Musée d’Orsay

12 Apr

I wandered past Solferino yesterday and had the vague desire to do something productive with my time after class, so I went into the Musée d’Orsay on a whim. It’s a pretty impressive building over on the left bank of the river and I’ve never been. (I know, I know. That’s what happens when you live long term someplace, you put off all the touristy things.) Thanks to my handy residence stamp, I got in free of charge. I’m really, really liking the “free entrance to museums for people under 26” thing.

The Musée d’Orsay is actually an old railway station that was retrofitted to hold some of France’s best impressionist and post-impressionist art. For those of us who fell asleep during art history, this means it’s got a lot of Monet, Degas, Renior, Cezanne, Van Gogh, and a bunch of others who you might have heard of. It’s also got a lot of French sculptures. The building itself is stunningly beautiful, in a way that makes you wish Grand Central or Penn could be. I’ll grant you Grand Central has that awesome hall that shows up in movies, but let’s get real: no one stares at the ceilings of the LIRR waiting room in awe.

The museum is pretty strict about their “no photography” rule which does add to the experience a little, since you’re not agonizing over every photo and can actually appreciate the art. Instead, I wandered around writing down the names of paintings that I liked. In no particular order, here’s what I enjoyed. (Images blatantly stolen from around the internet.)

L’Enigme by Gustave Dorél'enigme dore

La Neige by Alfred Sisley la neige sisley

Danseuses Bleues by Edgar Degas danseuses bleues degas

Nuit Etoiles by Van Gogh
starry night

Saint Michel terrassant le dragon by Emmanuel Fremiet
st michel

Leçon de catéchisme by J.A. MuenierJules-Alexis Muenier - La lecon de catechisme


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