Notes from Paris – Musee d’Orsay et Giverny


Yep, that is THE bridge from THE painting!

Paul Cezanne, Renoir, Monet, Manet, Vincent Van Gogh, Rousseau, Klimt, Matisse, Gauguin, Maurice Denis, Sisely, Degas, Edward Burne-Jones and the names go on…

We visited the Musee d’Orsay this morning. Wowsers! All the painters that I’ve heard of for so long (from C of course!) and here were their paintings, in the flesh so to speak – and they did paint a lot of flesh didn’t they?

And not just one or two paintings from each, or even 1/2 a dozen, but stacks and stacks, rooms full! I even saw the painting by Van Gogh of ‘The Church at Auvers-sur-Oise’ that was made famous by a Dr Who episode! You didn’t realise how cultured I was didja?

Naturally C was blown away. Most of her favourite paintings were here in the one place and just so accessible. To put it in an Australian context, it’d be like the Geelong football club dropping into the North Hobart football oval to play a match! Pretty awesome eh?

We arrived at 9:45 thinking it had opened at 9.00, but found out it had actually opened at 9.30. And the queue! Took us 1/2 an hour to get in – bloody tourists! However, when we left, we felt a bit better, the queue had tripled!

Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos inside. Now why is that? In the Louvre you can take as many as you like, but don’t use a flash. Here, no photos or the guillotine gets some more action!

So, instead the photo below is from the forecourt which we were allowed to photo. The statue dates from 1878:


This afternoon we hopped on a bus. Ah, that was great. Have we told you have clever we have been in surrendering Suicide Sally (that was then name we gave our little Renault) and allowing others to convey us to our destination? Well, we should have.

Anyway, we headed off to Giverny, the home of Claude Monet and his famous garden which featured in many of his paintings. I want to spell this out in more detail, especially about the top photo. However, C says all of you are not ignorant and will understand.

Just in case you are, go and look in an art book book.

It was fantastic looking at the garden, in fact you could stand back and just see his paintings. For example:


In particular, it was fantastic having seen his paintings just that morning and then here we were in the very garden that featured in so many of them. Surreal.

Of course the place was full of bloody tourists again, getting in the way of my photos and being pushy. Had to use the elbows a few times again to get a bit of private space for a photo. At one stage 3 Asian ladies came out of his house, saw me and in a giggling fashion asked if I was Mr Monet!

Turns out he was a handsome bloke too, with a beard and a hat like mine! I said, ‘Non’ and explained that I was actually his Great Grandson. Had to pose for photos then. Love to be a fly on the wall when they get back home and show the photos to the rellies!

Here’s me doing my Monet impression:


Bed time. Palais Royale, Galerie Vivienne et utilising our Paris Visite card by playing on the Metro tomorrow.

Bon Soir.


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11 Responses to Notes from Paris – Musee d’Orsay et Giverny

  1. Lynne OCB says:

    Dear Mr Monet, where’s yr beret and painter’s smock? We’d love a quick painting of the gardens – pix are so cheap n’est ce pas?
    Cheryl – hope yr enjoying artist heaven – wish I was ……

    • Jim Wilson says:

      You are right Lyn. I’ll knock up a quick one of the gardens when we come home. Should have seen C yesterday – walking around with her mouth open all the time!

  2. Tim O'Loughlin says:

    Jim, I can just hear you carefully explaining that you are not Monet but his great grandson to the tourists and them going ahhhh and taking photos! Hope Cheryl is in painting heaven, sounds wonderful. Enjoy and hope you still have some headspace left for Italia.

    Tim O

  3. BILL PERRY says:

    Hmm. Equivalent to Geelong playing at North Hobart? I don’t think so Msr Monet.
    Your great grandfather happens to be my favourite French artist. I have a print of Le Pont Japonais on my living room wall ex Chickenfeed. Ya couldn’t get me the original by any chance? Keep having fun you two.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      You have great taste Bill. Pity you hadn’t put your order in earlier. I managed to stuff a small waterlillies painting up my shirt and got away with it. You’d think they’d have better security wouldn’t you?

      Guess they’ve got do many they don’t miss the odd one or two.

  4. Gail Foster says:

    It’s time I stopped planting my garden and started painting it! It looks a lot more lucrative!! I wonder if I could get Peter to knock me up a bridge….?

    C’est joli!!

    love Gail

  5. Kate says:

    It is strange seeing the ‘actual’ canvases that these famous names have stood at and wondered what bit to add or change or what colour to use. And France certainly has a good collection of those famous and talented artists. If its up your alley, there was an amazing Dali museum up some alley in Montmarte… but it might be a bit late depending on your itinerary. But I LOVED his illustrations for a book of Alice in Wonderland – all watercolour illustrations. I liked them heaps more than his usual dropping clocks. But I know you already went back to Montmarte and Sacre Coeur. We found (with the help of a local friend) the Amelie cafe there too.
    Keep enjoying – glad you’re able to soak it up rather than rushing around and ticking things off quite so madly – as is easy to do in places jam packed with iconic things.


    • Jim Wilson says:

      G’day Kate, you’re right about seeing the actual paintings. There’s a few that C has never liked all that much, but seeing them in the flesh has changed her opinion. They are so much more ‘alive’ than photos or reproductions.

      Probably won’t get back to Montmartre but was hoping to. Fingers crossed! Had a good day today just wandering to various shopping centres – well C certainly enjoyed it! Last day in Paris tomorrow, ready to come back already!

  6. Culture overload here too: we did the Uffizi Gallery >and< David today. And we had to queue for half an hour even with the pre-booked tickets!

    • Jim Wilson says:

      We’ve discovered that with pre-booked tickets in Paris, you can walk straight in! I remember reading that back in Tassie! Aarrgghh.

      Last day in Paris tomorrow, then some serious veging out at Bellagio – complete with wifi!

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