26 May 2007

Les Musées: Paris Museum Highlights

NB that by highlights, I mean highlights. I took over 1000 digital photos in the last week. Nor are all of the museums visited represented here.
And before I get into all of this, one comment: thank God Catherine de'Medici happened to Paris/France. That is all.

This is the chapel in Versailles, looking from the altar towards the vestibule. Louis XIV would have sat upstairs in the gallery.

The Fountain of Apollo in the Gardens of Versailles. There is no one there because it was raining like mad that day.

Stained glass in the Musée du Cluny.

This head of John the Baptist wooden tondo sculpture in the Musée du Cluny was so unique. The theme (also including Salomé) is one of my favorites in the history of art, because it always seems to produce interesting results.

Gothic architecture can be so elegant -- this is also in the Musée du Cluny.

The history of chairs display in the Musée des Arts Decoratifs

Normally Monet and I are in a fight, because I am not really fond of his mass popularity. However, our visit to the Orangerie was private, and as a result truly special and majestic. We're currently in an armistice.

The Musée du Quai Branly. This one was a challenge; it's probably the most talked-about museum in the world right now... I think the conclusion I'm arriving at is that it is still fundamentally, intellectually, and philosophically a 19th century ethnographic museum, but in 21st century French presentation.

I can tolerate Van Gogh slightly more than Monet. Really, this was quite brilliant to look at up close in the Musée d'Orsay, which was very spectacular in and of itself.

This is the staircase in the Musée Gustave Moreau. I really liked a lot of the spiral staircases I saw in Paris, because many of them seemed to be set up more as elipses than circles.

This was really cool, in the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie. These kids are touching a table, and what they're touching is being projected from LCD projectors above. So you touch certain places on the table/projection, and the table/projection responds. It was really amazing.

Part of a rather fanciful clock in the Petit Palais.

Staircase in the Petit Palais.

A Jean Carriès cinghiale in the Petit Palais.

Behind the scenes: the offices and some of the study rooms in the attic level of the Petit Palais. They were gorgeous, everything's recently redone and completely remodeled, and this seems like it would be an absolutely excellent place to work.

The Palais de Tokyo. Basically, the entire interior looks like this, and it's a contemporary art space. We had to leave early because it was raining really hard (a theme for this trip...) and the roof was leaking somewhere. Normally it's open until midnight every night, but they closed around 6pm because of this leaking roof.

Back in the day, I wanted to be a bathroom designer. In fact, my favorite part of the Palais de Tokyo was the bathroom situation, which I found to be just as innovative as the rest of the space.

Visit number two to the Louvre. This painting in progress was really clever, because it was the original sitter wearing a t-shirt, and on the t-shirt was the original painting that the artist was copying. I love meta-art, which I tend to think of as a subtheme through the Baroque, which this "original" belongs to.

the I. M. Pei pyramid

This is the main entrance to the Louvre, under the pyramid. It's kind of insanely packed with moving people.

A painting by Marius van Reymerswale, c. 1546. I think the expression on the guy on the right's face is hysterical. This theme of money counting is pretty common in the northern Renaissance.

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