Musée d’Orsay

When I went to Musée de l’Orangerie a short time ago, I bought a billet jumelé with Musée d’Orsay. That is, a ticket that covered visits to both museums. Given the holiday (1er mai – labor day) was over, I thought I would try Musée d’Orsay.

It was a great idea for seeing some really famous items, but the crowds are amazing. Again, there were two queues – one for those with tickets and one for those without. And, as before, the queue for those without tickets was the longer line, but not that much longer.

There is a raised flat space for the entry area and its doors. The line for people with tickets zigzagged through seven loopbacks delineated by posts and ropes on one side of the flat space. Then it went across the space. Then it went down the stairs to street level. Then it did a right angle and went towards the street. Then, at the street, it folded back on itself. There wasn’t much choice. I joined the line and snaked my way in.

I did not take any pictures of the famous items I saw. First, my pictures would not be very good. Second, there were so many people that getting any picture would be a miracle. The pictures you see are of the huge open air central space.

There are three active levels. Level 0, the ground floor, is the open area you see with all of the statues. On both sides are rooms with paintings, other sculpture, and some art nouveau room decorations.

Level 2 you can see on the left and right. There are terraced areas with more sculpture and also rooms back in off of the terrace.

Level 5 is just rooms. It does not open up into the grand space.

I walked through almost every room on all of the levels. And, after walking to the museum from my apartment, that was a lot of walking.

Level 5 is loaded with the impressionists. You know, everyday names like Manet, Monet, Degas, Rodin, Caillebotte, Cézanne. And the statues and painting are some of the most famous works of each.

Level 2 had Van Gogh, Gauguin, and more. If I recognize their works, you know it must be something famous.

Level 0 had Toulouse-Lautrec, more Monet, Manet, Cézanne, Degas, and more.

The special exhibit, on level 0, was various takes on day and night skies. Some of this was impressionists. There was also Van Gogh and other later painters.

It was too early in the season for the café Campana on level 5 to have the terrasse  d’été (summer terrace) open. It probably was too blustery and cold, but being able to sit out overlooking the Seine and all of Paris is quite an experience.

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