Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day Eight: The d'Orsay

Day Eight: The d'Orsay
Jan. 7th 2011

Well I'm home, as I'm sure most of you have figured out by now. Sorry for the delay, I'm doing my best to catch up on these. Only a few days to go!

This one should actually be pretty easy because I have absolutely no pictures to show you from the d'Orsay. Why? The museum simply doesn't allow it. In retrospect, I probably could have snapped a few here and there without being noticed, but I really didn't want to get yelled at by museum security. And did I mention the soldiers carrying uzis at every national monument? Ok, so the d'Orsay wasn't really important enough to merit an armed guard, but Dad seems to think that the French police regard Javert as their patron saint and that's enough for me to be wary.

That being said, the d'Orsay is absolutely gorgeous and pictures probably wouldn't have done it justice anyway. Well...maybe a little. Here's the website: http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/home.html so you can ooo and ahhh to your heart's content.

The d'Orsay is a very specialized museum in that it only covers a specific time period. The works of art range from 1848 to 1914. What we're dealing with here is a basically the impressionist period. There's a bunch of Renoir, a shit ton of Degas, and more Monet than you could shake a water lily at. Speaking of Degas, I was never a huge fan until I actually saw his works in person. Up until then it was always, "Yeah, ok, we know you have a ballerina fetish. Yes, they're very pretty. No, of course I'm not implying anything."

I didn't fully appreciate Degas until I saw his work up close. Pastels are something you really have to see in person. A photograph in a book or on the internet just can't convey the same texture and shading as the real thing. And like everything else in the museum, these pastels were fucking gorgeous.

But my favorite part of the entire museum has to be the the decorative arts. Let me start by saying that I love art nouveau. I love it so much I want to marry it. It is my wish to have my entire house remodeled in that style in the event that I become an eccentric millionaire. As it turns out, the d'Orsay has several art nouveau furnishings on display. I just had to be careful not to drool all over them.

Now, I'm going to post a link here for you to look at. Just go and stare at it in appreciation for a good ten minutes or so. It's ok, I'll see be here when you get back.


Is that not the most beautiful room you have ever seen? Is it not just exquisite? You want me to come up with more adjectives to describe this piece of art, but I can't. I'm too busy staring at the majesty of it all.

As I gazed into the loveliness of this room and struggled not to just stand there with my jaw hanging open, it suddenly dawned on me that this must be where the people who worked on the visuals and sets for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings got their inspiration. I dare you to look at that room and tell me it doesn't remind you of Rivendell. No wonder I'm so in love with the art nouveau style.

Somehow we managed to spend the whole day in a museum that was actually fairly small. We moved very slowly, appreciating each individual piece of art until we eventually found ourselves in the museum tea room where I had some of the best earl grey ever and a delightful salmon salad.

Next time: Rodin's house

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