Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Art for Art's Sake

For those with the impulse to cocoon when the weather turns bad, Paris poses certain risks. At some point, you realize that this situation isn't temporary and that if you keep giving in, you'll end spending three months in sweats and slippers, and maybe ending up looking like Miss Havisham in the bargain.

Fortunately, there's no shortage of amusements and here's one more reason to get back out there: le Musée national Gustave-Moreau. Tucked away in the 9th arrondissement, this little gem of a museum was both the home and atelier of a somewhat obscure but nonetheless interesting 19th century artist. Moreau never left the home he shared with his parents (which tells you something right there) and he managed to both absorb and completely ignore the prevailing artistic trends of his age. In sweeping canvases and tiny detailed drawings, his art had me thinking he was either an incredible genius or a complete nutjob. But it's never dull and you can easily spend an hour or two perusing his work and touring the private apartments, left as if Monsieur Moreau had just gone out for a coffee and never came back. You may not find his work to your taste but I defy you not to admit that that staircase isn't awesome.

And here's a tip for the budget conscious: save your ticket and for up to a week afterwards, you're entitled to a reduction on entrance to both the Musee d'Orsay and the Palais Garnier.

Musée national Gustave-Moreau
14, rue de La Rochefoucauld
75009 Paris
Métro : Trinité or Saint Georges


debbie in toronto said...

wowee....what a tip and what an amazing place...just the kind of thing you see only in Paris...love it.

stay warm Anne.

La Mom said...

Huh, never heard of it. Thanks for the great tip! Will try to go sometime soon. Although I can totally see Small Fry cascading down those stairs...

La Mom
An American Mom in Paris

Sasho said...

Also nice is the Jacquemart Andre Museum, which is also a "house." It's out on Blvd. Haussmann. It contains the remains of all the paintings and furnishings Nélie Jacquemart didn't give to other museums after her husband Edouard Andre died, including a Botticelli. (Interestingly, she kept her maiden name. What was that all about?). English version of the web site: http://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/en/jacquemart/

Starman said...

I've heard of Moreau, but didn't have a clue about the musée. Thanks.

Anne said...

Sasho: Jacquemart Andre is wonderful -- lovely setting, great audioguide, interesting special exhibitions, and a really nice place to have lunch or tea.

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