I’ve been to the Louvre and also the Getty out in California, but my favorite has to be the Musée d’Orsay. It was a healthy walk from where we were staying, and we took the hike and bought the tickets. Nine euros each and easily worth the price. From Wikipedia:
The Musée d’Orsay (French pronunciation: [myze dɔʁsɛ]) is a museum in Paris, France, on the left bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum’s opening in 1986. It is one of the largest art museums in Europe.
What used to be a large train station is now a grand hall that houses a luscious collection of statuary. What may have once been office and other work space is now a gallery of exhibition halls, housing a collection of some of the world’s most famous paintings. It’s along side the Seine, across the Tuillerie Gardens.
When we walked through twenty years ago I came upon this and thought, “Hot damn! What’s this doing here?”
And there’s lots of famous stuff with which I am completely unfamiliar.
Vincent van Gogh painted himself before he shot himself, and the finished product is right here.
Besides traditional art, the museum features classic works not usually considered art, such as period furniture.
There are at least two places to eat, one being a sit down diner, absolutely packed the day we went. This is on the top floor, a place with magnificent windows facing north and giving a grand view of the city. Twenty years ago you could go out onto the roof and get some clear photographs, but they keep the doors locked now.
The rest of the story is the grand hall and people wandering through, gazing at the works and wondering what people were thinking back then when they did it.
The Rodin tribute to Balzac is surely a replica, the original being in the nearby Rodin museum.
And at some point it’s time to gear up for the walk back to our digs.