Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An afternoon @ Musee d'Orsay

Musee d'Orsay sits on the banks of the Seine. From the rooftop you can see as far as Sacre Coeur.
It wasn't our first visit - the Musee d'Orsay is in a way like the Louvre. You always need a revisit because there's always something you've missed. Its just a personal opinion but I feel that d'Orsay has a living, breathing quality about it that draws me back to visit Matisse, Monet, Manet, Gauguin, Renoir, Degas, Lautrec and Cezanne. I'm certain their souls "live" there.
I'm an devotee of Impressionism and the Art Nouveau periods - always have been from art school days. The Louvre didn't give me that feeling because of it hugeness. In comparison d'Orsay is more intimate.
To me, you return to the Louvre because you need to. With d'Orsay, its because I want to!

This time we decided we would make our visit more leisurely. The d'Orsay cafe sits behind the old railway station clock. We were the first patrons who were looking forward to a mid-morning coffee.

The station clock is a feature of the old Gare d'Orsay. Imagine pulling up at the station at the turn of the century in 1900 when it was opened. The station served the South West of France until 1939 when the trains became longer and faster.
The station couldn't cope with progress and served more local traffic thereafter.


And Now

A sketch of Rodin - we also enjoyed Rodin's Museum in an earlier post.

Rodin's "Gates of Hell" inspired by Dante's Inferno - Try sitting here for more than 10 minutes and you will walk away with a lifetime of images. 186 figures twisted with torment with "the Thinker" at its central theme deserve more than a passing glance.

As I look at the figures moving through the material sculptured by Rodin it makes me want to revisit Musee d'Orsay for another look when we return to Paris next year.

Sorry but my little pocket camera just does not do justice to Rodin's "Gates of Hell". Give yourself a treat and go there.

Being a big Joan of Arc fan, I had to take this photo however this sculpture as majestic as it is, can not compare with the emotion with the statue of her in full gallop on horseback at Chinon.

Many of my favorite impressionists works that I remember seeing only in my student day books, sit on the walls of Musee d'Orsay. Gauguin, Cezanne, Degas, Monet to name a few.

Art Nouveau is possibly my favorite period of furniture and architecture and to view it at Musee d'Orsay was a treat. I could imagine myself having a glass of port, smoking a cigar (I don't even smoke) and reading a good book amongst this furniture.
It's not possible to pass on the enthusiasm and delight we experienced on the two visits to Musee d'Orsay - you have to go yourself. If you can't, then pop into their website.

See you next Wednesday for "Wednesday's in France"


  1. I so... love Musee D'Orsay it's as you say Leon a delight to visit! To be surrounded by Monet and Manet and Degas and Sisley - Wow! I would love to be back there right now soaking up the atmosphere.
    What a great job in renovating this from an old railway station!

  2. Dianne - when do you return and how many times to Musee d'Osay is too many?

  3. A great way to spend a few hours and I certainly enjoyed the lazy virtual tour with my afternoon cup of tea.

  4. Reading blogs with a cuppa sounds delightful although I usually ahve a glass of vino.

  5. Great photos and fond memories. That is all but the queue which went on for ever on a freezing cold day!
    On my very old laptop still while I fight with the new one!! Diane

  6. I would love to return early next year but at the moment this is not set in concrete - always dreaming of going back to Paris!
    The last time I visited D'Orsay i went late on a Thursday afternoon about 5.30pm - had dinner there and then straight to the very back of the building and up the stairs to the "Impressionists" floor where I remained till closing which was about 9pm.
    No queues - no waitingand not a lot of tourists!!

  7. Dianne,
    Come to Paris next May and meet Sue and I for her 60th birthday. OK, Adelaide is closer BUT!!!!


Love to get feedback so no reason to be shy - have your say.