Masterpieces of Paris Apr 13, 2018
This morning we’ll tour the Orangerie Museum, featuring Monet’s magnificent water lilies and home to a fine collection of other works by Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, and more. You’ll be well oriented and have time this afternoon to see the world’s greatest collection of Impressionist art — almost next door — at the Orsay Museum, with art from Monet and Degas to Cézanne and Gauguin, and beyond. Or visit other nearby places covered by your included 6-Day Paris Museum Pass, such as the Rodin Museum, or the military museum of Les Invalides. Tonight we’ll enjoy a farewell feast together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Salut! Walking: moderate.
When Debra and I first made plans to go to Paris, I shared my plans with my neighbor, Wendy. She asked if we were planning to go to the Orangerie. I seem to recall at the time that was on the itinerary and said, yes. She told me that she cried when she was in the oval room of Monet’s water-lily paintings. So being a good friend, I laughed at her for crying. Then she told me how she felt as she relived being in the room and seeing the painting of Monet’s water-lilies. As soon as I walked in to the oval room I knew what my friend was talking about.
The lady in red is in our tour group and was also brought to tears of joy and amazement. Yes. I did show her this photo and shared with her the story of my neighbor as we both recall how our breath was taken away.
A cycle of Monet’s water-lily paintings, known as the Nymphéas, was arranged on the ground floor of the Orangerie in 1927. They are available under direct diffused light as was originally intended by Monet. The eight paintings are displayed in two oval rooms all along the walls.
After Monet’s water-lilies in the Orangerie, we were able to view many other priceless works of art in the museum. From there, it was just a short walk to the Orsay, another famous museum that had been pointed out during the first bus ride and the night cruise. On the way, we once again went over a bridge with many padlocks. Thousands of lovers express their affections in what they thought would be an ironclad statement: a metal lock, usually etched with the couple’s initials, attached to the bridge, and the key tossed into the Seine below.
The Orsay Museum was fascinating by architecture as well as the works of art. The Vincent Van Gogh painting, I have to say, in real life these painting have a life of their own. There is a lot of texture and changes in the light and angles. What a joy it was to see this museum and its art.
Later in the evening, we had our last dinner as a group. An interesting observation with our group is that it did not appear to have the development of cliques. Everybody got along quite well and were cordial, and helpful towards each other. During each meal, it seemed like everybody was sitting with a different person in the group than previously, yet would act like long-time friends. After the meal, some light housekeeping was done. We turned in our radios and headsets, and special care was provided by the tour guides to find out who might need assistance with departure arrangements. The tour guides and hotel staff worked in unison to make sure everyone’s transportation needs were in order.