Day Five: M’O

27 Dec. 2009

Bonjour!P1090544

This was after we got out of the Musée; as always, it was windy.

Sorry for the delay in posting! I think I’ve figured out a more efficient way to do this and add pictures (Windows Live Writer)! (Granted, it was my mom’s suggestion via Skype. And it does work, because my last post was written on Live Writer. It was much easier than putting in pictures and dragging them up and down the post on Blogger. IT EVEN LETS ME ADD ACCENTS! xD

[Sorry, I’m a bit overly enthusiastic about it. It’s making my life easier, so hopefully posts won’t take me hours to write anymore…]

P1090516 Medusa!

Anyway, dad and I finally made it INSIDE Musée D’Orsay (vraiment this time!) [Vraiment = truly but I think they use it for “really”, too.] The line was already long, despite the fact that when we arrived it was only 10:30 (it opens at 9:30). To waste time (and since we hadn’t eaten yet), we had “brunch”” yet again. [More crepes and FINALLY some hot chocolate with WHIPPED CREAM. Except it’s more expensive that way, and it’s called something different. Chocolat vinneois, I think; I forgot to write down what it was.)P1090479

By the time we were finished with brunch, the lines had passed the boundaries and people were squished together as the line wrapped around lampposts and past people selling more hot chestnuts. (They’re everywhere! As are the people selling miniature Eiffel Towers.) We waited in line for thirty minutes (maybe more), but at last, we made it INSIDE the Musée!P1090481

We wandered through all the open exhibits—many are closed or moved because they’re renovating. We saw the Impressionists, Post-impressionists, and a few other styles that I couldn’t name but Dad probably could. HA, NEVERMIND. He just handed me the map/guide.

*Ahem* (I’m about to quote the map.)

“From November 2009 to Marche 2011, the museum will be carrying out major renovation work on its museographic areas, leading to the closure of level 5.
During this period, your visit will begin on level 0, where you will view the large realist paintings of Courbet and the first works of Manet, Monet, and Cézanne together with impressionists and postimpressionists, sculpture collections (Carpeaux, Daumier…), as well as paintings from the 180s and 60s (Ingres, Delacroix, Degas…).
This continues on to level 2 with the masterpieces of French and Belgian Art Nouveau, foreign schools of painting, symbolism (Homer, Burne-Jones…), and naturalism (Gervex, Lhermitte…).
Lastly, there are two temporary exhibitions showing: ‘James Ensor’ and ‘Art Nouveau Revival’. To keep informed of what’s happening in the museum during the renovation work, go to www.musee-orsay.fr.”

(*whew*. Good thing that was in English.)

I’m glad we gave ourselves time to look through everything! We were there from 11:30ish to 2:45. I discovered an artist I had never heard of but I liked—Armand Guillaumin.

P1090493 Those are two of Guillaumin’s pieces behind me. Pretty, right?!

The Van Gogh, Monet, and Degas exhibits seemed to be the most popular (you should recognize those names. Well, maybe not Degas, but the first two… If you don’t recognize the first two, then we have a bit of a problem!). The temporary exhibit about James Ensor was quite popular—he was a Belgian painter, and he was really quite egotistical! He painted 112 self-portraits, if that gives you any idea… in one of them, he was Jesus! xD (oh, artists…)

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The painting behind me is Van Gogh’s Portrait de l’artiste.

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We don’t remember what this painting is called (Le Bal?), or the artist that painted it. But it was REALLY detailed.

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Dad actually knows some of the famous paintings that I didn’t recognize, but he took pictures of me in front of them anyway.

P1090497 Notice how awkward I look.P1090504

We thought this was cool. Don’t remember the artist or title, of course.

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One of the statues. Some of the statues were really funny… naked boys frolicking. *is slightly immature* xD

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I thought this statue was cool (artist: Degas); the skirt she’s wearing and the ribbon on her ponytail are real fabric.

I had to take a break after seeing everything on the ground floor; I was inspired and exhausted, so I sat down in the statue gallery to relax. I really liked the Impressionist/postimpressionism; I like the softness of the paintings. Some of the more “fantastic” pieces were particularly interesting (like the Medusa painting near the beginning of this post; the artist that painted that had these great colorful pieces!) I wrote some and people-watched, which I feel is a fine way to spend time in an art gallery.

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(I also attempted to take a picture of the really awesome clock.)

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I failed, but Dad succeeded. So that’s the awesome clock! 😀

I think we both started getting really exhausted towards the end; we breezed through the 2nd level. We did stop to take a good look at a couple things.

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Like this; it made us laugh. Actually, I still find it rather funny.

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I’ll let you interpret this one for yourself. There are twelve naked men in this picture. (This was right next to the painting pictured above. )

The Art Nouveau Revival and Naturalism exhibits weren’t that exciting, but I did learn that Art Nouveau Revival has some elements of eroticism… which was not so subtle in some pieces like a table that hade a not-very-clothed mannequin as the base. [Note for the confused: Art Nouveau Revival is the style associated with the 1960s—the often psychedelic patterns and colors, I guess. The cover of the Beatles’ album Revolver is an example of the style.](You just learned something, didn’t you?)

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This was in the Naturalism exhibition. That is, indeed, a toilet. Shaped like a fly. Gotta love art… xD

Having seen everything we wanted to see and glanced through the exhibits we weren’t so interested in, we finally left Musée d’Orsay and headed over to Père Lachaise Cemetary (of course getting there was far too complicated). Late lunch was from a Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant because we like Vietnamese food and Dad is on a perpetual search for the PERFECT spring rolls. (No, really; we had these great spring rolls at a Vietnamese restaurant in San Jose with family friends back when I was a sixth grader and he still hasn’t found spring rolls that are just right.) [And it was delicious, but the porc (pork) spring rolls > crevette (shrimp) spring rolls> poulet (chicken) spring rolls.]

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The Père Lachaise Cemetary is the most-visted cemetary in Paris; Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Pissarro, Oscar Wilde, and lots of other famous people are buried there. The tombs are really intricate and pretty; it’s hilly there, so you see all these moss-covered tombs, some with flowers, but many looking forgotten, with cobblestone lanes surrounded by bare trees… it’s really beautiful.

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We had just entered; I’m not very good at looking solemn.

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This captures the atmosphere of it quite well. Isn’t it beautiful, though?

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Dad in front of Jim Morrison’s grave, looking properly sad.

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Oscar Wilde’s tomb. It’s covered in kisses. Lipstick apparently stains stone…P1090558

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Chopin’s tomb is also quite popular to see.

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Edith Piaf’s tomb; I’m not very good at looking sad so I’ll not put that picture of me trying-and-failing to look sad. So yeah. Happy at a tomb…

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QUICK! Distraction!

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We think this is Pissarro’s tomb; it’s so very gaudy, and Pissarro’s tomb was supposed to be around here but we forgot whose tomb we were looking for. xD

Okay, so that’s enough about the cemetery. That’s all we did then; dinner was McDonalds (fail, I know) because that was the ONLY THING open on our street that looked edible (surprisingly) and was cheap. On the bright side, we didn’t get food poisoning! 🙂

That is all. Hope you had an equally marvelous day!

-Aly

P.S. Today’s Day Six. Again with the late posting. But we haven’t done much today, since we’re currently on the train to Saint Raphaël.

(ACTUALLY, since I couldn’t get on the internet to post this last night, today is DAY SEVEN. We’re currently in Fréjus and we met my host family last night :D)

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