The Impressionists

Photos from Giverny and Musee d’Orsay

There are so many museums in and around Paris it’s hard to know where to begin. Rather than fight the lines at the Louvre, we chose to visit the more manageable and far less crowded Musee d’Orsay,  which features many impressionist paintings paintings.   During our trip, we also visited Claude Monet’s home and garden in Giverny, about an hour outside of Paris.  Honestly, I enjoyed the two hours I spent in Giverny more than my time in the gardens at Versailles.

Even after 100 years, Impressionist paintings have a freshness and vitality that so many, myself included,  find inspirational.  There is something about these paintings and the work of the Symbolists  that resonates deeply with our modern world view.

For me,  Impressionism and the work of modern poets like Mary Oliver in her poem Wild Geese, convey passion and a celebration of  life in all its immediacy, without the moral and cultural chauvinism of so many older works.  One painting that is representative of this chauvinism the 1670  painting of Louis and his family by Jean Nocret, which I had seen a  week before at Versailles. Louis had instructed Nocret to paint him as Apollo  to reinforce his self-image as the God’s representative on earth bringing heat, light and illumination to the world. Yuck !  Such BS. Unfortunately, I’ve heard it rumored that our current president is considering a similar rendition for his official portrait.


One thought on “The Impressionists”

  1. Monet and Mannet are my favorite artists and I love the work of the impressionists above all others. It’s amazing how many versions of Monet’s little lilly pond exist. They often say that impressionists are either highly nearsighted, or the paint with a very long brush. An old timer that I was friends with here in Indy had 3 Monet’s and a couple of Mannet’s and a self portrait of Rembrandt in his home. He had mentioned that he might give me one of his lilly ponds, but he passed away before anything became of it. Such is life …… No one really owns anything. …….. We’re all just custodians of our own little environs. Have fun. I miss you Pat!

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