Seeing the real thing in Paris

After years of publishing reproductions of some of the world’s most famous paintings, what a thrill it is to actually see these works of art in the flesh.  It’s like meeting a celebrity.  I was in Paris recently and headed for the Musee d’Orsay, which is stuffed full of the most recognisable and popular artworks of the 19th-20th centuries.

To my amazement, it was perfectly OK to take photographs around the permanent display, and I couldn’t resist.

Here’s Monet’s Poppyfield, one of the most reproduced images ever.  Who’d have thought that this one picture, out of the hundreds that Monet painted in his lifetime, would be his most recognisable?

Paris Monet Poppyfield

It’s fascinating to find out how big the paintings are.  When you publish in ten different standard frame sizes, you have no idea how big the originals are.  Most of them are not that big.  Here’s Blue Dancers by Edgar Degas.

Paris Degas Blue Dancers

It was so exciting to find another famous and familiar painting around every corner.  The Parquet Planers by Gustave Caillebotte is one of our bestsellers, so what a delight to see it for real.

Paris Caillebotte Parquet Planers

I also loved meeting Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Romantic and joyful.

Paris Van Gogh Starry Night

The Musee D’Orsay used to be a train station.  I did not realise this until I looked out of the huge clock face on the top floor.  What a view.

Paris View from MDO

Paris Musee DOrsay

Paris Inside MDO

It’s late night opening on Thursdays, till 9pm, and there’s a decent restaurant too.  Smaller and more doable than the sprawling Louvre across the river.  Highly recommended if you’re ever in Paris, art lovers!

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