What I did on my travels pt1

 

Half term and I needed an arty break! Off I travelled to Paris for the third time in a year, primarily to see Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark on the last night of their tour, but also to go to one of my favourite places: Musee d’Orsay. 

Went along early and found some more gems. So, here’s a random rundown of my favourite finds. 

Art Nouveau

I’m doing an online course about Art Nouveau so went to apply my knowledge to their collection: 

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Vilhem Hammershoi

On my very first visit, the room one of these was displayed in was closed but now, after four years of waiting, they are together again.  Whenever you are in the same room as a Hammershoi, all the tension and anxiety you may be feeling simply melts away. 

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Social Realism

Degas and Calliebotte never fail to let me down and these two are such fine examples of social realism. The Absinthe Drinker first came to my attention on the cover of Emile Zola’s ‘L’Assomoir’. The woman’s face and demeanour simply shouts weariness at you. Would highly recommend the book, too! 

 

A new gallery

There is a new gallery on the fifth floor and it includes a room of Van Gogh’s work. It was simply divine as it was a little empty and it meant getting close to Vincent. I’ve started to realise that all human emotion can be found in Vincent’s paintings. When you get close to those deep, vibrant brush strokes, you feel the same urge to run your fingers through it, in the same way you might reach out for a hand you’ve known forever. 

 

This was one I did not think I had not seen before: The Church in Auvres-sur-Oise, View of the Chevet from 1890. Was completely bowled over by this one, and think this has to now be one of my favourites.  

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When I was researching it, I realised that I had seen it…in an episode of Doctor Who! It’s cheesy, but this clip is so moving, it never fails to make me cry. The Doctor and Vincent 😢

Statues

Now, I do like a good statue and this one, Le Jeune Tarentine by Alexandre Schoenewerk is a beauty of the highest order: 

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It has everything you are looking for but I do feel that we get a little shortchanged with the male equivalent. Sculptures show off rippling muscles and ‘macho’ stances a little too often, or you get the youthful look which is a little uncomfortable to take any aesthetic pleasure from.  However, as luck would have it, this perfect work would make an ideal companion: ‘Le Mort d’Abel’ by Vincent Feugère des Forts, 1865. 

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Think this gives me an excuse to slot in Statues by OMD 

Was Paris worth it? Given that I was seeing my favourite band in a city I love, with a great bunch of fans from all  over Europe, and I spend hours wandering my top gallery in peace and quiet, I would say, “mais oui!!”

However, won’t say the same about Rouen the next day, but that’s another post entirely 😁