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Day 20 - Musée d'Orsay

When I was planning this trip, I made a mental list of the things that we’ve done more than once on other trips to Paris and therefore didn’t need to do this time.

The Musée d’Orsay was on that list, but as I thought about what to do with our last few days, I realized I really wanted to go again. After all, it is one of my favorite museums in the world so it would be foolish not to. And it’s a rainy day, although MUCH warmer than it has been.

So today, we did, along with about a zillion other people. We were among the very few who didn’t take flash photos of every recognizable painting while scurrying past all the rest with hardly a glance. How can they not see they're getting lousy photos with that flash reflection in the middle of each one, not to mention they're missing their chance to actually LOOK at the paintings? The worst was the big guy with the huge monkey puppet wrapped around his shoulders who found it hilarious to plant himself in front of all the paintings and have his children take flash photos of him with the paintings. Grrr.

Still, I love this museum. I just read Susan Vreeland’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, a pretty bad novel which nevertheless provides a good description of how Renoir worked on that painting, so I was itching to spend a little time looking at the Renoirs. (I think that particular painting is in Washington, D.C., not Paris, but there were a few others he painted at the same time I knew I could see.)

Then there’s that room of Cezannes that I always love best. Fortunately, no one thought it was worth photographing the Portrait of Gustave Geffroy that I wanted to spend my time on, so I had it pretty much to myself. The photo in this link isn’t good—the colors are all wrong, at least on line, and all the subtle colors are just lost--but it’s an amazing painting.

A very nice next-to-last day!

Comments (9)


Hi Chris - it is hard to believe your Paris visit is almost over. I've enjoyed reading your posts with my morning coffee, and pretending I was there with you.

Sorry the weather hasn't been kinder - but at least you have had the luxury of taking it slow.

I think my favorite post is your wonderful slideshow of shop windows on the Isle St. Louis - you have such a good eye!

Say hi to Frank, and best wishes to you both for an uneventful flight home in just a couple of days.



Hi Chris, I thought most museums forbid photography esp. flash photography. Still, I know people ignore the notices and take photos. (Shame on them)

I have been following your blog and dreaming of Paris.


There were signs forbidding flash photography, Eden, but no one paid any attention to them and there didn't seem to be anyone enforcing the rules.

I don't know if it really hurts the paintings. I hope not, but I'm afraid it probably does!

Chris, one of my favorite memories of Paris is of the Musée d’Orsay. What an amazing place.

I am glad you were able to go again but sorry you had to deal with such silliness, especially the guy with the monkey. They ought to have rules on how to behave in a museum or perhaps a mandatry mini-class or lecture before entering for certain tourists like they do here to go to Hanauma Bay.

Kaydee [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Chris, I can't believe that your trip is almost over! It was such fun to be part of your experience in Paris-- we will have to do it again! Enjoy these last days, and safe travels home!



Bummer to hear you didn't like Vreeland's latest. I just finished The Girl in Hyacinth Blue and was going to check out Boating Party but maybe now, I'll skip it.



Assuming "Boating Party" makes it into my luggage on the way home (it's on the standby list if there's overcrowding since I've already read it), do you want me to send it to you?

You should have mentioned the curry mustard earlier! I would have been happy to pick some up for you, but now unless I see it at the airport, it's too late.


Thanks Chris - I didn't want to put you out - I'll make Andrew look for it. :D You know, if the book makes it home, send it along but don't squeeze it in just for me.

The d'Orsay is always on our list in Paris. We will often skip the permanent exhibits, visit the special ones, then go sit in the mezzanine amongst the statues for people watching. It is a place holds the romantic view of Paris for us.

Have a safe flight home!


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The previous post in this blog was Day 18: Walking tour of Saint Germain des Prés.

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