D’Orsay Museum and the French Revolution.

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Walking to the Musee D’Orsay this morning and passed by these lovely policemen carrying machine guns. We’re very lucky back in Australia.

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This museum used to be a train station. They were going to tear it down and then someone had the brilliant idea of turning it into an art gallery. This is dedicated primarily to France’s National art collection of the 19th century. It’s well worth a visit.

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For starters, it has a mini Statue of Liberty in the entrance hall. You see this – you don’t need to fly to New York. You’ll save yourself a packet!

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The thing that struck me about this woman is that she’d been photoshopped before it was invented. There’s not a line on her face… Duval –  ‘Madame de Loynes’ 1862

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Relaxed.

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I loved this. Look at the dog. Carpieux – ‘Le Prince Imperiel et son chien Nero’ 1865

He’s looking at the prince like Jeff looks at us. 🙂

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Look at his ruff. 🙂 This was outside on the street on the way to the Museum.

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Baby Mozart. Barrias –  Enfant Mozart 1887

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Van Gogh – ‘L’ Élise d’Auvers-sur-Oise, vue de chevet.’ These colours are vivid and pulled me across the room to it.

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I looked at this one, walked away, but when we backtracked through the room again to get to something Scott hadn’t seen, I took this photo. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s really sad and would’ve been just what would’ve gone on in the olden days when a child was sick and you didn’t have any money for medicine.

Tassaert – ‘Une Famille Malheaureuse’

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This is the one I lost my heart to. I stood there for ages just looking at it. My absolute favourite. I was always a bit ‘meh’ about it before, when I saw it in reproductions, but IRL you can almost see the people move and the sunlight dancing on their heads. It’s magnificent.

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Renoir – ‘Bal de Moulin de la Galette’. 1876

When we left I had to go back and say goodbye to it.

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Lots of Toulouse-Lautrec – ‘Femme de Maison Blonde’. I like the way her face looks… being a member of the oldest profession is clearly not just a walk in the park.

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Isn’t this lovely? Monet – ‘Londres – Le Parlement.’

We’re going to see his house and gardens at Giverny tomorrow. Look at how he captures the light…

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Again, see the moment in this one? I was walking beside it and it seemed as if she was about to run out of the frame towards me.

Degas – ‘Danseuses montant un escalier.’

 

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These filled a wall. So light and airy.

Monet – 1886. The name is too long and too French… I don’t have much time this morning!!!

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Um…. what??? This was in the section devoted the to French revolution.

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Isn’t she exquisite? Degas- ‘Petit danseuse’

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Look up!!

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Monet again.

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Strindberg – ‘Marine avec récif’ 1884

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The Musee D’Orsay has two large clocks. This is the café behind one of them. We had a cheap and cheerful lunch here. When we’d finished eating we saw people going out to a terrace, so off we went too.

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Montmartre in the background. Here’s me in my Nice dress and bracelet, my Bali earrings, my Singapore watch and my China pearls. I was also wearing my London runners. What a view!IMG_5549

Here’s the Louvre from the terrace on top of the Musee D’Orsay. Not a view you’d normally get.

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Next item on the agenda was a walking tour about the French Revolution. We met at Danton‘s statue, which was where his house would have been in the old days. His was an interesting story, well worth reading the link. One of those who created the Revolution, then was consumed by it.

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We were at the back of this café, and the guide was talking about how it was the cradle of the revolution, where all of Danton’s faction would come and meet and argue points after the meetings. Then we went around to the front.

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As we were walking around, the guide told us the story of Napolean not being able to afford to pay for his drinks and so he left his hat as payment… Hang on a minute!!!! This story sounded very familiar…

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Sure enough, he was talking about the restaurant that we had dinner n on our first night in Paris. 🙂

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This is one of only 2 remaining metre measuring things, once they changed the official standard to metric in the Napoleonic times.

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Luxemburg Gardens.

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When the revolutionary fever was sweeping the country, they didn’t approve of names that had any reference to the church or royalty. See how, in the original street name in the stone above the sign, they chipped out the word ‘saint’?

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After the tour finished we were just down the road from Shakespeare and Co. Remember how I stumbled across it when it was shut on a Saturday morning when I did Notre Dame? Well, it was open now.

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It’s FABULOUS! It’s an English bookshop in the heart of Paris. It’s an absolute rabbit warren of high bookshelves and masses of books of all types.

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I bought Gertrude Stein’s ‘Paris France‘. It seemed appropriate, both from a weight and subject matter perspective.

Monet tomorrow!

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3 Responses to D’Orsay Museum and the French Revolution.

  1. Polly says:

    You’re back! Couldn’t load you for a couple of days and was having withdrawals! 🙂 What a fantastic trip you’re having. I love that dancing girl statue and the Monet paintings. And what a great find that bookshop is!

  2. Bek says:

    Oh how I loved the musee d’orsay with all those van gogh’s and montes (the haystacks!!!!). The musee do marmottan de Paris is fab, lots of money as you would expect, but also a few Renoir and Berthe Morison (his mistress) that are amongst my favourites.

  3. Lucinda Sans says:

    Beautiful art and stories. I’m humming an Edith Piaf song. You’ve put me in a French mood.

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