musée d'orsay

The view of Sacré Couer from behind the clock in the Musée d'Orsay.

I tend to roll my eyes a little bit at the French Impressionists - too many waterlilies and ballerinas endlessly reproduced on so many posters in so many waiting rooms, on innumerable PBS totebags and museum shop scarves. It's always a bit of a shock to see originals in person and remember they are actually pretty kickass.

Degas particularly is poorly served by reproductions, I think. This ballerina's skirt has about seven different shades of blue in it, like a living butterfly wing, and her tights are almost a shocking pink. It is ravishing.
I took about ten pictures trying to capture that blue and pink. Nothing doing.

The musuem's collections only span from 1848 to 1915, and it's mostly French art, but the absolute plenty of gorgeous things bends your brain a little. They have five (FIVE) of Monet's cathedrals - lined up on the wall, it's a bit like impressionism meets Warhol.

We thought these two looked like they could have stepped right off the street today. Both were painted around 1890.

After all that art, we had to refuel, so we stopped in the museum café for $6 coffees and Sean was especially taken with the waiters' aprons - they came equipped with a special pocket for ties: