The Rodin and Other Museums

One is never short on museums to visit in Paris. So far, I’ve been to The Louvre (3 times), the d’Orsay (3 times), Museum L’Orangerie, and now the Rodin.

View of Sacre Couer from the d’Orsay

Each time, I make sure to suss out the “must see” pieces which, for the most part, leave me cold. For example, in The Louvre, the Mona Lisa was a real disappointment. I much preferred the huge painting opposite – The Wedding at Cana.

A small portion of the Wedding at Cana

Again, in the d’Orsay, while I kind of liked some of the impressionists, my favourite being Sisley and not so much the hugely popular Van Gough, it was the realism paintings that really captured me. Just look at the expression on this woman’s face as she is being tied to the stake accused of witchcraft. The whole scene is so sinister, conjuring up a story in itself. Wouldn’t that be an interesting exercise – flash fiction based on art?

L’Auto Da-Fe

Perhaps, I’m just trying to swim against the tide of public opinion, or maybe I’m just not susceptible to marketing, refusing to like a painting of a pot of wonkily drawn sunflowers just because I’m told I should.

I did like the famous statues in the Rodin though. Maybe I just like sculpture more, I don’t know enough about art to be sure. But I do know when my heart goes “ahhh” or a piece of art makes me happy/sad/scared/curious, or makes me appreciate the work that went into it – and sometimes all of the above!

Take The Thinker – I couldn’t quite get away from the idea that he would look the same sitting on a toilet – The Stinker perhaps?

And really, what is it about these artists and nudity? This sculpture is poised with a really unfortunate aspect if you want a nice shot of the mansion! Quite the view.

This guy’s pretty cool. Sometimes I prefer not to read the blurb about the sculpture and make up my own story. Here’s one of a grandfather saying, “I don’t care how much she begs, I’m never baby sitting this wee shit again! He’s only gone and ripped my best toga off me!” I call it Grumpy Daycare.

This guy is distressed.  His story is definitely a tragedy. His expression was so desolate it made me feel quite sad too.

However, I think she still saw the funny side and laughed her head off!

Seriously though, this is Gates of Hell.

Up close, it is the stuff of nightmares… be careful how long you linger here…

This is The Burgers of Calais. Apparently, they were fighting with the English (seriously, like, the English are the worst neighbours, right?)

And The Kiss, well there’s a mystery. I saw this lovely bronze one…

But it wasn’t until I got home and was going through the photos, that it occurred to me that not only was there no photos of the white marble version of The Kiss but that I couldn’t actually recall having seen it if it was even there. Sometimes galleries burrow stuff like this. Apparently, when the Tate had it they kept it near the loos! But if I did see it, I was obviously underwhelmed by it.

However, there were plenty of pieces that made me go, “Wow!”

I loved the expression on this guys face.

And this a much more dramatic kiss. With it being small enough to fit on a table top, does it qualify as a “wee kiss”?

There was something so tender about these Lover’s Hands. I could totally live with this on my mantlepiece.

I loved this one called Adam and Eve and could imagine God fashioning them from the earth like the artist had hewn them from the marble, their forms slowly emerging…

Same with this guy peeking out from the cold stone.

This was my absolute favourite – I’ll take two please. (I can use them as book ends – beautiful and practical!)

Outside the Rodin, the golden crown of Les Invalides beacons.

We were too late in the day to gain admittance – maybe another time.

Byddi Lee