There are so many museums and art galleries. It’s no wonder why there so many people going to Paris to learn and study art history. Just to visit the major, famous ones will take a whole week. Even if not into arts, people will be awed by the massive collection, the lively sculptures, the refined detail of the paintings.
In the week long stay in the city, we have been to Orsay Museum, Napoleon’s Tomb, Rodin Museum, Orangerie Museum, the Panthéon, plus Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel, Notre-Dame, Louvre (which will in separate posts).
The Orsay Museum is on the left bank of the Seine, across the Seine from the Louvre and the Tuileries. With 80 galleries, it holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It is probably best known for its extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces (the largest in the world) by such painters such as Monet, Manet, Van Gogh and so on. It’s not allowed to take pictures inside the museum.
The Napoleon’s Tomb is located in the National Residence of the Invalids (Hôtel des Invalids), which contains museums and monuments related to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans.
As Napoleon I, Napoleon Bonaparte was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815, and is best remembered for his role in the “Napoleonic Wars” led against France by a series of coalitions during which he established hegemony over much of Europe and sought to spread revolutionary ideals. His tomb, made of red quartzite with a green granite base, was finished in 1861. Some members of Napoleon’s family, several military officers who served under him, and other French military heroes are also buried around him.
(It was in this museum that I almost became a victim of pick-pocket. The man was sneaking behind me while I was busy taking pictures. Luckily, the police came in time and took him away. Apparently, the police has been watching him for a while.)
Rodin Meseum contains most of French sculptor Auguste Rodin’s significant creations, including The Thinker, The Kiss and The Gates of Hell. Many of his sculptures are displayed in the museum’s extensive garden.
The Orangerie Museum houses Claude Monet’s exquisite Nymphéas, in which water lilies float amorphously on the canvas. The lilies are displayed as Monet intended them to be — lit by the sunlight in large oval galleries that evoke the shape of the garden ponds.
The Panthéon is the “Temple of Fame”, a burial place distinguished French citizens such as poet Victor Hugo, writer Voltaire, philosopher Rousseau, physicist Marie Curie and her husband and so on.
Copyright © 2011 Jenson Yu. All rights reserved.