Friday, June 1, 2012

Art Tour Series Part III

 At the beginning of each month, I write a post on a favorite museum of mine. With an art education background and being an artist all of my life, I am totally in love with original art; not reproductions--the real deal.

 My most favorite art museum of all time is the Musee D'Orsay in Paris.  I had the distinct honor to enter its doors in 2010 and still to this day pinch myself that I took such a trip.  My son Michael and I went to Paris upon his college graduation, and being artists with sketchbooks in hand, we hiked for 7 hours each day around the city, landing in every art museum-- drawing, photographing every tidbit we could.

Located on the left bank of Le Seine in the 7th Arrondissement on the Rue de Legion D'Honneur is the Musee D'Orsay.

Of course, it is bordered by the most charming neighborhood:

    A Bit of History:

Originally the Gare D'Orsay was a Beaux-Arts railway station and hotel built for the World's Fair in 1900. It was the architect's challenge to match it's elegant surroundings, as it is in the same neighborhood as the Louvre and the Palais de la Légion d'honneur.  

After the need for a new rail station was eminent and the hotel closed in 1975, the station was declared a Historical Monument in 1978, and transformed into a museum by 1986.

The building itself is enveloped in a ceiling of natural light that makes the entire space glow.  The carved stone, statuary and architectural details blew us away.  It was much more 'user friendly' than the massive Louvre, so it perfectly accommodated our love for Realism through Impressionist eras with artists like Gauguin, Degas, Manet, Cezanne and Rousseau. To stand in front of paintings we had both studied in Art History classes, like The Gleaners shown here, was to be in the presence of greatness.

Jean-François Millet (1814-1875)

 Look how this Serusier painting from 1888 parallels contemporary art today:

          Paul Sérusier (1864-1927)        The Talisman, the Aven River at the Bois d'Amour

Edouard Vuillard - Dr. Georges Viau in His Office Treating Annette Roussel

Van Gogh's "Starry Night over the Rhone" , 1988

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)The Clown Cha-U-Kao1895

There are hundreds of  sculptures in the D'Orsay, among them Degas famous "Small Dancer age 14":

and a stone version of Auguste Rodin's "Gates of Hell":

  The current exhibit at the Musee D'Orsay is Degas and the Nude. Oh how I wish I could see this in person!

                  Edgar Degas (1834-1917)                  Woman drying her neck, after her bath

Have you been to this fabulous museum?  Now I should be inspired to paint! How 'come life gets in the way?


If you are looking for help with your home, we'd love to work with you! Contact us for a listing of our services and prices. 

 Nancy and Bethany


  1. Nancy, I went in '87 when it was very new. I loved the space and looking through that massive clock. Oddly, that is mostly all I remember and I vaguely recall that only a few exhibits were open at the time.

  2. You know, I have a photo of the exterior but we never stepped foot in this one. My kids were on the younger side and I had to pick and choose how many museums I could drag them into. Next time, (and there better be a next time), it's a must!! xo

  3. It is stunningly beautiful and I still vividly remember the clock...such a great reminder...

  4. Yes I have been twice! I remember standing in front of a Van Gogh's, marveling at how vibrant and dimensional his paintings are in person. A real treat for me too as I studied art history! I love that you and your son wandered the streets of Paris together

  5. Add in a Toulouse-Lautrec or Degas and I am one happy girl, but add all of these images and history is perfection.
    Enjoyed this post!
    Happy Friday, ladies.

  6. Well, you've just profiled the best museum of all, so where are you going to go from here? ;-) Love the Musee d'Orsay ... and look forward to a return visit!

  7. One of my favorite museums in the world! Everyone should visit this amazing place. The setting is awesome, and the collection beyond!! Nancy, I was hoping for an art quiz today :-) And, thanks for your kind comments at Red Door Home blog! I appreciate it! xox, Loi

  8. Oh how I'd LOVE to go there- thanks for the gorgeous tour!!!

  9. I've been but it was years ago and I am really due for a visit! Thanks for the suggestion, it's going on my list!

    xo Mary Jo

  10. Beautiful! I'd love to go there!

  11. I did not go, but I was in Paris. Bummer for me.

  12. That is one of my favourite museum as well! Another is Rijks Museum in Amsterdam


Thank you for taking the time to comment and support our blog! You all make our day!