Sunday, July 26, 2009

Color and Light

I am a huge Stephen Sondheim fan. (And for those who wondered about the undisclosed location where I kidnapped Rick for his birthday surprise, it was to go see "Side by Side by Sondheim" at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival!)

One of my favorite Sondheim musicals -- and one I'm looking forward to seeing this summer at Canada's Shaw Festival -- is "Sunday in the Park with George," a two-act musical in which Mandy Patinkin created the role of Georges Seurat, the great Impressionist painter. Since you already know I love Monet, it was pretty clear that the major museum on my itinerary would be Musee d'Orsay.

Housed in what used to be a train station which was designed for the Universal Exhibition in 1900 on Paris' right bank, the museum houses many of the most beautiful pieces of Impressionist art in the world (as well as from other periods). This massive clock overlooks the sculpture lobby.

Among the featured artists are Berthe Morrisot...

Vincent VanGogh...

Edgar Degas...

and of course, Monet (You can tell a Monet by the way he paints hay).

Color and light. Sondheim worked these words into one of his songs from "Sunday in the Park." The Musee d'Orsay is all about light. Take a look at the large windows that overlook the sculpture gallery.

And there's plenty of color, too, from the art on the wall to the school children in their red hats, learning about art.

They were well behaved and I loved they were learning about art.

The Art Nouveau section dazled me, with work by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Rene Lalique and others. The furniture was splendid.

Wouldn't this be a good art table? Large, gently curved, good storage...

There was also furniture from other periods, and I rather liked this table.

And some of the sculpture nearly took my breath away.

The lighting was just perfect.

There were pieces I loved (and for the life of me, can't remember the artists, though I'm sure when I hear them, I'll go, "Duh").

Especially this one...(Is it a Monet? It looks Monetish, but also Pissaroish...)

But one of the real thrills was to stand just inches away from paintings I'd seen in books all my life, like this Van Gogh.

I liked this one, too.

Can any of you guess why this may have been my favorite painting? I thought so!

I enjoyed a lovely lunch in the museum's restaurant, then stepped on the roof terrace for a look at another museum (one I'm saving for my next visit), the Louvre. (It was so large I couldn't handle it -- but you'll see another glimpse of it in a future post.)

When it came time to leave, I walked in the St. Germain des Pres district. After stopping for one of those decadent raspberry tarts, I headed home for our last evening. Along the way, I saw this florist shop, which captivated me.

(Aren't the petals on the ground an interesting touch?) Then there was this puppeteer. I cannot resist a puppeteer!

It was almost time for my last evening in Paris. But before we go there, I'll take you to some of the other sights I enjoyed -- the people and street scenes of Paris -- and to the flea markets that make me smile! So, come back in a day or two!


anno said...

The light in the d'Orsay was just gorgeous -- the perfect accompaniment to Monet, Manet, and Van Gogh. (That Sondheim sounded like a wonderful experience, too!)

Laura said...

May I just say that you are performing a valuable public service with these Paris posts. I am making a list of places to go.

I hope this okay with you, but I "stole" your picture of the concert poster for the music you went to hear at Sainte Chappelle and made it my computer background. It makes me happy every I see it. Photos like that just make a trip don't they?

I love Berthe Morisot. I should learn more about her.

Rick's birthday looked great! Who did the Tour de Rick poster? Great graphics! Exactly like the real thing!

Joanne Huffman said...

What a great museum! And, I love the pile of petals under the flowers in your flower shop photo. I really have enjoyed being with you on this trip to Paris and I'm sad that it's drawing to a close.


Annie said...

Someday, if I ever get back to Paris, the Musee d'Orsey will be at the top of my list.

Sandy said...

Beautiful! I need to spend some time looking back in your posts. I've never been to Paris so I am living vicariously through you.

When you have a moment, stop by and visit me and read about "my" orange cat!

Ravenous Reader said...

These photos are so lovely, I feel as if I were in that beautiful, light strewn museum with you.

The Impressionists are my favorite :)

Would you believe I've never seen (or heard) Sunday in the Park With George? I should remedy that.

Mary Timme said...

What a lot of pictures and so lovely in it's way. Thanks so much for the tour.

joyce said...

Your love & knowledge of art is a great thing. I live in a small backwoods area where the nearest town is way too small to begin to encourage a love of those things, consequently I've never heard of most of the names you mention...but I've always wanted to see a live performance.

Beth said...

Oh, I love Van Gogh,,and Monet. I know you were so enjoying all of that little tour. So beautiful!!!!
I so hope to go there one day.

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

WOW...WOW....triple WOW Jeanie! Another lovely leg of your journey, the rose petals....the puppeteer...the ART...thank you for spreading so much light with your photos and words!
oxo ~*~ Patty

BONNIE K said...

Wonderful pix. I am finding this so entertaining!

Relyn said...

A perfect day, my friend. A perfect day. It made me happy just to travel along beside you. Even if I never did get to leave Missouri.

jet1960 said...

You have made some wonderful memories in your trip and I appreciate you sharing them with us via your lovely photography and eloquent writing.

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