Parisian Aesthetics at Musée d’Orsay

People often ask what my favorite museum in Paris is. I always reply, without hesitation, that it’s the Musée d’Orsay. No other museum, in my opinion, has ever surpassed it. Perhaps it’s the setting; perhaps the subject matter; perhaps the era. The Musée d’Orsay is synonymous with Paris.

Since I only had class in the afternoon Thursday, I ventured to Musée d’Orsay early that morning, before the lines grew long and the weather chilly. Upon arriving in Paris a week ago, I’d seen several posters for an exhibit entitled “Beauté, Morale, et Volupté dans l’Angelterre d’Oscar Wilde,” which runs through tomorrow. Anything with Oscar Wilde in the title grabs my attention. Knowing how long the lines get on weekends, particularly at the end of the run of an exhibit, I decided to go on a weekday.

 

The exhibit chronicles the Aesthetic Movement in England. It was an exhaustive collection, largely curated from objects at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which, perhaps not coincidently, is my favorite British museum. The exhibit included sculpture, painting, photography, literature, textiles, furniture, jewelry, and decorative objects. It took me an hour and a half to amble through six or seven rooms. I went alone and sorely missed several friends from home (Ryan, Nico, I mean you) who would have absolutely adored the exhibit. Every couple years, I manage to see an exhibit that forces me to reconsider and reevaluate my conception of art; this was one of those exhibits. More information is available on the Musée d’Orsay website.

After the Oscar Wilde exhibit, I spent another couple hours wandering around the museum. I ended up on the fifth floor in the Impressionist gallery. Looking out a clock window (like Hugo!) and seeing the city all around me, I was reminded of why I wanted to come back to Paris. It was like falling in love with the city all over again. No city does art and culture like Paris.

A couple more photos of my trip to Musée d’Orsay (photos are no longer allowed inside):

 

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