Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Paris visit

I’ve just returned from a short visit with my mum, sister and her boyfriend to the most beautiful city of Paris!

 We stayed at a lovely hotel just off the Tuilerie gardens on the Rue de Rivoli, which if you know Paris is extremely close to both the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay.
 We were blessed with exceptional weather as you can see from the photographs however as I did spend most of my time in the art galleries it didn’t really affect me!

I have been to the Louvre before although then, much to my dismay, the Dutch wing was shut, this time however it was not so I did get to see two fantastic Vermeers, ‘The Lacemaker’ and ‘The Astronomer’. Another favourite for me was Holbeins Anne of Cleeves portrait, you see she looked lovely in Holbeins painting but clearly old Henry wasn't impressed with the real thing!

The highlight of my trip however was the Musee d’Orsay as it contained paintings from the movement I particularly like which is the Naturalists. No John Singer Sargents were there but a lovely portrait by his mentor Carolus Duran was on display.

The current exhibition at the Musee is the Manet Exhibition, which I enjoyed thoroughly and was particularly interested in seeing a painting of the above-mentioned Carolus Duran. The painting was framed but clearly was only the under-painting so it gave a little insight into his technique, which I found very informative.

I do confess to getting a little irritated by some peoples indifference to the paintings, maybe it was just me who was besides herself at the joy of standing in front of Whistlers mother! Ah well, the good thing about that was whilst most people were falling over themselves to see the Van Gogh’s and Degas (which were lovely) I could enjoy the experience of marvelling at the Bouguereaus in relative peace!

I loved ‘Cast Shadows‘ by Emile Friant and Léon Lhermitte’s ‘Paying the Harvesters’ but I think the highlight of the exhibition for me, just edging the Buguereaus, was ‘Haymaking’ by Jules Bastein-Lepage (above), just a wonderfully simple but naturalistic painting!

Paris was wonderful and I will certainly return!