Monday, September 28, 2009

28th September: 10 top art museums in Paris

One of the things I know I will be doing in Paris is visiting various museums and art galleries.
TIP: Pay careful attention to websites or guide books as to the days on which museums are closed. They don't all close on the same day but they do all somehow manage to close on one of the days you've decided to be in Paris! Check before you visit to avoid disappointment.
Here's a list of some of the ones I want to get to. You can take a virtual visit! :)

Musée du Louvre - 6 million visitors each year come to the Louvre to see western art from the Middle ages to 1848 (paintings, sculptures, objets d'art and Prints and drawings), and art from antique civilizations (Oriental, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities). (information for visiting - Closed on Tuesdays)

Monet's paintings of Rouen Cathedral in the Musée d'Orsay

Musée d'Orsay. Musée d'Orsay is a national museum created from a former railway station by the Ministry of Culture. It opened on 9 December 1986 and showcases art of the western world created between 1848 and 1914. It now gets more than three millions visitors each year - and is one of my all time favourite museums. If I've got time I will be sketching paintings - except I can't remember whether or not I'm allowed. (Info for visitors - location, reviews etc. Closed on Mondays)

Musée d'Orsay - looking down through the levels of this former railway station

Check out:
National Museum of Modern Art - Centre Georges Pompidou (aka the Pompidou Centre by the English and the Beaubourg by the locals). Besides being a very spectacular building the Pompidou Centre houses one of the world's leading collections of 20th century art of c.53,000 works. You can take a virtual tour via the website.

Musée de l’Orangerie is located at the Place de la Concorde end of the Jardin des Tuileries.
It reopened in 2006 after being shut for a £31m renovation which lasted six years. refurbishment project in May 2006. Its main claim to fame is that, in its basement, it houses Les Nympheas - the enormous waterlily murals painted by Monet. They are formally known as the Grand Decorations and they attract around half a million visitors a year. (Info for visitors Closed on Tuesdays)

Musée Marmottan is near the Bois de Boulogne. It's the home of Impression, Sunrise and includes a very large collection of works by the Impressionists and post Impressionists. (Info for visitors. Late opening on Tuesdays)
In 1966 Michel Monet, the painter's second son, left the family property at Giverny to the Académie des Beaux Arts and the collection of pictures inherited from his father to the Marmottan Museum. This gave the Museum the world's largest collection of works by Claude Monet. Jules and Paul MARMOTTAN
Last time I was in Paris there was a major exhibition at the Grand Palais. We were queuing out the door and round the foutain to see the blockbuster Turner, Whistler and Monet exhibition! The building was home to the 1900 Universal Exhibition. Currently it's home to the Renoir in the 20th century exhibition.

The queue for Turner Whistler Monet
outside the Grand Palais - October 2004

Just opposite the Orangerie is the Galerie de Nationale du Jeu de Paume: This is another national gallery and is a museum of photographic art. It's located in the north-west corner of the Tuileries Gardens.

Museums devoted to individuals include:

Musée Picasso
- currently closed for refurbishment. 5, rue de Thorigny, 75003 (Info. for visiting)
The Picasso Museum opened to the public in 1985. Devoted solely to Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), the museum provides a unique opportunity to follow the artist's development throughout his career from 1894 to 1972. The collection was started with the works that the French State received in payment of death duties. it was bequest with 251 paintings, 160 sculptures, 16 collages, 29 relief paintings, 107 ceramics, 1,500 drawings, 58 notebooks, and his entire engraving works complete with the various stages of each plate and illustration. Over 100,000 archive items, photographs, letters, manuscripts and documents make this the largest and most comprehensive collection of Picasso's life and work in the world.
Musée Rodin - 77, rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris. Bronze and marble work by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), works by Camille Claudel, Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir plus large sculptures in the garden. (Info. for visiting)

Musée National Eugène Delacroix - 6 Rue de Furstenberg 75 006 Paris. Delacroix's last home and studio (1798-1863). Work and documents by the artist and his circle. (Info. for visiting)

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