Among the approximately 204 museums in Paris, of the ones I’ve been to, Musée d’Orsay made the greatest impression. I have the privilege of going approximately every other week with my Impressionism class. First of all, the museum as a building itself is spectacular. The Musée d’Orsay used to be the grand Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts train station built just in time for the Exposition Universelle of 1900. However, this train station became unsuitable for the newer, longer trains that came with industrialization. What became of that is the beautiful interior of the early twentieth century, coated by beautiful Impressionist paintings. As soon as you enter the museum, you are graced by the most ornate clock, straight out of Peter Pan or Hugo, and you can just hear the whistling of the trains approaching their platforms under the golden bronze arches.
Impressionism has always been one of my favorite styles of painting – from early to late-Impressionism. I can never get enough of Manet’s subject matter and moods and Monet’s colors. And the subject matter isn’t heavy – it’s a representation of what was modern life – of leisure, pleasure, nature, beauty, luxury, and just daily life. So, I did all I could not to slip up and down the marble floors as I gasped like an excited Asian tourist, going back and forth between THE Olympia and Déjeuner sur l’Herbes and Monet’s beautiful representations of provincial France.