Awaken to L’Orangerie, Paris.
People often asked me, “If I had limited time in Paris, what would be a MUST to see?” Apart from the obvious icons, I tell them this:
“Head straight to L’Orangerie Museum on the western corner of the Tuileries garden”. You’ll need to enter through the main gates off the Place de la Concorde, pass the library…
and a two minute walk upwards…
to the lawn of statues outside the Museum.
Be an early bird and beat the crowds as I do. (This pic was taken after my visit not long after opening time.)
Go straight ahead to the white rooms at the back of this small museum – the dedicated space of Monet’s “Nympheas.” Sit down on the leather bench dead centre of the room wrapped by enormous panels of French Impressionism and the gardens of Giverny (remember, http://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/awakening-to-monets-garden/ ) in all its serene colour.“Nympheas” It’s nothing like you’ve ever imagined.
For a small virtual of what to expect go to the museum’s own website at: http://www.musee-orangerie.fr/homes/home_id24799_u1l2.htm (Click onto Salle One and Salle Two to see the two rooms dedicated to Monet) . This doesn’t however, impart how you feel when you’re actually in there. Trust me. I have the same reaction every time I visit. And I watch others’ reactions and wait for them to simply exhale.
It’s as if the very breath of Paris essence has smacked each of us in the face.
If you do have more time, wander downstairs and see amateur artists copying the real thing in the Paul Guillaume Collection. There’s a saying here that “if the imitation is too good, the gallery will keep it” and you’ll find very friendly student artists such as Frank who will allow you to chat with him as he changes a small area of his work in order to take it home.
Because that’s really what it’s all about here at L’Orangerie….
Everyone takes a piece of Paris home.
Happy travels and Best Wishes,
Copyright@Therese Waddell 2014