I have just got back from a magnificent trip to Paris with the family. It was a much needed break for all and certainly provided just the culture boost I required. We have been many times before, but as yet had not visited the Musée de l’Orangerie in the Jardin des Tuileries. This amazing space houses Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings and is the permanent home for 8 of Monet's waterlilies paintings. The rooms dedicated to displaying these immense works are flooded with natural light and provide a wonderful sense of calm. Well worth a visit! In the lower galleries there are examples of Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse's work and some rather dodgy Renoirs.
We also visited the Musée d'Orsay, which was heaving, so much so, we had to abandon the enormous queue for the Van Goghs, as we had seen them before. We were were rewarded with Degas however. He is my favourite Impressionist, although his subjects are not always for me, his sublime brush strokes and subtle use of colour are so exciting, particularly when seen for real.
We had never explored Montmartre so extensively and finally found the caberet au Lapin Agile in Rue des Saules. This was the famous meeting place for artists such as Picasso, Utrillo and Van Gogh and was also the site of one of the first publicised art hoaxes, as Lolo the donkey 'painted' a canvas with his tail which was later exhibited as 'Sunset Over The Adriatic Sea'. We gave the absinthe a miss.
'What no Louvre?' I hear you ask... well I didn't bother to check the opening times and left it to the last day only to find it closed. My 8 year old would have liked to see the Mona Lisa, but was equally happy with a crepe and a chocolat chaud in Le Flore en l'Ile (our favourite bistro which we first discovered 20 years ago)
It wasn't all art and culture of course. We enjoyed going to the top of the Eiffel Tower as one should, a Seine river trip, sailed a toy boat in the Les Jardins du Luxembourg, 'did' the Notre Dame, shopped, ate too well and went to Disneyland Paris.
Personally I got a lot of sketching done, mainly working very fast and have returned recharged and full of inspiration.... Thank you Paris for a wonderful trip!