Splendor and Misery at the d'Orsay

Il pleut again in Paris, a really rainy and cold day today.  Me, I'm feeling a little tired, a little under the weather, and a tiny bit of wanting to be home in my own bed.  Ed made us some nice eggs which we ate with the leftovers of some beautiful pastries Deb brought home yesterday; then we all piled into a taxi to go to the d'Orsay.



What a wonderful museum that is.  Built in the old train station building, it retains a little of that flavor while housing many Impressionist paintings, ones you never thought you'd see but there you are, standing in front of them.



The main event (or the one we saw, anyway) was Splendeurs et Miseres, Images de la Prostitution, 1850-1910.  It was room after room of paintings, then photographs, and a couple of curtained-off side rooms to which no one under 18 was admitted (everyone but me went to see).  The paintings were splendid -- all the Manets and Toulouse-Lautrecs and Degases you could hope to see, and who knew that people thought those beautiful ballerinas in the gorgeous dark yellow light were prostitutes?




My sister and I loved this painting by Henri Gervex, called "Rolla," 1878.  The composition, the light, the details, the expressions -- everything about this painting was gorgeous.  I could have looked at it all day.



It was also wonderful to see the clocks in the museum;  I watched "Hugo" right before we came and loved the clocks.



When we'd had our fill of the paintings, we sat outside and had a drink (yes, in the cold and rain -- everyone still sits outside), then trudged a few long blocks through the rain to the art store, Sennelier.  I couldn't say I'd been in Paris without having been to Sennelier.  It turns out to be a very small shop, but so filled with character (and color!) that it was wonderful to be there.  But since my companions were perhaps not as enthusiastic as I, I didn't even inquire as to where the watercolors were kept.  I would have been there an hour, deciding which two . . . three . . . four . . . colors I wanted to take home.



Enough news for now.  Read the next post for some surprising news.

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