Thursday, February 02, 2006

Two Museums in Paris plus a Side-Trip

The Louvre - this used to be a palace for Kings and Queens of France. It was first built around the 1200s, but it was added onto over and over again, until it's really huge now. The Kings and Queens bought a lot of art and when they left (because they had other places to live) it was still there and so they decided to turn it into a museum. Until about twenty years ago, the government still had some offices in there, but now they've moved out so the museum has more room to display paintings.

I just looked through our big book called Paintings in the Louvre and especially liked paintings by Annibale Carracci (who painted in the 1500s) and Raphael (I just told my mom "I was wondering who painted all these neat paintings, and I looked, and it was Raphael!")

Musee d'Orsay - this was originally a train station which opened around 1900 right near the Louvre.

We have a book on the Musee d'Orsay which tells this funny story: "Another architectural marvel built for the World's Fair of that year was the Grand Palais, a breathtaking glass-roofed exhibition hall dedicated to French art. The painter Edouard Detaille - today represented in the Musee d'Orsay - commented humorously of the two edifices: 'The train station is splendid; it looks like a Palace of the Fine Arts. Since the [Grand Palais] looks like a train station, I suggest that Laloux switch their purposes while there's still time.'"

The building wasn't long enough for most modern trains, and so wasn't used as a station anymore by the 1940s. In 1970, the government was going to demolish it to put up a hotel, but the people of Paris didn't want that to happen They decided to make it a museum and it finally opened up in 1986 for art from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The paintings I especially liked from this museum (in our book) were: The Virgin of the Host by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and paintings by Renoir, Monet and Van Gogh (those are kind of unique).

Monet's House and Gardens (Giverny)

Today my mom read a book called Linnea in Monet's Garden to us. It was about a girl who went to Monet's house because she liked his paintings. The book mentioned the Musee d'Orsay in it, so my little sister got out our big book about the Musee d'Orsay and found a lot of the paintings from Linnea in Monet's Garden. It was a lot of fun looking through the different books with everyone.

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