the travels & travails of an escaped lab rat

Painting: Musée d’Orsay

For me, the most impressive thing about the collection at the Musée d’Orsay wasn’t the actual paintings themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, some of them — many of them, in fact — are undeniable masterpieces.

But what strikes me the most with every visit I make to the museum is how the artwork is displayed and presented to the public. While some exceptions need to be made for delicate pieces (such as charcoal, conté, and watercolour-based works), the vast majority of the paintings on display are simply hung without intervening glass, and visitors are allowed to approach as close as they like to each work — provided they don’t actually touch it.

To me, this is absolutely mind-boggling. No glass to reflect the gallery lights means I can view and appreciate the paintings as the artists intended. But no intervening glass also means no protection if some sociopath decides he wants to go on a vandalism spree…or, God forbid, I should suddenly develop an urge to sneeze while admiring.

Here are some of my favourite paintings from the permanent collection on display at the museum.

Impressed with impressionism.

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Museé d'Orsay - Amaury-Duval - Madame de Loynes (2008)++Museé d'Orsay - Degas - Au Café dit L'Absinthe (2008)++Museé d'Orsay - Degas - Madame Jeantaud au Miroir (2008)++Museé d'Orsay - Manet - Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets (2008)++Museé d'Orsay - Manet - Le Dejeuner sur l'Herbe (2008)++Museé d'Orsay - Maxence - Femme a l'Orchidée (2008)++Museé d'Orsay - Monet - Woman with Umbrella (2008)++Museé d'Orsay - Renoir - Bal du Moulin de la Galette (2008)++Museé d'Orsay - Renoir - La Liseuse (2008)++Museé d'Orsay - van Gogh - Self-Portrait (2008)++Museé d'Orsay - Vermeer - Astronomer (2008)++Museé d'Orsay - Whistler - Whistler's Mother (2008)++

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Posted in Things by madsci on March 18th, 2010 at 11:55 pm.

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