Archive for the ‘Musée d’Orsay’ Category

Luxembourg Gardens and Musee D’Orsay

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Yesterday morning, I finally discovered the market near our school thanks to Phoebe, Rebecca, and Emily.  It will save me a lot of money, but sometimes the amazing French food is worth the extra money.

For class, we had a lovely day at the Luxembourg Gardens.  The gardens started off as a palace built for the queen regent in the 1600s.  Eventually, it became the Senate building and still is today.  Luxembourg Gardens grew over time as it was able to expand.  It has a lot of green space, with the differentiation between the French and English garden area being distinct.  The park also has tennis courts and the coolest playground I’ve ever seen.

All of the statues near the palace are of women.  The Salic Laws prohibited women from inheriting ancestral land which prevented women from holding positions of power, but the queen regent likely had them made to show that women can still be powerful.  One thing that I am curious about and may look up if I ever have the time to is whether or not the plants in the garden are the same as what was originally there or if those taking care of the garden have the freedom to change they types of plants.  The flowers were all annuals which is extremely expensive; something that Americans would not appreciate due to the cost.

Last night, we went to a comedy show, How to Become a Parisian in One Hour?, with everyone in the MICEFA program.  Oliver Giraud made fun of us Americans for being loud, using a lot of facial expressions/being really excited, and being too friendly.  The French, however, are apparently actuately depressed and rude.  He joked about how they don’t see the need to be nice to people they do not know.

Today, we went to the Musée D’Orsay, which was originally a train station.  Built in 1900 in the heart of the city, it was the most beautiful train station in Paris according to our tour guide.  I haven’t seen the others, so I cannot confirm how it compares to the others, but it was magnificent.  Once the station became too small for larger trains, it was converted into a museum to save the beautiful building.  It is a great example of adaptive re-use.  The museum kept the framework of the station while adding small rooms for the artwork.  They keep the original steelwork in its original green color, while making the new steelwork a dark brown to differentiate the two.  I thought that was a really clever way to make sure to differentiate between what is historically significant and what has been modified. As for the content of the museum, I am not an art expert, but I enjoyed seeing work by Monet and other famous impressionist artists and learning more about the art of the time and how the impressionists were criticized.