Thursday, February 21, 2013

Musee d'Orsay - Paris Day 2

We got a bit of a late start due to some logistical necessities. One of us (not me) left a backpack on the train the night before, so there was some running around to see if anyone from the train company and/or station could be contacted for lost-found assistance. That means that something in our schedule for the day had to give. I made an executive decision that it would be my French meal at Chez Georges. I was disappointed, but didn't see any other alternatives to getting all the sights in that were also on the list. The meal seemed like the most logical option.

Rather than do multiple train changes, we got off the train at a stop across the river from the museum and walked several blocks. The view was lovely. The weather was a bit warmer than it had been the day before - not as much wind, though still coat-worthy cold.

The walk started at the bottom of the Champs Elysees where the giant Egyptian obelisk is. There were lots of lovely old buildings - probably mostly government.

The d'Orsay was beautiful. It used to be a train station, which explains the many clocks both inside and out, like this one.

That's on the fifth floor, the Impressionist floor. The d'Orsay boasts one of the largest Impressionist collections in the world. Sadly, I was underwhelmed. I thought it would be cool seeing Monet, Manet and Whistler (you've heard of his mother), etc., in person. I guess I was already museum-ed out, though. We had spent a fair amount of time on the lower levels exploring some Classical paintings and sculptures.

But I digress. Look at that view! If you biggify the picture, you can see the Basilique de Sacre Coure (Sacred Heart Basilica) in the background.

Pictures weren't allowed in the museum, so I snuck these two. I figured since it wasn't of artwork, even if I did get caught I could be easily forgiven my photographic transgression.

Speaking of the Classical stuff, one of my favorite paintings was by Jean leon Gerome called, "Jerusalem," or "It Is Finished."

As with any work of art that moves you, this does not really do it justice. There are so many details to be seen close up and in person. It made me appreciate, again, the selfless sacrifice the Savior made on our behalf. This depicts how very lonely it must have been for Him.

There was also an impressive Post-Impressionist collection. There were only four Seurat paintings on display, and they were postcard-sized.

The room I enjoyed most was the one with Van Gogh on display. Unfortunately, there were several school classes on a field trip, so getting close for an extended period of time without being rude was impossible. It is indescribably cool to be that close to paintings that you've read about or seen reproductions of in art history or humanities text books. To say that you are "viewing" them is not really descriptive enough. "Experiencing" is closer to the truth. There are textures and and depth and dimension that no flat, two-dimensional photograph can sufficiently capture. And to say I was captivated begins to describe my experience.

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