Up Close and Personal with Monet at the l’Orangerie

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Today’s Paris memory is of the exquisite Musee de l’Orangerie, in which 8 of Monet’s huge water lily paintings (called the Nympheas) are displayed in two large ovals rooms designed in part by Monet himself so as to achieve the perfect lighting and ambiance. The effect is magical. Continue Reading →

My Louvre — Beyond the “Big Three”

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Today’s Paris memories are all about the fantastic art at the Louvre. Yes, most people maybe a beeline to see the Big Three (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace), but you can spend literally days in the huge museum and never see all of the pieces on display. Here are some of my favorites, Continue Reading →

Statues, Statues Everywhere

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One of the things I — and most visitors to Paris — admire most about the City of Light is the abundance of art that greets Parisians each and every day. From glorious architecture to historic fountains to large outdoor murals to anonymously scrawled street art, Paris offers something beautiful to gaze upon no matter where one looks. There’s so much public art that many have dubbed the city a massive “open-air museum.” And that “museum” includes statues and sculptures. Lots of statues and sculptures. In fact, Paris has more than 1,000 statues created by more than 400 artists on public display throughout the city. Continue Reading →

Up Close with Le Penseur at the Musee Rodin

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One of my favorite Paris Museums is the Musee Rodin, adjacent to the Invalides complex on the Right Bank. Opened in 1919, the museum is dedicated to French sculptor Auguste Rodin. The museum is housed in the 17th century Hotel Biron—a glorious mansion in which Rodin rented four rooms for his workshop from 1908 until his death in 1917—and the manor’s enormous gardens. Among the many pieces displayed at the museum are three of Rodin’s most famous works, including Le Penseur (The Thinker), Le Baiser (The Kiss) and La Porte de l’Enfer (The Gates of Hell). Continue Reading →

The History of Paris at the Musee Carnavalet

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The Musee Carnavalet chronicles the history of Paris from its founding in 250 B.C. to today’s 21st century center of business, art and culture. The collection is massive, and only a fraction is on display in the museum’s nearly 100 rooms. The museum houses 2,600 paintings, 20,000 drawings, 300,000 engravings, 150,000 photos, 2,000 sculptures and countless other items of historical significance. Continue Reading →

Musee Picasso Set to Re-Open in June

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After many delays and a cost overrun of nearly $30 million, renovations to Paris’s Musee Picasso are nearly complete and the museum is set to re-open in June. The museum closed in August 2009 for a planned two-year, $40 million renovation that more than doubled in length and nearly doubled in cost. But the renovations have greatly expanded exhibition space in the museum’s galleries and safety improvements will allow nearly twice as many visitors inside the museum at one time. Continue Reading →

Palais-Royal: Grand and Quirky

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Today’s Paris memories are of the Palais-Royal, a one-time palace located near the Louvre on the Right Bank. Once called the Palais-Cardinal, the palace is today home to an unusual modern art exhibit and a gorgeous enclosed courtyard with a huge reflecting pool, numerous statues and perfectly aligned rows of trees and shrubbery. Continue Reading →