Saturday, May 26, 2007

Paris Report Part Trois: L'Art

Carvings on an apartment building across the street from the café where I discovered that Darjeeling tea is the ultimate jet-lag cure.

Paris has some of the best art museums anywhere in the world. But art in Paris isn't just in the museums; it's everywhere. It's in the streets, the stores, the restaurants*, the parks, the architecture, even in the street signs and Metro stations.

*Interior of the restaurant at Musée D'Orsay. The food is also excellent.

And the quality of the light in Paris really is special. It really is easy to understand why so many painters and photographers have found inspiration here. All of this sounds so cliché, I know, but it's so impressive when you're actually there.

Sun and clouds near Pont Alexandre III. The bridge itself is a work of art and so quintessentially Parisian.

It was really thrilling to get to see actual paintings that I studied about in various Art History classes, and especially my favorites from the period starting with Manet and going all the way through to Kandinsky. The Monet Water Lilies panels at L'Orangerie were particularly impressive. Doug snapped over a hundred pics of art alone. Here are some of my favorites:

Manet's "Dejeunner Sur L'Herbe", a very controversial painting in it's day, and not just because of the nudity. The idea that someone would portray a modern scene with no historical, mythological or religious theme outraged the art establishment of the time.

One of Monet's "Water Lilies" paintings. Below is the actual lily pond in Giverny where he painted these. The bridge in the painting is in the far background in the photo.

Van Gogh. The photos really don't do justice to his colors and textures.

Kandinsky, my favorite Abstract Expressionist.

One of the coolest things about Paris is the juxstaposition of ancient and modern. Fountain near the George Pompidou Center.



Blogger Maya's Granny said...

Living in one of the "newest" states, I was impressed with how old things are on the east coast. Europe is just beyond belief.

I envy you the chance to see the art and the streets and the buildings. And the people.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous citizen spot said...

The Monet garden in real life is breathtaking. So is the painting. I did not know that they let photos be taken in the museums. I guess non-flash is ok?

Anyways, this brought to mind an amusing Monet waterlillies moment from the L-Word this season.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

Yes, Monet's house in Giverny and the gardens were one of my favorite parts of the trip. It was just stunning. I could've spent the whole day there.

And most museums to allow pictures without flash. The one exception seemed to be the temporary exhibits, I'm guessing because the works were on loan.

6:05 AM  

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