Musée d'Orsay

Sunday 1/11/09

View of the central section of the museum (which used to be a train station):


Emilie led us through the Musée d’Orsay, which holds French art made between 1848 and 1915. When we entered the museum, I was surprised by its interior: it was once a railway station, and still looked like one. We started our tour on the first floor, where we looked at some of the paintings that had been accepted into the official Salon and others that had not. I thought it was enlightening to compare them, and it was ironic that a lot of the paintings that were not accepted, such as “Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe” by Edouard Manet, became more famous than the ones that were.

Outside of the musuem:


My favorite part, though, was the top floor, which had paintings by many impressionists, such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, and others. It felt strange to finally see the originals of the paintings such as “Bal au Moulin de la Galette” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which had appeared in my textbooks for so many years. I also particularly enjoyed the pointillist paintings by Seurat and Signac. I liked looking at them from far away and then coming closer and examining the brush strokes. Impressionism is my favorite art movement, so this museum was really memorable for me. It reminded me how much I love drawing and painting and inspired me to start creating art of my own again. If only I had more free time at MIT…


Some paintings we saw:

Orsay3 Orsay4