Les Musées des Art: Orsay, Pompidou, Orangerie & Rodin

So I blogged recently on my new found love of art (can be seen here).  Through our time in Paris, we visited FIVE art museums.  I have already talked about my experiences at the Museé du Louvre (here), but I wanted to touch on the other 4 as well.

Musee d’Orsay

Housed in an old train station, this was one incredibly impressive collection of art, slightly more modern than the Louvre.  Of course for both of us the main attraction was Van Gogh.  My inner whovian was scouring the paintings for tiny TARDISes, and searching for monsters in the church windows, while Ray got goosebumps when he saw Starry Night over the Rhone (this) – which has the most beautiful shades of blue to compose the night sky.  I liked the colours of this piece better than the slightly more famous Starry Night older brother, located at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, though in the MoMA piece I can’t help but love the swirling of the night sky.  In fact, I’ve realized that Van Gogh’s painting of the sky in these two pieces, in turn, has changed how I see the sky.  And there is no better place for me to view the night sky than in Osoyoos.  I am looking forward to watching the sky transform before my eyes in a matter of weeks.

Of course there is some funny looking signs up at the museum with little cameras with a line through them.  My French isn’t very good, but it looked to me as though photography might have been discouraged….hence the few sneaky hip shots below.  I should add that there were other paintings and pieces that we both enjoyed, but at this point, it’s the Van Gogh’s that are clearest in my mind.


Museé de l’Orangerie

This much smaller museum was all about one thing – the Water lillies.  ONce again, they were a photo free zone (with really strict supervision), so I have nothing to show you for our time there, but you have to trust me when I tell you that taking the time to stop and see the Water lillies is worth it.  Because we had the museum pass, we didn’t have to “pay” – which I think helped, as it would have been a pretty steep cost to enjoy 2 rooms with 8 paintings total.  But because it was included, we went, we enjoyed, and we loved.  When I was growing up, there was something about the lavendar in Monet’s work that make me think of it as something only to be enjoyed by the elderly (this made sense when I was 8…cut me some slack).  You can take a virtual tour here – though it doesn’t do it justice.

Museé Rodin

Rodin’s work consist of many sculptures – most of which are outside in the beautiful gardens of what was once his home.  The most famous, the Thinker, is the reason we decided to go.  I don’t know much about Rodin, and while I enjoyed the property, garden and roses, I wasn’t overly in love with the sculptures themselves.  Maybe I’m missing something?  Any Rodin lovers out there want to enlighten me?

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Museé National d’Art Moderne, in Centre Pompidou

We were not originally planning a trip to the Modern Art Museum – except for when we heard it was Air Conditioned.  So on a day that was calling for 35*C before the humidity, this seemed like a smart choice.  I find myself really enjoying modern art, and I think I loved this much more than Ray did.  There is something bright and colourful and playful that is found in modern art, and I love that element of colour and play. I also love the increased about of textures that are prominent in Modern Art pieces.  We were both drawn to pieces that were mathematical and symmetrical in natural (such as the tetris piece and the tessellation’s shown below), I am still trying to make sense of the nylons with rocks hanging from the ceiling (Ray thinks it looks like boogers, I was going with alien larvae) and as you can see, we had fun with these random walls – that we hoped were about having fun (because we sure did).  The building itself is art – with all the “guts” of the building on the outside.  Made for a good cool afternoon in doors.  I don’t know if we could rank the museums, as each had something different about them that we loved.  I’m glad we got a flavour for each.

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