances again. It was interesting to see a little bit of these paintings come to life, even if that bit was a dress with a large bustle and restrictive corset. My favourite in this collection was a painting done by Albert Bartholomé called Dans la serre, or alternatively Madame Bartholomé. Seeing the dress and the painting side by side made the art seem more real, and it became like a little window into that era.

Paris: Musee D'Orsay

Paris: Musee D'Orsay

Nearing the end of our outing, we realised that we were not as fully recovered from our jetlag as we had previously thought. After a quick boulangerie stop (yes, I got to walk down the streets of Paris with a couple of baguettes under my arm), we settled in at home for a very French meal of soup, bread and cheese. I think I've finally accepted the fact that I'm on this trip now, and I can't wait until I'm awake enough to really start getting the most out of it.

Au revoir for now.

P.S. Coincidentally, I've started reading a book called Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore, which is all about the lives of French Impressionists twisted into a humorous yet informative historical fiction. I'm about four chapters in so far, and highly recommend it.

Posted by KZFamily 12:44 Archived in France Tagged paris france d'orsay

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Thanks for sharing...the art would be amazing...the architecture would be intoxicating

Have a great day in Paris!!!

by Helen

Great book to be reading at this time, Hannah! I'm going to check it out, thanks! I loved your description of the Musee D'Orsay, what an experience!

by Judy Aalders

Thank you Hannah, for your beautiful updates. No doubt you are beginning to feel more and more at home in Paris.
I'm sure the baguettes must have been delicious!
Looking forward to the next episode of your travel adventures.

by Edith Roslee

Thanks for the great news & pics. We are following you all the way! Great pastry Abby! Xoxo Lick & Ryn

by Rick & Lynda

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