Louvre, home to such renown masterpieces as the Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory.
Many are familiar with the Musee d'Orsay, the transformed train station that now houses many of the world's most famous Impressionist paintings.
And I am certain those who enjoy modern art have heard of the Centre Pompidou, a crisp, clean museum that houses an incredible collection as well as a comprehensive gift shop.
But Paris is also home to several smaller, equally excellent museums offering focused collections of art. There is the Musee Rodin (the thinker), the Musee Marmottan (19th century townhouse filled with some of Monet's original work), and my personal favorite, the Musee de l'Orangerie.
Museum Pass. If you plan to stay in Paris for any extended period of time, this pass is well worth the money. The first advantage is that it allows you to by-pass the ticket line; if you subscribe to the theory that time is money, then you know this value. Additionally, it allows you to revisit museums as often as you like - for the duration of the pass (2 - 4 - or 6 days). This is quite handy with such large collections as found at the Louvre or the Pompidou.
On the day I planned to visit the Tuileries Garden, Louvre, and d'Orsay ... I arrived a bit early, and since I had already purchased the pass, I decided to visit the l'Orangerie; after all, it was free.
This museum is tucked away at the front of the Garden, and the entrance to the museum offers a rather nice view of the Eiffel Tower. In fact, I debated about sitting on one of the benches and having a picnic lunch, but resisted.
As you walk the circumference, you can almost hear the rippling water and smell the fragrant flowers. The work in the first room is a bit more vibrant; those showcased in the second room Monet painted in his later years, and you can identify his failing eyesight in the muted scenes.
To view the murals in the manner in which they were meant to be seen is worth the cost of admission. However... downstairs there is an entire museum of other Impressionist art... introducing me to new artists that I dearly loved. In fact, when I return to Paris I plan to revisit this museum again... and again... and again.
I will leave you with a few of the other works of art that I found mesmerizing.
|Femme a la mandoline - Mattisse|
|Le Petit Patissier - Soutine|
|La Maison Bernot - Utrillo|
|Portrait de Mlle Chanel - Laurencin|