New art acquisitions at the Musée d’Orsay.
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If I could only go to one museum in Paris, this is it. Musée d’Orsay has my heart and soul. From their huge impressionism collection, the BEST curated temporary exhibits, stunning sculptures, great restaurant options, easy-to-navigate halls, and all located in a STUNNING train station building that overlooks the river Seine, the Orsay is hands down my favorite.
While my videos don’t do them justice, I hope these paintings inspire you to go and visit the d’Orsay.
Paris, France 1848 - Gennevilliers, France 1894
The Boating Party, Gustave Caillebotte’s masterpiece, was previously in private hands. Thanks to the exceptional sponsorship of LVMH, the painting is now part of the national collection.
The artist drew his subject from the new pastimes of the urban middle class, to which he belonged. A man, whose identity is unknown to us, is rowing a boat on the Yerres, the river that flows near the Caillebotte family’s holiday home to the southeast of Paris.
The composition - centered on this man facing us but looking away - radiates an energy, a feeling of self-confidence and loneliness, typical of Caillebotte’s work.
The sketchy brushstrokes and the palette of bluish and purply tones call to mind outdoor painting, to which the artist was increasingly drawn at the time.
The Suns, jardin du Petit Gennevilliers
This painting by Caillebotte is entering the Musée d’Orsay’s collections as an acquisition in lieu (a special method of paying tax by surrendering artworks of great artistic or historical value). The sheer size of this view of Caillebotte’s garden makes it one of the artist’s most ambitious paintings.
Gardens are one of Caillebotte’s favorite themes. Like his friend Monet in Giverny, the artist became a veritable “painter/gardener,” and both were very taken by the “suns” or giant sunflowers grown as a purely ornamental plant at that time.