September 2, 2012

Free Museum Day: Check!

There is still so much to see, so much to do! Paris is forever fabulous, and one of the best and only places you can experience the rosiness of Monet, the grit of Rodin, and the intricacies of medieval art in the same day.

Welcome to Free Museum Day, September, 2012. It is one of those Parisian tricks (like the accessibility of Navigo/Mobilis transport passes, cheaper coffee at the bar, never wearing running shoes in public, and always say "Hi, Please, Thank you, Goodbye") that you always hear about the day after you buy the pricey Paris Museum Pass. 

Naomi, my American volleyball pal!
FYI: The first Sunday of every month, most of the museums in Paris are FREE. Even more are free between November and March when the tourist season calms down. These days are usually filled with hours in lines and forgotten meal times.

But today, Naomi and I opted for the non-psychotic museums (psychotic museums: Louvre and Orsay), and waited in lines a total of zero minutes.

Musée de L'Orangerie: Monet's Water Lilies and Impressionism to Modernism.
Famous pieces: Monet's Les Nymphéas, Renoir's nudes, Cézanne's fruits, and loads of paint from Rousseau, Modigliani, Laurencin, Matisse, Picasso, Derain, Utrillo, and Soutine. The museum is housed in a former greenhouse for oranges from the 1850s, and located in the Tuileries Gardens across the Seine from the Orsay.

Musée Rodin: The sculptures and paintings of Auguste Rodin and his apprentices; most notably, his mistress Camille Claudel. 

Rick Steves, Dante, and 2 American volleyball players: Amazing.
The Gates of Hell
Maturity
Famous pieces: The Thinker, The Gates of Hell, The Kiss, Maturity (Claudel), and Les Bourgeois de Calais. Rodin's collection is in his former mansion and also throughout the gardens, located right next to Napoleon's tomb and the army museum.

Rodin's Gardens
Musée Cluny: dedicated to tapestries, artifacts, paintings from the Middle Ages, and Roman baths from A.D. 200.

St. Peter
Notre-Dame Heads
Another tapestry 
Famous pieces: original stone heads from Notre-Dame, stained glass from Sainte-Chapelle, Byzantine ivories, a narwhal tusk (convincing the land of the existence of unicorns), and The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries detailing the five senses and the idea of desire. The setting is a mansion from the 1500s, built adjacent to the ancient Roman bath house, and located across the Seine from Notre-Dame.


We were even able to finish with a walk-through of my favorite Luxembourg Gardens in full bloom as we headed to church again.

My Sundays are on a roll.


Happy SWAGtember, world! 

Save the planet, 
Walk everywhere, 
Also take the trains, and 
Go be awesome.

Lou Messugo

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