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Paris Museums and Monuments - tips, tricks, suggestions

My apologies if these questions have been answered previously in other threads!

All my research until now has been on the transportation. I have not spent as much time with the actual sightseeing. So here goes ... as of now, the following museums/monuments are in my wish list. I understand that in two days, it is practically impossible - if not truly impossible - to get through all of these. So, we will likely prioritize based on the queues and our interests:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre
  • Versailles Palace
  • Arc de Troimphe
  • Orsay Museum
  • Cluny Museum
  • Notre Dame
  • Sacre Coeur

I am also hoping to take in these sights - just take a photo or two:

  • Mahatma Gandhi Road
  • Place de la Concorde
  • Fountains (I forget the name of this place - this is the one where there are statues/figurines in the fountain)
  • Opera House
  • Bastille
  • Pere Lachaise cemetary
  • Statue of Liberty

Louvre: Is there an entrance that is less well-known/crowded than others? I saw a recent comment about there being an entrance off the RER underground stop. How many entrances are there in all?

Versailles Palace: Assuming there is a long queue to go through security (Museum pass includes ticket into the palace), if one person stands in the line, is there anything the others could do around the grounds to take photos? Specifically, I saw a pond with statues around it - is that part of the sights you see after admission/entry into the palace or is that counted as outside the palace? Or do we need to get the gardens (?) ticket to get into that area? It looks like we need the admission ticket, and then don't need any more tickets for that part; also, because of it being November, we don't need to worry about the Musical Fountains either. Please confirm ...

Eiffel Tower: I read somewhere (maybe on this website) that it is better to buy a walk-to-second-floor ticket and then take the elevator ticket to the top. Are the walk tickets also timed just like the ones online? Or can I buy the ticket in the morning and use it later in the afternoon/evening?

Notre Dame: I understand that the Museum Pass lets you climb up the tower. Is it worth it? Is there a big crowd for this as well?

Mahatma Gandhi Road: I saw this on the map yesterday. It is just outside the Peripheral Boulevard but I believe it is within the metro zones 1-2 (a short walk from Les Sablons). I was thinking that maybe it is a good idea to visit just to take a photo or two (if we have the time).

Re: the museums that I've listed, are there any specific "must see"s that you don't want to miss? For instance, in the Louvre, it appears that everyone's bucket list has Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and Venus de Milo.

Thanks in advance once again!
Porcupyn

Posted by
10344 posts

2 days, hmmmm. Versailles is a minimum 1/2 day, most travelers take more than a 1/2 day just to do Versailles.

Posted by
8851 posts

You have two days? You will have time to do a fraction of these things. Is your focus to just see something long enough to take a photo and check it off a list? Or do you actually want to see things and experience Paris? As you noted, you will need to prioritize. If you can tell us your focus, maybe we can be more helpful.

Posted by
145 posts

Kent/Andrea:

Let's say we have 10 days. Could you then answer my questions? :-)

Those answers will help us prioritize. We will do the first two days' worth this time and save the other eight for later!

Thanks,
Porcupyn

Posted by
145 posts

Kent/Andrea:

If I change the number of days to ten, how would your answers change?

That will help us prioritize and we can do the two days' worth now, and keep the remaining eight days for later. :-)

Thanks,
Porcupyn

Posted by
7687 posts

Hi Porcupyn -- Unfortunately ten days doesn't really translate well into two, because if you really had ten days to see all these sites, you would group them together by virtue of location. If you really want to see most/some of these in two days, you're going to spend a lot of your time zig-zagging around Paris and the near suburbs. Sorry not to have a better answer. : (

Posted by
5697 posts

At the Louvre, know that the Mona Lisa is small. Really small. BIG crowds to get close enough to see. Many other beautiful things in the museum including the building itself. Nobody will revoke your passport if you miss one exhibit or one sight in Paris.
Similarly, the view OF the Eiffel Tower from the base or from anywhere in Paris is beautiful even if you don't want to spend the time and money to go up to see the view FROM the Eiffel Tower.
Enjoy Paris! !

Posted by
6505 posts

My own personal opinion is this: if you only have 2 days, skip Versailles - save it for another time when you have more days. Plan on doing one 'big' museum and maybe one smaller one. If you want to visit the Louvre just because it's the Louvre and you really want to see some of the biggies there, then plan on at least 3 hours. If you're partial to Impressionist art, then skip the Louvre and go to the Musee d'Orsay and maybe add the Orangerie. For small museums the Cluny and the Carnavalet are both worth the time. Notre Dame (the cathedral, not the towers) is easy to visit, long lines move fast and you don't need a whole lot of time inside. Sacre Coeur can also be a quick visit when you're in a time crunch but it's out of the way compared to the others and with only 2 days you need to group your sites for practical reasons.

And remember that "everyone's bucket list" is not your bucket list, only you can decide what is important for you to see. When you narrow down your list based on your likes/needs, then come back for advice on how to avoid or lessen the lines at those particular places. If you're going in high season there will be lines everywhere.

Posted by
5648 posts

As Kent noted, Versailles can take a substantial amount of time to visit, and part of that is that it takes a while to get there and back. If you take the train, you will also have a little walk to actually reach the palace grounds. There are a series of large fountain/lakes behind the palace, lined with statues. The last time we visited, we didn't go inside the palace, but rented bicycles to ride the grounds around the lakes and out to the Petit Trianon and Marie Antionette's little farm. The longer you stay, of course, the more time you will need.

On our last Louvre visit, we entered from Rue de Rivoli on the north side (on the far left if you're facing the entrance by the Pyramid, with your back to the Tuileries Garden) with no lines.

You may know this, but the site of the Bastille prison that was stormed at the start of the French Revolution was torn down long ago, so there's now just a plaza with traffic there if you want a photo of that.

Pere Lachaise cemetery is big, and you can snap a couple of photos from the entrance, but if you want to visit some notable graves, you will need to search for them and walk to the sites.

When you're at Notre Dame (I've never climbed the tower, but I remember a long, separate line for the tower, aside from the line for the cathedral itself) also visit the Archaeological Crypt, in the corner of the plaza that's in front of Notre Dame. It's included in the Museum Pass and you can see layers of that part of Paris when it was a Roman city, including the underground central heating system used to warm the ancient buildings . . . well worth a visit of even a few minutes.

Posted by
145 posts

Cyn:

That was very helpful indeed. In Versailles, where exactly did you rent the bikes from? Based on your response, it appears that to go around the grounds in a bike, we don't need to go through the Palace queue. Is that right or am I mistaken? Also, did you click on the links in my post that show the specific areas that I was asking about?

I know about the Bastille having been razed to the ground - yes, I meant a photo of the general area as with the cemetery and the Place de la Concorde.

Thanks for the tip about the Archaeological Crypt - had not known about it. Will try to visit if we have the time.

Going back to my original post, from Louvre to Arc de Triomphe is a straight line walk say about an hour and 30 minutes at a moderate pace. Orsay, Louvre, Pont des Arts (15-20 minutes to take a couple of photos - I am not going to add a lock!), Notre Dame, all fall in one clump within a km or two diameter (and more or less on that diameter). Eiffel Tower is not too far; we are planning to stay near Michele Bizot, so the Bastille area is pretty close. I fail to understand the previous comments about everything being spread far apart. The only place really far is Versailles and the only other place that is out of the way in my list is Montmarte and Sacre Coeur, unless I am missing something (OK, the Mahatma Gandhi Road is, but that is ONLY to take a photo or two ... if time permits).

But no one has answered a very basic question I had re: the walk-up-the-stairs tickets for Eiffel Tower - are they time-sensitive, or can I purchase the ticket in the morning and climb up in the afternoon (or the next day)?

Thanks,
Porcupyn

Posted by
145 posts

Nancy:

I agree of course, that everyone's bucket list is definitely not mine. But if I ask ten people their top three things to do in Paris, and all ten include the Mona Lisa and don't agree on anything else, surely I should go and check out what this Mona Lisa thing is that everyone says I should see.

Similarly, my questions are pretty specific - I have already stated in another thread that we are not really into museums. I cannot, for instance, tell you the difference between impressionalist art vs. abstract art (heck, for all I know, those might be two terms to mean the same thing!).

Thanks again!

Posted by
8293 posts

Bus No. 73 will take you all the way from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe, passing through Place de la Concorde on the way. Why you would walk for 90 minutes to get there when you are pressed for time is a puzzle.

Which Opera House? Is it the one at Place de la Bastille and is that why you have Bastille on your list? Because really, Bastille is a very busy traffic circle in essence. There is a Leon de Bruxelles restaurant there if you fancy mussels, and the tall monument marking the storming, but considering what little time you have it could easily be eliminated without being sad.

Pere Lachaise has always taken us a couple of hours to walk around but maybe you just want a photo of whathisname's grave. You can get to the cemetery on Bus No. 69, which you can pick up at Bastille should you decide to go there.

Since your mission seems to be lots of photos, you can get some great ones of Paris from up at Sacre Coeur, by the way. And as advised by others, skip Versailles. You do not have the time. I'd like to say skip the statue of Liberty too but it may be considered offensive to say so.

Is it "worth it" to climb the tower at Notre Dame? I can't know what is worthwhile to you. I did it many years ago and it was "worth it" to me.

Posted by
5648 posts

Porcupyn-It's been a few years since we were at Versailles, but I recall we walked straight behind the palace, without queueing up. The bike rental corral was off to our right, in the gardens area. Maybe it's just my computer, but on the link for "pond with statues around it," all I get is a black screen, so I can't see the image. On the "around the grounds" link, however, there are numerous stautes and ponds set in stone or concrete throughout the Gardens area to the left of the palace building in the map on your link, and we rode bikes west and north, probably along Allee Saint-Antoine, Allee de la Reine, and/or Avenue de Trianon, based on the names of the lanes on that map.

Have never gone up the Eiffel Tower, by stairs or by lift.

Impressionism contributed to the Abstract movement, and started in France in the mid 1800's. I think of Abstract Art coming from a later time in history. The Orsay has impressive Impressionism.

Posted by
145 posts

Laura:

Agreed! I have read elsewhere (once again I forget where) that the view from the Montparnasse Tower is probably better than the one from the Eiffel Tower; but my preference is for the view climbing up and riding up the Eiffel elevator because it is open (it is, isn't it?).

Re: museums, I'm with you. It is not like we want to see everything. I have heard that Mona Lisa is small, but have not researched whether it is 11 x 17 small or 8.5 x 11 small or 20 x 30 small ;-) I already pared down from 60 that the Museum Pass gives us entry to. Now, I was trying to find out what folks think to be can't-miss among those that I listed. Then, I could research those specific items/museums to see if they would really interest us significantly more than the others - significant enough to brave longer lines and eat up more time from our schedule. So, as you said there is much more to see in the Louvre than the Mona Lisa, could you give me some examples of what and why they are worth seeing? Don't need to be specific - just say, for example, that the third floor has xyz.

Thanks!

Posted by
145 posts

Norma:

"Why you would walk for 90 minutes to get there when you are pressed for time is a puzzle."

That would be for Paris to diffuse into me :-) No photos for 90 minutes would be a record, no?

Posted by
28069 posts

It is only 53 cm by 77 cm, and is enclosed in a plexiglass box after previous attacks, always has huge crowds all around it using flashes on their cameras and phones and huge iPads, all taking photos despite the no photo rules at the Louvre.

For me it was a huge let down and absolutely not worth going to see, unlike many other treasures at the Louvre.

There are too many fabulous treasures at the Louvre, scattered all throughout the Louvre, to list them all here. Many will be listed in your guidebook - the sponsor of this website does an excellent one, but if you don't want that you can take a virtual tour on the Louvre website. The guidebook will also have all the hints about finding your way around the buildings which are actually very large and the passageways are confusing.

Posted by
145 posts

Norma:

Last year I prayed. It did not work. I don't think I will try again. Will take it as it comes. Thankfully, we are getting a good 'heads up' here in the USA over the next two weeks!!

Posted by
8293 posts

My advice to you to pray for fine weather was in reference to your planned 90 minute walk from the Louvre. I think there are four of you. Are they all up for this march?

Posted by
145 posts

Nigel:

I understand your peeve about flash photography - folks do the same thing in Ajanta Caves in India as well, harming the ancient stone paintings. That said, photography - without flash - is indeed permitted in the Louvre.

Posted by
145 posts

Norma:

I will respond to that after we return. :-)

Posted by
10344 posts

"Last year I prayed. It did not work. I don't think I will try again."
It may be that She chooses not to involve herself in changing weather on the whims of mere mortals.

Posted by
10344 posts

Only because the OP asked me to prioritize her/his list, based on the condition that there were 10 days available instead of 2 days, ok, I'll give it a shot.
To the OP: I hope this helps, but please note that the list below is limited to your original list and does not include things I would see but that you did not list. Here is how I would prioritize your list:
Orsay Museum
Louvre
Notre Dame
Eiffel Tower
Versailles Palace
Arc de Triomphe
Place de la Concorde
Sacre Coeur
Cluny Museum
Opera House ("Old" one)
Bastille (near the New Opera House)
Pere Lachaise cemetery
Statue of Liberty (near the Eiffel Tower)

I'm not familiar with:
Mahatma Gandhi Road
and don't know what "Fountain" the OP meant.

It may be obvious that I enjoy art museums, some travelers don't. Even for someone that is not an art lover, IMO the Louvre and Orsay are two of the outstanding museums in the world and are experiences that should not be missed, if a traveler had sufficient time.

There are about fifty other things I could add to the OP's list, if a traveler had 10 days in Paris. But that is not the question that was asked.

BTW, the OP also had a misc question about art: My understanding is that impressionism and abstraction are two distinct "schools" of art; although it has been said that impressionism, in a sense, led to abstraction (obviously a complicated subject and I don't know a lot about it).

Hope this helps.
Have a good trip.

Posted by
145 posts

Kent:

Thanks for the response. That was very helpful.

BTW, I found the fountain I was talking about - it is the Stravinsky fountain.It is not too far from the Louvre.

Thanks once more,
Porcupyn

Posted by
145 posts

Here is something I found elsewhere. I wish I could have received similar responses here. I probably did not phrase my question correctly. I probably should have removed the "2-day visit" reference, I believe I would've received more open responses! :-(

"Best bets in the Louvre: the remains of the medieval Louvre, mummies, the Galerie d’Appollon (which contains what’s left of France’s crown jewels), and the Napoleon III apartments. You may feel compelled to look at the Mona Lisa. Fair warning: the painting itself is tiny and the gallery always packed. At the d’Orsay, home of the crowd pleasing Impressionists, ask at the welcome desk for the kids’ guide which focuses on the transformation of the former train station into a museum. The Pompidou offers wonderful rooftop views plus a plaza full of street performers in addition to its collection of 20th and 21st century masterpieces."

Porcupyn

Posted by
8293 posts

I feel sure that almost word for word the paragraph you cite could have been found in any decent Paris guide book.

Posted by
145 posts

Norma:

You do have a point! :-)

"Paris is a great place to walk and you can do so for hours on end, through winding streets, down grand boulevards, along the banks of the Seine. The trick with kids is to have a few ideas for stops and treats in your back pocket. Window shop in the Marais or Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Mosey down the Champs-Élysées. Stick your head into churches you pass by; there may be an organ concert in progress. Check out the offerings at an open air market, stop for a crepe from a street vendor or a pain au chocolat from a neighborhood boulangerie. In the summer, make a pit stop for an ice cream by Berthillon on Ile St. Louis."

Or, like some would put it, when in Paris, folks love to march with their kids!

Posted by
7687 posts

The problem, Porcupyn, with the march from the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre, is that a good part of it is on the overcrowded, over commercialized, not-very-fun Champs-Élysées. It long ago ceased to be "the most beautiful avenue in the world" in my opinion at least, and with only two days in Paris, I'd do my best to AVOID it. Strolling in Paris is nice along some of the secondary boulevards and getting lost in back streets, but "strolling" along the Champs is almost like going into battle! But of that's how you want to spend 90 minutes of your 48 hours, more power to you.

Posted by
7687 posts

Also if you're staying at Michel Bizot, you'd do better in going to Pere Lachaise to take the 64 bus which will be just a little walk north of you. It will take you straight north. I believe it you get off at the stop Pyrenees-Bagnolet and then walk west along the rue de Bagnolet, you can take a right up rue de la Reunion and enter into the cemetery via a side gate.

The other idea would be to take the metro line 6 from Daumesnil to Nation and change to the 2 and then take the metro to Pere Lachaise stop.

Taking the 69 bus is only good for you if you're coming from the city center. You're staying in the Far East of the city.

Posted by
83 posts

Others have given you good advice about prioritizing, although of course it depends on your particular interests. I wouldn't try to include Versailles; it is impressive, but the huge crowds make it unpleasant, even if you can skip the line. I think you are talking about the fountain just outside the Centre Pompidou. That is in central Paris, and it would be easy to include. You might want to visit the art museum at the Centre, which has modern and contemporary art. As for avenue Mahatma Gandhi, it is in the Bois de Boulogne. The new Fondation Louis Vuitton is there. It is a stunning structure by American architect Frank Gehry. The Jardin d'Acclimation (children's area of the Bois de Boulogne) is also in that part of the park. If this is your first and only visit to Paris, I would skip the ave. Mahatma Gandhi.

Posted by
2081 posts

Porcupyn ,

in my opinion, you need to do the Prioritizing first and then see whats what.

When i was there in a March the things you want to see had lines. Again, its a march when i was there so all i can say is that, that was then.

Eiffel Tower - Long line for tickets. Line for lifts to top. Line for lifts down.
Louvre - Short line using the RER entrance. maybe about 50 people in security line. Arrived about 45 minutes before opening.
Versailles Palace - didnt go. too much time outside of Paris.
Arc de Troimphe - no line. went in the afternoon after Louve and walking down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
Orsay Museum - went 30 minutes before opening. About 30 people ahead.
Cluny Museum - didnt go.
Notre Dame - no lines. Went 2x too.
Sacre Coeur - didnt go.

Mahatma Gandhi Road - didnt know and didnt go.
Place de la Concorde - didnt go.
Fountains (I forget the name of this place - this is the one where there are statues/figurines in the fountain) - ? didnt go.
Opera House - walked around. no tour.
Bastille - didnt go
Pere Lachaise cemetary - didnt go.
Statue of Liberty - didnt go.

what you need to do is to get a map of Paris and plot the priorities on it. You can get a laminated version and so you can wipe off anything you dont want to see/do. Its a good visual representation as to how much jumping around you will be doing and if you get a map with the RER stations, you can use those to PLAN out how to get around.

In my opinion, since you are chomping at the bit to see a lot you need to do some planning and deciding up front to maximize your time on the ground. yes, using surface transportation to oooo and ahhhh over what there is up top is all good, but if you want to see more think about using the RER as much as possible. Save the surface transportation for later. Or if you want to the sight seeing then make it a priority. For your info, i didnt do any Hop-on-hop-off bus in Paris since i felt it wasnt a good (efficiency wise) as the RER.

here is where planning and a map can help. at least it how i did it. you and others my not like it either but I'm throwing it out there for ideas. Its up to you do choose.

  1. plot out on a map where i wanted to do/see things.
  2. group them in areas. This is so i didnt go from one end of Paris to the other and back on the same day, unless necessary.
  3. go to the outermost thing to do/see first and work my way back. I would use a combination of RER and walking to do this. This is when i got a chance to walk around up top and see what i was missing using the RER.

one thing. you won't be able to fit everything in your trip so dont even try. I had allocated 4 full days on my time there and didnt do/see everything i wanted to see/do. its a waste of time/energy. Even if you have months you may not see everything there is. i think you are better off setting the priorities first and then looking at the details in between.

happy trails. even with the 2 days in Paris i know you will have fun.

Posted by
145 posts

Let me be a time traveler and reply to myself :-)

As it got very large, I am breaking the response into two pieces.


All my research until now has been on the transportation.

That was time well spent - I did not get us lost anywhere (if you discount the ten minutes we spent in the bowels of the Louvre searching for a way to get out so we could get to the Arc de Triomphe before it closed). Yes, there was a lot of walking in some places, but we (I) knew that going in.

I understand that in two days, it is practically impossible - if not
truly impossible - to get through all of these.

As it transpired, I never managed to get the list prioritized, though I had a good idea of what we would all like to do. I had purchased the Eiffel Tower tickets online so we had no option there ;-) The rest fell into place based on their closeness to where we were at the time, our interest and whether they were open that time of day!

Eiffel Tower - check
Louvre - check
Versailles Palace - check
Arc de Triomphe - check
Orsay Museum - check
Cluny Museum - nope
Notre Dame - check
Sacre Coeur - check

Mahatma Gandhi Road - nope
Place de la Concorde - check
Stravinsky Fountain - nope
Opera House - nope
Bastille - check (sorta)
Pere Lachaise cemetary - nope
Statue of Liberty - check (sorta)

Besides the above, we did spend some time in the Archeological Crypts Museum of Notre Dame (as someone suggested here - thank you) and one of the museums in the Trocadero area (I forget the name of the top of my head).

Here is a tip/trick if you want to encounter no lines (or maybe we got lucky!). Pick a day in late November or early December to go to Paris (and hope it does not rain or snow on you - it did not on us). We went to Orsay and Louvre when they were open late(r) into the night (different evenings) and Versailles at about 10:30 am. No lines anywhere.

My biggest disappointment - other than the 183 (I will write more about it on a different thread) ,we did not take a single bus while we were in Paris. I don't even know where the bus stops are (i.e., how they are designated). So, though I know how the underworld looks, I don't have much of an idea of surface Paris. I did not even get to do my celebrated march (not!) on Champs Elysees from the Arch de Triomphe to Louvre (like I had threatened to do in this thread) - we did do a portion of it, from Arc de Triomphe to George V.

I hope all this helps someone else!
Porcupyn

Posted by
145 posts

Versailles Palace: Assuming there is a long queue to go through
security (Museum pass includes ticket into the palace), if one person
stands in the line, is there anything the others could do around the
grounds to take photos? Specifically, I saw a pond with statues around
it - is that part of the sights you see after admission/entry into the
palace or is that counted as outside the palace? Or do we need to get
the gardens (?) ticket to get into that area? It looks like we need
the admission ticket, and then don't need any more tickets for that
part; also, because of it being November, we don't need to worry about
the Musical Fountains either. Please confirm ...

I don't think most of these questions were answered because 99% of you folks were against the idea of going to Versailles on a two-day trip to Paris. As it turned out, Versailles was what my wife and I enjoyed the most of our Paris trip. :-) I am so glad I bucked the public opinion.

To answer my own questions: A ticket is not needed to the palace gardens (and they are really worth seeing/exploring). So, conceivably, the rest of the party could go there while one person holds the place in the queue. But I cannot say that for sure, because we did not encounter a queue. So, I have no idea how the queue would be set up and whether the rest of the party can join the placeholder dude by cutting through the queue. The pond with the statues behind the palace had renovation work going on and so all of the statues had been taken down, so that was a bit of a bummer.

Eiffel Tower: I read somewhere (maybe on this website) that it is
better to buy a walk-to-second-floor ticket and then take the elevator
ticket to the top. Are the walk tickets also timed just like the ones
online? Or can I buy the ticket in the morning and use it later in the
afternoon/evening?

We ended up not - to put it in words used by others on this thread - summiting the Eiffel Tower. The second floor (third floor for folks in the USA) was good enough for two reasons - a) it was overcast and the views were as good as they could have been and b) it was chilly for the rest of the family. For the I-told-you-so folks, I did not wear my sweater (just had it draped around my neck) while on the Eiffel Tower.

Notre Dame: I understand that the Museum Pass lets you climb up the
tower. Is it worth it? Is there a big crowd for this as well?

We were not around this area when the tower was open.

Mahatma Gandhi Road: I saw this on the map yesterday. It is just
outside the Peripheral Boulevard but I believe it is within the metro
zones 1-2 (a short walk from Les Sablons). I was thinking that maybe
it is a good idea to visit just to take a photo or two (if we have the
time).

Not too bummed about missing this one though, push comes to shove, I could have done this as well. I just did not feel like leaving the family home two mornings in a row. FYI, both days we left our digs at about 9 am and returned after 10 pm.

Re: the museums that I've listed, are there any specific "must see"s
that you don't want to miss? For instance, in the Louvre, it appears
that everyone's bucket list has Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and Venus de
Milo.

We did see the ones listed above and many more. Fortunately for us, when we were there, a group of 'parole'es (actually, these are students from local schools) were also there at the Louvre and they were helping visitors find their way around and also help me understand the sculptures and paintings. I was drawn to this lady in the 'parolee' uniform who was explaining the Cupid statue with an American accent. Turned out that she was the quintessential cosmopolitan - a German citizen, she was studying at an American school in France!

Porcupyn

Posted by
145 posts

As I have confessed previously, I am not a big patron of the arts (and that is an understatement). However, there was this really nice painting in Orsay (I believe the item number is 135 or 137), which appears to move with you as you walk from one side of it to the other. Just that one painting made my visit to Orsay worthwhile. Taking photos in Orsay is prohibited, unless you take the photos of the building itself. So that was a bummer and I don't have a picture of my favorite picture. :-(

Porcupyn

Posted by
8293 posts

I have a huge (weighs a ton) book of "Paintings in the Musee d'Orsay" and I have had a riffle through it. Your painting may be "Olympia" by Edouard Manet. Fits the bill. You probably could have bought a postcard of the mystery painting in the gift shop. Have a quick google and see if I am right.

Posted by
145 posts

Norma:

That is not it. I have written down the name of the artist somewhere in my 'collectibles' (I am a pack rat, so go figure). Once I sort through the stuff, it will be the first thing I will be looking for. It was some guy with G in the beginning of the first name or last name.

The painting I am talking about is a scene with a lot of folks in it.

Porcupyn

Posted by
8293 posts

"Some guy with a G at the beginning of his first or last name" and who painted in the 19th century. That eliminates all the other guys whose first or last names begin with the other 25 letters of the alphabet and have works in the d'Orsay. Please find the name ....I am curious.

Posted by
2250 posts

I'd love to hear what that painting is when you figure it out. It has always struck me how I can walk past painting after painting, and then one just grabs me and I spend 10 or 15 minutes with it. I'm no art historian either, but I do greatly enjoy the mini-lessons in RS shows.
Glad you had a great trip.

Posted by
2250 posts

Could it be Gustave Caillebotte?

Posted by
2349 posts

On the musee d'Orsay's website, on the "Collections" page, you can search by artist name. It comes up alphabetically.

Posted by
145 posts

My apologies for leading you folks astray. The painting that gripped me so much is:

une seance du jury de painture (A session of the painting jury) by Henri Gervex. The picture on wikipedia is a poor reproduction of the original.

Porcupyn

Posted by
2250 posts

Excellent-nice to see!

Posted by
145 posts

Chani:

Thanks for the link. Maybe I can get to the ground-level of art aficionados by browsing through those pictures. But yes, I do have to agree that the internet version does no justice to the original.

I had in my mind a size of about 4 ft by 6 ft for the original. At least I got the aspect ratio more or less correct.

If there is one thing I am not noted for, it is my powers of observation. So, when I noticed that a huge coronation painting in Versailles looked remarkably similar to one in the Louvre, I accepted it at face value when someone at the Louvre told me that it was probably paintings of different kings and I assumed that I had been mistaken. Coming back home and reviewing the photos (I took lots) that I had taken, I noticed the caption under the one in Versailles that said that it was a copy and that the original was in the Louvre :-) So, the person I asked probably did not understand what I was asking.

Porcupyn

Posted by
1 posts

I just purchased three tickets online for the Eiffel Tower, on a date in the summer. The party includes myself and two family members. However, while the "conditions" state that each ticket is personal, at no time was I asked to provide more than my own name. As a consequence, all three tickets have my name on them. I am worried that the three of us will not be allowed onto the tower. Can anyone clarify whether I am going to have a problem? Thanks!

Posted by
2250 posts

mcor, I don't think you'll have a problem but you may want to post the question in it's own thread.