Monday, July 02, 2007

Musee d'Orsay

Yesterday I visited the Musee d'Orsay, which houses arts and furnishings from the period 1848 to 1914. The museum is a gorgeous old railway station which was built around the turn of the last century and almost demolished in the 1970's, which would have been a crime. The building itself was my favorite part of the visit.

Photographed from a footbridge across the Seine:

This photo of the main hall makes the building seem deceptively small:

A close up of the ceiling decorations:

St Michel terressant le dragon, by Emmanuel Fremiet, 1896. I like the spiky halo.
A Portrait of the Artist, Vincent van Gogh, 1889. I love his swirly skies.

Cirque, Georges Seurat, 1890-91. Unfinished.

And a close up. Can't you imagine each one of these dots as a stitch?

A view of the Louvre across the Seine, from the terrace of the Orsay:

One of the enormous clocks that is visible from the outside of the Orsay (but this is from the inside, at the cafe):

I enjoyed the visit to the museum, even though it was packed with people. I viewed this as a scouting trip, so I'll know my way around better the next time. Still, I was disheartened that not a single work there truly grabbed me. I saw van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Manet and many others. Not one of them pulled me in and made me stare in wonder. I hope it was just the day, too many people, not having an audioguide... I did buy an excellent book of the paintings so that I'll know better what I'm seeing the next time.

20 comments:

joyce said...

Thanks for photos of one of my favorite museums in the world. And that fair looks amazing. What colors!

kristin L said...

The Museed'Orsay is my favorite museum too. I like the artwork inside (who doesn't at least like the impressionists?), but like you, it's the building that really interests me. It's so light and welcoming as opposed to the dark and warren-like Louvre.

Vicki W said...

I'd have a hard time focusing on the art for all of the beautiful architectural details. Lovely building - hard to imagine that anyone ever considered demolishing it!

jmbmommy said...

I too felt that way, when I went there. I was trying to be in awe of the art, but I liked the building more. Then a few years later I saw the Van Gogh painting of almond branches...it was just so huge and so turquoise. It stopped me. I do like those cloudy Parisian skies.

McIrish Annie said...

sometimes you just need to be in the right mood for art, great pics!

Gypsy Quilter said...

Ohhhhhhh simply lovely. The statues are awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Judy said...

Absolutely exquitsite!

Tracey said...

Thanks for sharing these lovely photos. I've never had any interest in visiting Paris before, but since you've been sharing these pictures of your daily wanderings, I'm starting to feel very tempted!!

anne bebbington said...

To be honest Tonya - I'm not surprised that none of the paintings grabbed you - I would've been so overawed by the building that its contents would've faded into insignificance by comparison! Thank you so much for sharing the photos - if we ever get to Paris that building will be on my 'to do' list

Sue in western WA said...

So much culture in such a small post! (heavy Yiddish accent there BTW)

I have to agree with a previous comment. I'd never had that much desire to see Paris but you are rapidly changing my mind!

Finn said...

Great day trip Ton! What a magnificant building...I'd be standing there with my mouth open going 'oh my gosh'..LOL
The things you shared are just wonderful,love the pointel(pixel) type painting. I could see it in stitches if YOU were doing it, not me!
Great job as our tour guide. Hugs, Finn

candyschultz said...

Can you really photograph the works of art? I guess I always thought that would not be allowed. As for every point being a stitch - even I am not crazy enough to attempt something like that. That would take a lifetime. Now cross stitch or needlepoint maybe.

The Dutchlady said...

Thanks for sharing the pitures and story. The last time I visited Musee d'Orsay was on a very cold, grey and rainy November day. It was a quit day then, except for a long line of people around lunch hour, waiting to get into the restaurant (which is worth visiting, can't remember about the food though). This building brings two things together I love museums and old train stations. Tonya, try to go back for a visit when most of the tourists have disappeared you might enjoy it more.

atet said...

Oh my -- one of my favorite museums of all time. Yes, the building is spectacular, but the art. Oh. You really do need to go when it is less crowded. The day I went I was so annoyed with my group (fellow HS students) who kept going "so what?" When all I wanted to do was study the way Monet played with light in his haystacks series and with his paintings of Rouen cathedral.

Thank you for posting these photos (and that statue of St. Michele -- if you get the chance you really need to go to Mont St. Michele and climb the steps to the abbey? to see the plaster mold of the statue that sits on top, if I can find it -- I have a photo somewhere of it) and reminding me of some lovely memories.

QuiltMom said...

Hi Tonya,
I really enjoyed seeing your pictures of the Musee d'Orsay. We went to Paris in 1985 and I remember seeing the wonderful paintings of the Impressionists but the piece that I remember most is a beautiful sculpture by Degas of a ballerina. Twenty years later I can still see the expression on her face and wanting to touch the tulle of her dress. There is just no telling what things will catch one's eye or what works will call to one. I expected to love the paintings but it was the sculpture that has stayed with me. Perhaps on another day it will be a more enjoyable experience. Keep sharing your Parisian experiences- I always enjoy your blog.
Regards from a Western Canadian quilter,
Anna

margaret said...

oh I love that cafe "under the clock". Next time you go to the Orsay, look for the wonderful Klimt landscape with the birch trees - it's in a side room near the river, or was when I was last there, 5 or 6 years ago. Klimt's landscapes are so different from his swirly golden ladies, yet you can guess that they come from the same brush...

Kathie said...

I loved this museum when I was there in the mid-90s. But I think you have a point about the architecture being kind of overpowering.

My favorite in the whole place is The Magpie by Monet. I don't know why that painting pulls me in so. Maybe the way the winter light glows... I bought a print of it in the shop there.

Lily said...

Oh the Musee D'Orsay is my favourite place in Paris! It would not be fun if it was packed though. I think you definitely need to go back! We did.

The pastels. Oh the pastels. The way the moonlight and lamplight glows is magical. And the polar bear! We loved the polar bear statue. But, as they say, beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder!

PaMdora said...

What a great musuem, you're so lucky to be there! Thanks for sharing.

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