The next day was Sunday, so we got up a little late and headed for the Avenue Haussmann with the hope of having lunch under Printemp’s famed stained glass dome. When we got there, the entire area, it turned out, was devoid of people and all the stores were closed. Not only was it Bastille Day weekend, it was summertime, when all the real Parisians leave town.
Revived, we began exploring this museum, the result of Edouard André and his wife Nélie Jacquemart’s collecting. They were a childless couple who spent their lives and fortunes designing, building and then decorating this sumptuous mansion.
From there we cut over to the Champs Elysee, where we found all the people. At least tourists out for a stroll. Admiring buildings while getting in position to get a good picture of the Arc de Triomphe with the flags still up from Bastille Day. There was a nice Art Nouveau arcade of shops and the Toyota showroom highlighting their artistic side.
Since most museums were closed on Mondays, we took advantage and looked at the Art one might find at the largest flea markets in Paris at Clignancourt and the Rue des Rosiers: Marché Vernaison, Marché Antica, Marché Cambo, Marché Biron, Marché Dauphine. They seem to all run together and we were not disappointed. Everything from a six-foot Eiffel tower made from matchsticks to a little carved wooden bear we took home.
Then back downtown for some Art.
studio of Brancusi at Centre Pompidou
The Orsay Metro stop was being renovated, so we had a long walk before arriving at the Musée d'Orsay. There we were greeted with a long serpentine line of people waiting to get tickets. We just joined the fray. The special exhibit was entitled From Cezanne to Picasso: Masterpieces from the Ambroise Vollard Gallery.
The Art of another painter in the museum caught our eye. Please allow me to insert a short bio here:
Marie died in her Paris apartment on June 8, 1956 and was buried in the cemetery Père-Lachaise, according to her wishes, dressed in white with a rose in one hand and Apollinaire’s love letters by her heart. Click here for a few of her paintings.
Group of Artists
We ate lunch on the terrace outside the museum café, overlooking the Seine, before continuing with the orgy of Art. The museum is broken down into: 1) Impressionist and Post-Impressionist (Cézanne, Gaugin, Matisse, Pissarro, Redon, Seurat, Signac, Sisley, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Whistler, Pont Aven, Nabis ); 2) Academics, Naturalism, Symbolism, Art Nouveau (Denis, Gaudi, Klimt, Maillol, Munch, Rodin, Vuillard); and 3) Pre-Impressionism (Degas, Delacroix, Ingres, Renoir, Manet, Monet).
On the way to Gare de Lyon, we discovered Le Viaduc des Arts. Rather than tearing down the old (1859) brick-and-stone viaduct that carried suburban trains until the 1970s, the city converted the one-mile from the Opéra Bastille to the Jardin de Reuilly into a pedestrian promenade. Next the vaulted spaces beneath the rail line were converted into craftsmen's workshops and galleries - from cabinet and musical-instrument makers, to fashion designers, textile restorers, and other businesses related to the arts.
Across the Seine was the Jardin des Plantes where we found this recycled dragon sculpture and a carousel of prehistoric animals. Continuing along the river, we found the Musée de la Sculpture en Plein Air, in the Tino Rossi Jardin. An open-air sculpture museum diagonally across from Île St. Louis, it had sculptures from the second half of the 20th century by Brancusi, Gilioli, César and others.
|Abellio by Aglae Liberaki|
The Musée d’Art Moderne of the city of Paris was housed in the former Palais de Tokyo, overlooking the Seine. Admission is charged for the special exhibits but the permanent collection is free. We began with two parts of the Henri Matisse triptych La Danse (1931-33) and ten other paintings from the collection of Henry Thomas. Through other donations there were paintings by: Rouault, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Raoul Dufy, Marcel Gromaire and many others. This was previously the location for the national museum of modern art before it moved to the Pompidou Center.
La Fontaine, le corbeau et le renard
While the mansion and its Napoleonic artwork were the original gift of Marmottan, the featured collections were from later bequests. First, in 1957, there was the collection of the physician to Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Sisley and Renoir and one of the first lovers of impressionist painting. Then in 1966 Michel Monet, the painter's second son, left the collection of his father’s paintings, for which an underground exhibition hall was built to house what is the largest repository of Monet. The collection of Denis and Annie Rouart, given in 1996, had many Impressionist paintings, mostly Berthe Morisot which were displayed upstairs as part of the largest collection of Morisot in the world. I found it interesting that the building was originally a hunting lodge which fit the location even now near the edge of the Bois. It may have been in the woods when Marmottan bought it in 1882.
After the Ball by Berthe Morisot
Le Soleil Levant by Monet, 1872
The majority of our non-Art time was spent seeking carousels – Les Manèges – in every corner of the city. Even though Musée des Arts Forains, which has one of the world's finest collections of carousels, was closed for the summer, we were able to visit seventeen carousels and get a ride on most. Some were just too old to support an adult, or too small. Click here to see a video of our discoveries.