Musée d’Orsay is an art museum meant for returning. Unlike the Louvre which can be overwhelming and exhausting, I find d’Orsay manageable and always providing a refreshing visit. The museum offers a world renown collection of art from the 19th century Impressionism movement. This movement was born in Paris so it’s no surprise they have the collection they do.
I find Impressionism to lend itself to endless examination. Looking at a painting for the first time you may see obvious details that leave you inspired, even speechless. A second examination may offer a completely new insight to what the artist was trying to achieve. On a third visit, many years later, you may walk right by the work and not even notice it. And a fourth visit years later you may “discover” it again.
Like people, art is often judged before it is deeply known. We react to how it makes us feel, categorize it, and then observe it over time. The layers of paint that Impressionism offers make this relationship to art much richer. The colors of a Van Gogh reveal themselves over many decades and chance meetings, not all at once.
Another aspect I like about the museum is the Art Nouveau section. I love the body and shape of Art Nouveau – the way things curve and twist like vines growing from metal. It seems other worldly to me and I don’t know why everything isn’t made in an art nouveau style!
Here were a few of my favorites I saw at the d’Orsay:
Some Art Nouveau works:
After the d’Orsay we headed out and got some coffee. We didn’t want to share the fate of these two tired tourists I saw on a d’Orsay bench: