Thursday, December 06, 2007

Musee de l'Orangerie - Paris, Day 9, Part 2

The Musee de l'Orangerie is home to Claude Monet's famous Water Lilies. This series of paintings is made of up eight massive panels (6 ft. tall) designed specifically for the two oval rooms of the Orangerie.

Claude Monet (1840-1926) painted these masterpieces late in life, his eyesight failing from cataracts. It took him twelve years (1914-1926) to complete the series. He was 86 years old when he finished, but he didn't live to see them installed in the Orangerie in 1927.

The paintings are Claude Monet's impression of the pond in his garden in Giverny. Each of the panels shows different times of day. You can see the soft colors of early morning sunlight, afternoon clouds, and the vivid colors of sunset.

I was absolutely enthralled by these pieces. I had no idea that they were so big! I took a lot of pictures and luckily most of them turned out.

The lower level of the Orangerie houses several paintings by Renoir, Matisse, Piscasso, and others. I stumbled upon an artist whose work I really liked. I had never heard of him before - Chaim Soutine.

Chaim Soutine - Les Maisons

Chaim Soutine - La Table

Chaim Soutine - Le Village

Our minds were spinning (and our stomachs growling) as we left the Orangerie. We had seen so many amazing works of art that day that it was hard to absorb it all. We headed back to Mindy and Arnaud's apartment for dinner - Thanksgiving leftovers :) one of the best things about Thanksgiving!

They were both working late that evening so Les and I enjoyed our last evening in Paris with a bottle of Bougoulais and French TV. We were watching for a glimpse of Mindy on Star Academy (The French version of American Idol). She was playing the orchestra. Isn't that awesome?? We didn't see her on TV but it was cool knowing that she was there!

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