Monday, December 08, 2008

Paris Vacation.. Musee D'Orsay and Centre Pompidou

A quick review of some of the art galleries and Museums I visited on my brief trip to Paris.Id suggest planning which museums and artists interest you beforehand and checking on prices,opening days and hours before you set off.There are various discount options available if you intend to visit many places or for any length of time.Most of the museums and tourist attractions were around the seven euro region.The most expensive admission price from memory was 10 euros for the Centre Pompidou while entry to Rodins Garden was I thought a bargain at just 1 euro.
Id also recommend getting to the places as early as possible to avoid herds of tour groups and school parties and not doing more than one or two places a day.I found a morning of peering at Cubists and Surrealist paintings did my head in and I needed something more diverting.

The Musee D'Orsay is a converted railway station on the banks of the Seine River.It features art from the 1840s to the early 1900s.It takes up from the Northern European art of the Louvre.The airy sunny top floors feature lots of Impressionist paintings as well as PostImpressionist and Art Nouveau artists.Cezanne,Monet and Van Gogh works feature prominently.There are also a number of Manet,Degas and Renoir works.
The lower floors feature decorative art and architecture.There was a small exhibition of Japanese porcelain on show while another temporary exhibit had a collection of various masks on display.
The centre aisle of the museum is lined with various sculptures and busts as can be seen in the shot above.

One of the pieces of sculpture on display at the Musee D'Orsay

Centre Pompidou
This unusual building with a kind of exo-skeleton of escalators,pipes and external supports contains works by Surrealists,Cubists and later schools of artists such as the Futurists.The works on display come after those at the Louvre and the Orsay so its logical to see them in that order if you have the time and interest.
Riding to the 6th floor enables you not only to see the temporary exhibits but you can also get great views of the Paris skyline.
The permanent collection is on the 5th and 4th floors and includes works by such artists as Matisse,Miro,Picasso and Pollack.Not only are there paintings on show but such things as sculpture,collages and mobiles also feature.
There is a library on the third floor with a cinema,public area,shop and cafe on the lower levels.

An example of Miros work on display.There are also some of Miro's mobiles on show.

One of the temporary sculptured pieces on the lower floors of the Centre.After looking at the disembodied works of Picasso and Braque above it came as a relief to see something I could understand and relate to without thinking too much about what I was looking at.
While the Centre Pompidou is a little more expensive than the average museum or gallery I think the building itself and the variety of art work inside more than justifies the extra expenditure.Like the Musee D'Orsay its well worth a visit even if you are only vaguely interested in art.

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