Monday, August 8, 2016

Memories of Parisian Museums

Although, I didn't get around much while I was in the Paris region in April and May, I did manage a few museum visits. And what spectacular exhibits I saw! First, I visited the National Picasso Museum, which is housed in the "Hôtel Salé", a city mansion. There was the sculpture exhibition, and the permanent collection was equally impressive. Limited on time, I tried to do just a small sketch at each museum--to remember...
What intrigued me and sort of tickled my fancy was the juxtaposition of the stately mansion sculptures hanging off the top of the wall at the edge of the ceiling in a corridor where Picasso's "Buste d'une femme" (1931) sat tranquilly. Nobody seemed to notice the dialogue going on between the man with curls, flowers and flowing drapery staring down at the woman stripped to her stark essence. She seemed oblivious to it all. 

Another day, I visited the Orangerie, after walking through the Tuileries. It is well-known for the series of wall-size "Nymphéas" paintings. 

I did a humble sketch of just one little corner to try to understand movement, color, and technique. I could have done that for a week and learned so much! And, of course, the permanent collection downstairs was exceptional. 

The Musée d'Art Moderne de la ville de Paris featured an exhibit of Albert Marquet (1875-1947), who was a member of the Fauves.  

There I saw a number of the paintings that I had studied in textbooks. Quite lovely.

My favorite exhibit of all was also at the Ville de Paris Museum. Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907), a German artist who visited Paris when she could, had wonderful portraits of children that were solemn, yet gentle. Her almost tender treatment of nudes, which included a mother and child series, is such a contrast to the male painters of her generation, such as Marquet, who did his share of the erotic. I did a quick sketch of her daring self-portrait in the nude and pregnant (when she really wouldn't be pregnant until the following year). Exquisitely lovely.

And, of course I did get to the Paul Klee exhibit at the Georges Pompidou Center, since Klee had spent time in Tunisia. Another breath-taking and thorough exhibit with lots of historical information.

Ok, ok, I never got to the Louvre because there is so much to see in Paris. Next time, and hopefully under much better circumstances...


Norma Schlager said...

Your sketch books are beautiful works of art in themselves. It sounds like you had a marvelous time visiting the museums of Paris. What a treat!

Ms. said...

Paula Modersohn-Becker1 You got the tenderness. Lovely.

Linda A. Miller said...

I love your sketches... they evoke a felt sense of what you experienced there. So lovely.

Sarah Martin said...

Have you ever gone to the Musee Rodin? It has Van Gogh's Pere Tanguy and also lovely gardens around it. It was wonderful for me to see that painting in person. You have made me wish to go there again! Beautiful post