Mom, Papa, and I woke up early on Sunday, the sixth and last full day in Paris. We rallied from Saturday's weariness with a bit of "must see things before we leave" fervor.
The Orsay was once a huge, beautiful train station. Now it is a national museum featuring works of art created between 1848 and 1914. Their collections are wide and varied and include a large selection of "Decorative Arts" like furniture, ceramics, and even recreated rooms with beautifully crafted paneling.
To give a sense of scale for the size of the building, the rosettes on the ceiling are 4 feet across, including the setting holding them are at least 5 feet across. This is a huge light filled space.
The setting for the Orsay is wonderful, but I found the organization of the museum to be awkward. The format for how art was grouped was hard to understand, so for example the 56 paintings by Monet held by the museum are in 8 separate sections, spread over two floors, of the museum. With works spread out and intermingled with other artists, I found it difficult to compare paintings done over a lifespan. And it was nearly impossible for me to spot trends with artists I was unfamiliar with.
Still there are wonderful, wonderful things to be seen at the Orsay. The museum holds a fabulous collection of Pointillist paintings.
Oh, the little dabs of paint..
I love how they add up.
And the long suffering expression on this woman, who happens to be the wife of the artist. Doesn't she seem to be saying, "Couldn't we buy food instead of paint this month?"
We ate lunch in the cafe beneath this lovely translucent clock.
The food was lovely (quiche and salad with lemon meringue tart for dessert) and the waitstaff worked the tables with amazing proficiency.
After we'd "done" the Orsay, we headed back to the shopping center under the Louvre. We had some last minute gift buying to do, and most of the independent shops were closed in our neighborhood. It is interesting, stores and museums close on Sunday, or Monday, or Tuesday depending on their individual preference. With our final shopping complete we headed back to the apartment.
On the way home I saw these people.. The woman in tight black dance pants was wiggling her hips in a totally overdone way, and then she was throwing her arms in the air in a move that could have either been a karate "crane" move or a "Walk like an Egyptian" move. Then the men started to mimic her. I had to stop and watch the spectacle. Then it hit me. Thriller. They were doing the Thriller dance. The woman started to fiddle with a CD player and I waited. Would they break into organized dance? Could I catch Parisians in mid-Thriller poses? No. Despite watching from the shadows for more than 10 minutes they were not going to oblige me. So sad.
So we continued on our journey. We collected dinner at a bakery (salmon quiche and a slice of onion bechamel pizza), and tried to force all of our newly found treasures into our suitcases.