Friday, June 20, 2008

The Musee d'Orsay

This week has flown by and I have not had time to write a decent post about the Musee d'Orsay, until now. I have been interested in the Impressionists since I started teaching high school students and created lesson plans that would motivate my students to learn more about art history. Of course, Vincent van Gogh has always caught their attention because of his tragic life and his unique style. So I was very excited about going to the Musee d'Orsay to see their collection of Impressionists paintings. I wanted to give this museum a post all by itself. It took me awhile to decide which pictures to include. I went a little crazy taking pictures of the Impressionist paintings so I had a lot to choose from. I've posted them smaller because there are several, but you can click on them to see them larger. Especially the 'Bedroom in Arles' by Vincent van Gogh close up. You can see how thick the paint is in the picture. It was great to see it up close!

Inside the Main Hall of the Musee d'Orsay

So, here is the inside of the Musee d'Orsay in the main hall. This beautiful architecture was originally built as in 1898-1900 as a 'modern' passenger railway station. The site, in the center of Paris, is by the Siene River. Before this site was purchased, it was in ruins with two buildings that had burned down, during the insurrection (revolt) in 1871. The new railway station would be finished in time for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 and would be used as a busy railway station for many years. After WWII, its use became outdated and eventually closed. After being used for various things throughout the years and coming close to being demolished, finally in the 1970's, it was decided that it should be preserved and reopened in 1986 as the Musee d'Orsay.

Me taking a break after viewing all of the Impressionists paintings.

Me beside the painting by Vincent Van Gogh ~ "Bedroom at Arles"

Self Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh (close up)
If you click on the image, you will see a close up of the bold color, texture, and brushstrokes that Van Gogh is so well known for! Some of the other Impressionist artists that I love to look at up close are Claude Monet and Georges Seurat (pointillism).

Waterlily Pond, Symphony in Rose 1900 by Claude Monet ~ close up.

"The Circus" Georges Seurat, 1890-91.
Pointillism fascinates me and this was the first Seurat that I have seen in real life.
I think all artists are inspired by other artists, both living and historical. Do you have a favorite style or artist? Have you seen any up close and in real life?

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