Pardon Moi
I should explain before I go any further my general practices on visiting museums with some commentary on how the majority of tourists seem to act. I don't use audio guides. Well, at least not the first time. Umberto Eco in his essay "Travels in Hyperreality" condemned amusement parks like Disney World for essentially making attendees into machines. He didn't address the passive nature of the customers (sitting calmly as they are ferried through a "small world"), but the parks essentially regulate and therefore homogenize the experience. It seems to me that audio guides do the same thing. They direct passive museum goers to what works have been deemed the most important and then why instead of encouraging the goers to seek out the works that are the most provocative and just look and learn from thinking and looking. Instead you have goers who simply walk through museums with cameras, looking only at the recorded image of the work and not the work itself even when it is in front of them. If they do walk through, they simply plug themselves into head sets and don't interact with the other museum goers.
The museum goers who eschew audio guides and cameras still tend to stampede towards "the great works." I like to explore as much as possible. Certainly even in a small museum like the musee d'orsay one can not see everything, but I took my time on the first two floors before I went to the "Impressionist" floor.
Bunni's Picks
Not that you care, but here is a floor by floor break down of the works I was the most impressed with.
First Floor
Femme Piquee par un Serpent
the works of Antoine Louis Bayre
the works of Alexandre Cabanal
The opera work of Maurice Boille
Le Desepoi-Perraud
Pan et Oursons-Emmanuel Fremiet
Level 2
Eve Apres le Peche-Delapanche
La Danse-Jean Baptiste Calpeaux
Marine Avec Recif-August Strindberg (yes THAT august strindberg)
Le Foi, L'esperence, La Charite and les Zinnias -Josef Mehofer
L'ecole de Platon-Jean Delville
(at this point bunni loses her patience looking up links, if you want to see these things google them yourselves)
Joseph Grane-Maguerite Morens
the works of Carriere
Femme dans la Rue-Louis Augustin
Level 5
La Chambre a Van Gough a l'Arles
Etude D' Apres nature- Latour
Danseus Bleus-Degas
Portrait de Madame Paul Hellene-Paul Hellene
La Sorciere-Levy Dhurner
La Chat Blanc-Bonnard
the works of Henri Cross
L'enfant a la Soupiere-Carriere
La Liseuse-Renoir
The cathedral in Rouen ( blue/gold) Monet
Garden of the Nymphs ( blue/rose) Monet
I would like to say that I didn't list a lot of the MAJOR WORKS that everyone goes to see. Whistler's Mother is a great painting, but I'm thinking that I don't have to tell you all that. I went for the works that I supposed are less popular.
In the musee d'orsay I finally get lonely. Not that I wanted Eric to be there, I didn't. But I wanted someone to be there. I was a bit relieved that UDR wasn't there, as he wouldn't have let me wander the museum on my own, but would have had to steer me around and lecture me. Not that I mind a good lecture, but, well, after I saw what I wanted to see. (He was fairly disparaging of my favorite statue, but well, it's what I have come to expect from the crazy one.) But still, it would have been nice to sit and talk to someone, someone fairly fluent in english, about what I had seen.
But since that wasn's available, I picked up another man.
I was sitting on the bridge outside of the d'orsay contemplating my loneliness when I made the mistake of smiling at a very cute guy who reminded me of Vampire Hunter D. Said had high cheek bones, light red hair, and green eyes. He was Algerian and a construction worker. He invited me to coffee. He was rather poorly mannered, more aggressive and rude with the waiters than I would have dared. He also spoke no english and often simply broke into a wide Belmondo like smile whenever I silently looked at him.
Unfortunately Said didn't believe in showering. He wanted to take me out that night dancing, which considering my swollen and throbbing ankle I couldn't consider, but with the BO factored in, well, it was literally unimaginable. He might have been charged with crimes against humanity. I tried to hint it to him by asking for time to go back to my hotel to shower (I needed it anyway), but he offered to go with me. "No, no" I thought, "It's not a come on. It's a MAJOR HINT." But Said was also not so quick on the uptake. ( Right, right because it couldn't possibly be my frenglish peppered with interpretive dance.) I agreed to meet him for dansing and hobbled home.
The Return of the Worst Thing Possible
When I got back to the hotel, my ankle was extremely red and swollen. I had managed to get through the musee d'orsay with a combination of will and long rests. I took a bath and soaked my ankle. I was afraid I was dealing with a localized infection that could spread up the lymphic system. (I have been treated numerous times, and even hospitalized, for this condition.) Of course, if I stopped walking altogether and rested for two days the condition would probably go away. But I couldn't really stop walking. I still had to go the Louvre and NOT going to the Louvre was not an option. I wouldn't even consider it. Even if I had to stump up and down the halls of the Louvre on my TONGUE, I was going to the Louvre.
But there was, on the other hand, no need to tempt fate more than I was already tempting it. To be sure my continued walking was kind of like sticking my tongue out in a manner that could have been derisive, but could just be licking my lips at fate. I wasn't ready to give fate the full bronx jeer.
Instead of returning to St Michel for dinner ( a mistake) or going to the Tiger ( another mistake), I wandered and ended up at Au Rendez-Vous des Artistes. My random selection of places had served me well so far, but this was a tactical error. However, I tell myself its ok to be slumming it tonight, what with the ankle. I will have dinner and go home and rest so that I will be able to make it through the Louvre without having to resort to mollusk like behavior.
More to come..the Louvre...the Return of Henri...Homecoming

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