The d’Orsay Museum in Paris, originally built between 1898 and 1900 was the Gare d’Orsay, a train station, built for rail travel between Paris and Orleans; built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. For a full photo of the front of the building, see The Sunday Traveler’s post from last week, A Postcard from Paris. The station was transformed into a museum in 1986, saved from initial thoughts of demolition for a hotel.
The museum is very large and covers three levels filled with art from the period between 1848-1914.
Looking back at the entrance of the interior of the museum one can see that train station look, and make you think what a grand station this must have been in its day.
I’m not sure how much of the overhead glass and tile is original, but I’d like to think some of it is. The sculpture is by Emmanuel Fremiet, Saint Michael slaying the dragon.
I had a penchant at the different museums to look out the windows here and there and be completely awed by the art outside on the roofs and parapets of the building I was in.
The view from the d’Orsay looking over the Seine to Sacre Coeur was entrancing straight out one window
The museum has a lovely restaurant that I walked through to get to another gallery, and got my first view of one of “the clocks” that I also caught a view of Sacre Coeur through. I put that in quotes because for years I had dreamed of seeing “the clock” (I thought there was only one) having seen a photo of it in several magazine articles, and blogs.
I still thought this was the only clock, and stood there at the back of the restaurant for a long time taking photos and just staring. And then I tore myself away and walked into the next gallery
Surprise! My heart almost jumped out of my chest. Here it was. In all my research I have not been able to find if there is any significance to the clocks, or just that large clocks like this were important in train stations. If anyone knows, please comment and let me know.
And now into a few of the paintings and sculptures. We were lucky enough to see the current exhibit of Degas on display, and so many more works by other artists.
Rodin sculpture and Renoir painting, a perfect way to end our visit.
Until next week. Travel on.