On a rainy Wednesday morning, I had the great pleasure of revisiting the Musée d'Orsay. My last visit was more than 10 years ago, and back then I had completely missed the top floor... so this time, I arrived the moment it opened, raced upstairs and was able to take in the entire space. It was like being alone in the private ateliers of the Impressionist masters...
No matter how many times you visit a museum, new experiences await and new discoveries are made. It's been said that art is never really about the piece or the artist, but how you see it, how it makes you feel. And so all our lives, with each visit, we can experience something new. This time, there were many pieces I had never really seen before,... my favorite new discovery were Edouard Manet's peonies series, specifically the one above. Stark and beautiful in its simplicity, timeless.
Originally a railway station, the Musée d'Orsay is today one of most visited museums (and one of the most beautiful), housing the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world. Did you know that the former station was to be demolished in 1970 because of lack of use? Fortunately it was agreed upon to convert it into a museum that would bridge the gap between the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou (National Museum of Modern Art) - and it does that beautifully in both its art and architecture, its size and style. The Musée d'Orsay has a smaller scale grandeur than the Louvre, geometric lines that recall the Pompidou, but it has an intimacy all its own.
When planning to visit, do plan ahead so you don't miss the top floor clock and your favorites. It can be done in a leisurely day, and when you need to take a little break or re-caffeinate, there are two cafés and a restaurant right inside!