The Musée d’Orsay

When in Paris, people tend to rave about the Louvre. I’ve only been to Paris once. My wife and I went there to celebrate our silver wedding which was quite a time ago now. Actually, the Channel Tunnel had not long opened and our son had become a qualified driver. So he was able to drive us to Salisbury from where we took a train to Waterloo which was then the Eurostar terminal. With just the one change of train it was next stop Paris!

Towns and cities tend to make me feel hedged in. Getting to them on public transport makes them better and so I have to say we had a grand time in Paris with the highlight being the Musée d’Orsay.

There’s more than one reason for this. This venue was once a major railway station.

Photo from the Musée D'Orsay web site

Photo from the Musée d’Orsay web site

It opened in 1900 and was designed to be a work of art for the Paris Exhibition of that year.  By 1939 it had been abandoned as a mainline station. The site was too small for the sleek long trains then used for long distance services. It was only used for suburban trains.

Like many a redundant building it suffered the slings and arrows of a very mixed fortune before finally becoming the art gallery for second half of the nineteenth century art which it is today. It opened its doors to the public in 1986.

But it still has the look and grace of a railway station.

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From the top of the building you can peer out through a station clock.

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But of course, instead of being filled with smoke and noise of a station, it is filled with fantastic works of art. I’m not good with the old masters and allegorical works. My brain copes on a ‘what you see is what you get’ level so works of the Impressionist era suit me well and of course, Musée D’Orsay is awash with such images. Photography without flash was allowed when I was there – which was in pre-digital days so I’ll just show one picture.

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Here we have the unmistakable work of

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Claude Monet. It is Dated 1891.

Fab place. For me, it was worth going to Paris for that alone.

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One Response to “The Musée d’Orsay”

  1. televisionofnomads Says:

    Fantastic, thanks for taking us there!

    http://televisionofnomads.wordpress.com

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