Musée de L’Orangerie

This morning was a visit to Musée de L’Orangerie. The principal (and permanent) attraction are the Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet.

I had been there years ago and it appears the M’O has been featuring Monet for a long time, but I cannot remember seeing what I saw today. Of course, my memory from those previous trips is quite fragmented.

The walk-in level floor (floor 0) is where the water lily murals always are. This is specially designed, by Monet himself. There is an initial smaller oval room with nothing on the walls. As per what I read, this is to start your transition from the busy Paris to the relaxed world of the water lilies.

Then there are two larger oval rooms, each with four very large murals. The first room has Green Reflections, Morning, Clouds, and Sunset. The second room has Clear Morning with Willows, The Two Willows, Morning with “Weeping Willows”, and Reflections of Trees.

The rooms use panels in the ceiling to bring in natural light. These are diffuse panels so there is a general glow of light, but nothing harsh. This is all in keeping with Monet’s ideas. In 1909 he wrote: “Nerves strained by work would relax in its presence, following the restful example of its stagnant waters, and for he who would live in it, this room would offer a refuge for peaceful meditation in the midst of a flowering aquarium.”

Enjoy the pictures above and below. I just took a number of pictures without attempting to capture the whole thing. And, yes, the picture quality is not great. I think the general lack of detail caused the camera to have focus issues.

Not to be overshadowed by Monet, the current temporary exhibition at M’O is the collection of Paul Guillaume. He was an art collector and dealer in the 1920s. These paintings are by Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Modigiani, and others. I guess Paul was quite a collector. These occupy the lower (-2) level.

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