The 10 Best Things to See in the Musée D'Orsay


Musée D'Orsay: My Favorite Art Museum

I don't remember going to the Louvre when I was younger. I don't remember going to other art museums. But I do remember going to the Musée D'Orsay. And while art still wasn't my thing, I remember liking the museum. So I have been determined to go back. Of course every time I try the line to get in is outrageous so I wait to go another time. Well finally I have been to a museum that showcases the type of art that I'm interested in: impressionism. And picking a top ten for this museum is one of the most difficult ones that I've had to do. There's too many beautiful paintings. So here is my top ten list of the Musee D'Orsay in my non-conventional, non-professional opinion.
Note that pictures are not allowed in the museum. Click on the title of the painting for the image.

10. Campaign of France, 1814 by Ernest Meissonier: of course I got to start my list with a little Napoleon. And no, it's not an impressionist painting, but I really like paintings with history to them. And I know that this might not be on everybody's favorites list, but it wouldn't be my list without a little Napoleon thrown in there.

9. African Elephants by Charles Emile de Tournemine: after staring so long at paintings of beautiful women and official looking men in the 1800s, it was nice to take a trip to Africa and see some elephants. Maybe that's part of its charm, because its so different from the others. But there is beauty in this painting.

8. The Blue Vase by Paul Cézanne: I like a lot of works by Cézanne, so picking just one of his paintings that stood out to me was hard. But the Blue Vase won because of simple charm and play with colors. It's calm with bits of vibrant color to lighten your soul. It just makes you feel content. And that's what I'm learning to like about art.

7. The Eiffel Tower by Louis Welden Hawkins: this painting also mixes blues with bright colors, which grabbed my attention. Just like Napoleon, something with the Eiffel Tower is going to make my list. But before even noticing the Eiffel Tower, its bright yellows caught my attention.

Musee D'Orsay Seen From Le Jardin des Tuileries
6. The Rue Montorgueil in Paris. Celebration of 30 1878 by Claude Monet: I liked this one because it was different from what we think of when we think of Monet. Most think of the water lilies, and they're very beautiful yes, but I also liked this beautiful display of patriotism.

5. The Ballet Class by Edgar Degas: I really like Degas' style of painting, so choosing just one was very very hard. But the Ballet Class won because of its beauty. The girls are beautiful, the colors are beautiful. It is a painting that makes me happy, and I don't know the first thing about ballet.

4. The Birth of Venus by Alexandre Cabanel: this painting was hung in a room with many other paintings of Venus, and while I want to add all of them to this list, this was the one that I chose. The way Cabanel painted her skin mixed with the simple and beautiful background are what made me instantly know this would be on my top five list, and I still hadn't seen the majority of the museum.

3. City Dance by Pierre August Renoir: like Degas, I really like Renoir. Maybe it's the period of history that they're both painting that's a factor as well. But I think that everything about this painting is beautiful. The woman's dress. The use of color. The way it was painting. Beautiful.

2. London, Houses of Parliament, The Sun Shining Through the Fog by Claude Monet: again, not a water lily painting but his use of colors is beautiful. The use of dark and light colors really makes you think the sun is breaking out of the fog to brighten your day. And it's in London, so bonus points there!

1. Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh: ok now I see the big deal about this painting. I've known about it and seen pictures before, but it never sunk in just how beautiful it is. I've never been one to stare at brush strokes, but this painting had me staring close up for a good amount of time. And far away it is even more beautiful.

Buy your tickets ahead of time. There is always a line for this museum at all times of the year. If you can go right around opening, rather than a few hours after, you will have to wait in line less.

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