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We almost forgot about this post which was kept in draft form for the last 5 months.

Musee d’Orsay is probably the second most visited art museum in Paris after Le Louvre. So many of you may have seen the place already.

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We were in Paris earlier this year. The lines for entrance tickets to the museum were so hopelessly long on the first day we went, that we just gave up and saw some other sights. On the second day, we went earlier and because it was drizzling, the lines were considerably shorter. We applied some patience and luckily got in only after about 30 minutes of waiting.

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The museum used to be a railway station – Gare d’Orsay – which was completed in 1900 and in use until 1939.

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By 1939 the station’s short platforms had become unsuitable for the longer trains that had come to be used for mainline services.

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There are people walking behind the glass above the clock, their shadows fading in and out. I made a short video of it and here is a snapshot.

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The station was slated to be demolished in 1970 but saved by the minister of culture. In 1974, a study of its conversion into a museum was commissioned.

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A competition was held in 1978 to find the best design of the museum, which was won by ACT – a team of 3 French architects.

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Aspects of the train station structure are still visible.

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The museum was officially opened in 1986. It holds 2000+ paintings and 600+ sculptures.

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Photography is generally not allowed in the museum. So I put my camera away while in a gallery. I made an exception with this painting.

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Personally (Chris), I did not like this museum but cannot give a specific reason. Yes, the architecture is interesting. Perhaps, the exhibition space is so vast that many of the pieces, even the sculptures, lost some of its presence and potency.

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But it has a restaurant with a nice period decor. Too bad it was not opened.

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I did enjoy the temporary exhibition titled “The Angel of the Odd. Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst” (L’ange du bizarre. Le romantisme noir de Goya à Max Ernst) which suggests a certain influence these artists may have on the development of horror movies. Click here to see a description of the exhibition and a short introductory video.

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Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926) – “The Death of the Gravedigger” 1900. If the image interests you, click here for a more detailed presentation of Dark Romanticism.

In the end, I think, unless they have a special exhibition, I do not see a need to return to M’O any time soon.

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2 Comments

  1. I went there over 20 years ago. What happen to their impressionist paintings?

  2. One lady tried to cut the line. She just hovered near by in front of us and then she just sorta moved along with the people in line. Chris gently tapped her on her shoulders and told her that the line starts “waaaay” over there. lol. But guess what? She did move back, but she still cut the line.


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