Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Inspired by Virginia

One of my favorite blogs is Virginia Jones' Paris Through My Lens. Virginia is a wonderful photographer and she uses her skills to illuminate Paris and other parts of France, a place she obviously loves as much as I do. Yesterday she inspired me with a post about the juxtaposition of the artwork and the architecture in the fabled Musée d'Orsay.

The d'Orsay isn't my favorite museum in Paris -- I'm much more of a modern & contemporary art person, so while I appreciate the beauty of all this gorgeous 19th Century (-ish) stuff, it doesn't really tug at me like the things you might find in the Palais de Tokyo or (my favorite museum on Earth) the Tate Modern. Or a new great favorite, the Modern in Ft. Worth -- I had a delirious afternoon there earlier this year, in a delighted stupor of architecture worship and art overload. If you can get there, GO!!

The most wonderful thing about the d'Orsay (to me) is that is used to be a real, live building before it was a museum -- it was a train station and thank heavens the resourceful Parisians decided it was better to save it and bung a lot of art into it than tear it down and lose an irreplaceable and extraordinary example of fin de siècle architecture.

Forthwith, some of my favorite photos from my visit there, in August of 2005.

François Pompon -- Polar Bear

I think the bear might have been my favorite thing in the whole building -- isn't he delightful? (Not to mention that his creator was named "Pompon!" How fun!) Click on the captions for more information about the works. As you can see, even in the Musée d'Orsay, my eye goes to the most modernistic of the artwork. Everyone raves about the passion and emotive qualities of Rodin's sculpture, but I'm much more moved by the serenity & simplicity of Maillol's.

So thanks, Virginia, for inspiring me to look back on these great works!