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!


Virginia said...

Merci beaucoup mille fois mon amie!!! I am so very flattered that my photographs have brought you pleasure. May I just say that your photos brought back some nice memories from my 2007 visit there. The bear was a favorite of my granddaughter Eva's and mine as well. Oh, and I love those ladies. I'm partial to "full figured" women. ahhhheemmm!

I will continue to post photos on my Paris blog as long as I can find anything remotely interesting. When they are done, and I have to stop it will be trés difficile. Like closing a book I think. But that will be a sign it's time to sashay myself right back to Paris!!!

PS I loved the modern art museum next to Palais de Tokyo!!

Owen said...

Hi, thanks for dropping in and signing up to follow my humble little blog... Have you been to the Maillol Museum ? (61 rue de Grenelle) They had a good exhibit of paintings by Seraphine recently, about whom a movie was made not too long ago... another of the many gems in Paris...

Coltrane_lives said...

Just discovered your blog, having lept over from PDP. You are talented. Keep up this cool site if you can. Informative too. Also, a shout out to Virginia above. Ciao.

Peter said...

Good that you found Virginia (and me)!

I agree about the Tate Modern! Next year you should be able to visit a new modern art museum in Paris, payed by LVMH (Louis Vuitton etc...) and designed by Frank Gehry. Let's see what it will give, but already the building will of course be something!

Joolie said...

I was poking through your archives and had to stop to say that I love the polar bear so much too. They had cool little replicas in the gift shop, and I'm still kicking myself for not buying one. Anyway, hi!