Monday, December 17, 2012

Paris Museum Roundup - Musee de l'Orangerie

The second museum on our docket in Paris was the Musee de l'Orangerie. Located in the corner of the beautiful Tuileries Garden beside the giant Ferris wheel, it is another of Paris' fantastic museums focusing on impressionist and post-impressionist painting. 

The Tuileries Garden - a lovely place for relaxation

The Ferris Wheel and pond at the end of the Tuileries Garden

Once inside, the hustle and bustle of the busy Place de la Concorde is quickly forgotten as you are transported to a world of calm and reflection. Natural light filters down through the ceiling and the recently renovated pale stone interior create the perfect habitat for a couple of hours of art enjoyment. 

The museum itself has two main sections, the bottom floor containing the collection of Paul Gillaume, and the upper floor containing Monet's eight Water Lily murals in two oval rooms. 

The collection of Paul Gillaume, a mechanic turned art dealer turned art collector, is comprised of the works of many of the masters of the past 2 centuries, including Matisse, Picasso, Monet, Cezanne, and many others. Like any of the museums we've been to, there were some we loved and some we didn't love (and even some we REALLY didn't love). 

Paul Gillaume as painted by Amedeo Modigliani (via)

Claude Monet - l'Argenteuil (via)

Paul Gauguin - Paysage (via)

Andre Derain - Arlequin et Pierrot (via)

Although this collection is fantastic on its own, the real reason that people make a stop here is the two rooms of Monet murals. Displayed in two ovular rooms designed by Monet himself, the canvases follow the curvature of the room and depict the water lilies in the gardens surrounding his home at different times and in different lights. He wanted a place for people to come following the end of WWI to be at peace, and this is definitely achieved through the diffused light and sparse decoration of the two rooms. 

One of the rooms containing Monet's Water Lilies (via)

Although our visit was primarily the result of a combination ticket with the Musee d’Orsay, by the end of our visit we were happy we made time to visit the Musee de l’Orangerie.

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Calli and Travis returned from a four month trip through Europe more excited than ever to hit the open road. Who knows where they'll end up next...

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