Adventure in France- The Orsay

“A Burial at Ornans” by Gustave Courbet. The side gallery housing this and another massive Courbet was our first stop in the museum. Monumental doesn’t quite cover it- and this wasn’t even the largest piece in the place. Walking into the Musee d’Orsay was like walking into an art history book- specifically Janson’s History of Art- and more specifically my favorite chapter- “The Modern World”. That was after pushing through the queues of tourists of course. I honestly don’t understand why half the people there were there at all- they had no interest in the art. The only reason they came in seemed to be to take selfies in front of the most famous pieces. I think the Orsay should just set up a fake gallery in front of the building with reproductions of the most popular works so people can take their selfies for free and not bother the rest of us. On the plus side- selfie sticks were not allowed!
The Musee d’Orsay was originally a train station. A huge skylight provides gentle illumination throughout the heart of the building. Despite how open and airy the space was the hordes still managed to make certain galleries to claustrophobic to enter. the trick was to get in between the big groups so you could actually look at pieces rather than being pushed along in front of them. Even when you managed to get one of the smaller galleries to yourself inevitably someone would bumble in talking loudly on their cell phone (so tacky!). I mean really- who actually talks on their phones anymore?! Oh well- the few quiet moments more than made up for it and I took as many photos as I possibly could- without butting in front of people like the selfie addicts.
“Morning, The Dance of the Nymphs”- One of my favorites by Corot
Monet’s “The Bridge at Argenteuil”. It was incredible seeing all the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist classics in one place
“Bedroom in Arles”, One of my favorite Van Gogh’s didn’t attract as much attention as “Starry Night over the Rhone” so I was able to actually enjoy it for more than a few seconds before being swept along by the crowds.
“War”, I think, is my favorite Rousseau. I had my first “art moment” of the trip gazing into this one. Although honestly walking around the museum, surrounded with incredible art, the diffuse light, thousands of echoing footsteps and murmuring voices brought me to a state that was akin to a religious experience.
A Pointillist Littoral
“Algerian Landscape” by Renoir. All the Renoir paintings I saw on this trip literally glowed- this charming landscape was no exception.
Encased in glass this seemingly alive light fixture looks like a giant sea anemone in an aquarium. The Musee has quite the collection of Art Nouveau interiors, furniture and ceramic pieces
Probably my favorite sculpture in the Musee d’Orsay. Despite the obnoxious hordes visiting the Orsay was still an amazing experience and well worth the hassle of dealing with a few rude tourists.
Next stop: The Orangerie- *Stay Tuned*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s