24 May 2012

Musée d'Orsay

We visited Musée d'Orsay today (Wednesday).  It is very impressive!   It's focus is French art from 1848 to 1914, which of course centres on Impressionism.   All the masterpieces of the French Impressionist movement appear to be here, and the collection of Manets, Monets, Renoirs, Van Goghs (who lived and worked in France) and Gauguins (to name just a few) is overwhelming.   But it also puts things into context, with a number of French Romantic period works as well as art from other European artists.  

Looking down on the main hall
I won't attempt to review all this art, as any comments that I would make would not do it justice.    Suffice to say, we were drawn in by it all.   In particular, it's logically presented and the explanations of the significance of the various phases of the period are clear (otherwise it could be so quite confusing for the non-expert).  Apparently two years of renovations have recently been completed, so perhaps these have contributed.

The building itself is also quite spectacular.   As is well known, it started life as the Paris terminal of the Orleans railway.   Internally, there's a spaciousness that derives from this, and the height of the building enables great views over Paris, including looking out through not one but two large clocks!
You can look out on Paris through the clock face!

The internal clock

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