My strategy to beat the endless crowds is a pretty obvious one – the early bird gets to the head of the queue !!! ...
So, an early rise, rug up and the metro into Paris Central sees me sixth in line at Musee d’Orsay at 8.45am … the doors open at 9.30 and by then the line zig-zagged back and forth covering the whole forecourt …
One of Paris' most beautiful museums is the d'Orsay - the history of this building is quite unusual – situated in the centre of Paris on the banks of the Seine, on land that was once part of the royal gardens of Henry IV. It had many owners and users over the centuries until the French government ceded the land to build a railway station and hotel for the World Fair of 1900. It remained a suburban station then until 1975 when the government classified it as an Historical Monument, and decided to convert it into a new museum, in which all of the arts from the second half of the 19th century would be represented.
The Museum was opened to the public in 1986 and now displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914.
The Museum is quite beautiful inside and the collection of artworks, fascinating - with many large galleries running off to the sides of the central court and representing all the Impressionists from van Gough to … well, them all … gallery after gallery after gallery … quite beautiful. The main court exhibits a stunning collection of marble and stone sculptures.
Photography in the Museum is frowned on, but I was able to sneak the odd shot ... and when not swooning over the works, I had a full time job dodging the guards who, after 3 hours of following me I think had worked out what I was doing and how I was using my camera, and were just about to throw me out when I left of my own accord in haste.
As you can probably tell from the number of images taken, I was most impressed with the modern marble and stone works. Such fine craftsmanship and very romantic subjects.
Many of the paintings were exhibited in very dark light-controlled galleries, so photography was out of the question. These galleries were overflowing with masterpieces by van Gough, Pisarro, Cezanne, Renoir, Degas and so many more of their contemporaries.
Whilst in the Art Deco furniture gallery I did happen to stumble on this stunning self portrait by an obscure Australian artist whose name I did not recognize !!!
I hope you enjoyed this wander through the d'Orsay ... join me tomorrow and we might climb a few more steps to view the roof tops of Paris ...