Sunday, April 12, 2009


On Wednesday morning, I met L & L at their hotel at 9:00 am. I actually got there a bit early, so I took a short walk around the block. The hotel is very close to the Alliance Française, where I was a student in 1981-82. I couldn't resist a photo of the old place.

My old haunt: the Alliance Française.

Our first task of the day was a visit to see the impressionists. And that means the Musée d'Orsay. So we made our way over there via métro. The line just to go through security was insane. And it was chilly and rainy out. We were not willing to tough it out for what looked like about an hour's wait. So I suggested that we cross the river to the Orangerie.

One of the very wide Monet paintings at l'Orangerie.

L said that she wanted to go there to see Monet's Nymphéas anyway, so we headed across the bridge. There was absolutely no line and we walked right in. I had been to the Orangerie only once before, in the 1990s. Since then, the place has been completely rebuilt. There's not much of the original building left, but they've done a great job of making a spectacular museum while respecting the original building envelope.

L & L pose in front of a Monet.

The Monet water lilies paintings are now on the main floor. They used to be down below, but the below-grade space has been expanded and is now home to a nice collection of impressionist works by Cézane, Renoir, Picasso, and Derain, to name just a few.

Yet another view. There weren't very many people there when we arrived, so getting unobscured shots was pretty easy.

We had a great time. And we took many pictures in the water lily galleries. Then we went downstairs to discover the other impressionist works. More about that tomorrow...


  1. Hi !

    thank you for post with impressionists' works:)

    greetings from Thailand***

  2. A friend of mine was just asking me if L'Orangerie still existed. Now I know.

    We were students in France at almost the same time -- September to December 1980 for me at Stanford in Tours, which sadly doesn't exist anymore. They moved all of their French operations to Paris a number of years ago -- maybe in the early 90s.

    (Word identification: sayme. SAY YOU, SAY ME...!)

  3. Betty and I were just discussing L'Orangerie last weekend (hence the comment above)!
    My sister is coming to Paris and I wanted to show her Monet's waterlilies. I saw them in the early 1990's and they were so beautiful.
    Thanks for letting me know that they're still there.

  4. LOL -- Loulou, sorry to reduce you to "a friend of mine!" I couldn't remember who I had talked to that all comes out on Walt's blog!

  5. This morning, in Virginia, blogger ran out of verification words. Whoever blog I checked, the visual verification was the same: a nice white question mark in a pleasant blue background!
    Neither Safari nor Firefox worked. I had to use my old Netscape browser to get a verification word. Electronics!!

  6. To add insult to injury, Netscape recorded only the first paragraph of my comment!! Here it goes again.
    I have a picture of you, in front of the Orangerie, with Mary, hi Mary, and Gabby, hi Gabby, and Ken, hi Ken. If my memory serves me right, it was in late May or early June 1999. Later that day, all of us had diner at the "incountournable" Bistro de Breteuil!
    Ten years ago! Time flies. I was just a young kid at the time! You can dream, can't you?

  7. Heh heh, thanks for the photo of the Alliance :)

    Wow, the Monet stuff is great. I haven't been to the Orangerie since its new incarnation. Wasn't that where all of the Impressionist stuff was back in '81/'82? Geez, I had forgotten... that was the world pre- Musée d'Orsay and pre- Pyramide du Louvre!

    Happy Easter/Joyeuses Pâques!


  8. The Musée d'Orsay is still on my list of things to do in Paris. I love the impressionism paintings and have been to many exhibits in New York and Boston... but still need to go see the heart of it all. I am sure I will be making a visit real soon.

  9. Great photos of the Water Lilies, Walt. I was there right after it re-opened a couple of years ago and the line was a mile long, but I waited because I had not been there before. I will go again in Oct and hopefully I will have a visit like yours.

    Judy, I thought the impressionists were at the Louvre before the Orsay opened, but I could be way off base, it's happened before. :)

    Happy Easter!


  10. Hi, Ken, Hi, CHM, I certainly do remmeber our visit to the Musee d'Orsay and especially the dinner at Place Breteuil. And I remember the visit to CHM's apartment. Great memories. I'll have to go back one of these days.

  11. We went to L'Orangerie on our last trip. I'd had no idea it had been remodeled, so it was a big--and very pleasant--surprise.

  12. I may be mistaken but I think the impressionists now in the musée d'Orsay were at the musée du Jeu de Paume opposite the Orangerie in the Tuileries Gardens.

  13. with so much history, and emphasis on art and good food, I would hope the French are a very happy people?

  14. Bonsoir Cousin,

    You are right. This site gives all the details on how the collection at the Musee d'Orsay came to be:

  15. huevos, you bet! There will be more paintings on Tuesday.

    betty, I have a friend who was in Tours as well, but much later, and not with Stanford.

    loulou, I highly recommend it. If you get there first thing in the morning, it's great.

    chm, I remember! It was great fun. And yes, the larger impressionist collection was in the Jeu de Paume. I saw them there in 1981.

    judy, I thought you might enjoy that! ;)

    justin, yes, the Orsay is very worth seeing if you haven't.

    bettyann, I think the trick is to get there first thing...

    gabby, hi! It was great fun!

    chris, and I think it's a good size, plenty to see but not overwhelming.

    urspo, they like to complain, but that's just a sport. I think they know good they've got it. For now.

    beaver, thanks for the link! I used that for some of my research.

  16. Wahh! You're making wish I was back on holiday in Paris. We were lucky we didn't have to queue for long to get into the Musée d'Orsay, which I enjoyed much more then the Louvre. Didn't have enough time to fit in the l'Orangerie!

    PS, I LOVE that you smuggled wine onto the train in a water bottle!

  17. Yes, yes, CHM, the Jeu de Paume! duuuh on my part :)



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