Monet … and Chopin’s left hand … and George Sand’s right hand and arm …

I’m going through a cultural period. The days are sunny and warm and I do not want to sit here in my office bashing my Advent laptop, so I am visiting museums.

Monet at the Grand Palais

I’m going through a cultural period. The days are sunny and warm and I do not want to sit here in my office bashing my Advent laptop, so I am visiting museums.

Yesterday, I went to the Monet exposition at the Grand Palais on the Rond Point at the bottom end of Avenue des Champs-Elysées. The expo opened on September 22 and is to run through to January 24 of next year (2011).

I reserved back in July, and being an old hand at museum and exposition visits, I had booked for 13.30 hrs which is always the quietest because it’s lunch time in Paris.

Yet, yesterday, despite having a reservation, I still had to line up for half an hour in the courtyard in front of the museum. Those without reservations had to wait for up to 4 hours to reach the museum’s front door. Therefore, be warned to reserve if at all possible.

What to say about the expo? That Claude Monet is perhaps the greatest artist of all?

But I can add that, because of the crowd, I hardly ever saw all of a painting: Most of the time there was someone’s head in front of the painting.

Which makes me ask, why do people so monopolize the space right in front of a painting?

If you are a Monet enthusiast as I am, then you still have until the end of the month to visit Monet’s house and garden at Giverny because the garden will close beginning November until Easter next year (2011), in other words, for the winter.

You can also visit Monet’s ‘own museum’. This is the Musée Marmottan Monet at Number 2, Rue Louis-Boilly in Paris’s 16th arrondissement (district).

The museum, which is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6pm is running its own Monet exposition. It started on October 7 and will end on February 20 next year. Tit for tat? It looks like it, especially as the expo is called Claude Monet son musée.

The Marmottan is never crowded and what is more it is in a lovely peaceful part of Paris.

Today, I went to the Musée de la Vie Romantique. This is a little known museum at the foot of the Montmartre hill and it is currently showing Russian paintings from Moscow’s Tretyakov museum.

I went for the Russians but the museum, once the private home of the Dutch painter Ary Scheffer (1795-1858), has a permanent (and free) expo of the art objects he had collected. Scheffer held a cultural salon every Friday at which French writer George Sand and her lover Frederique Chopin were present.

Therefore, because of the Sand/Chopin connection, there are several Sand/Chopin possessions and memorabilia on show.

For example there is a cast of Chopin’s left hand and Sand’s right hand and arm.

I was surprised at how small Chopin’s hands were and also how small were those of Sand. I always thought of her as a large lady, but she could not have been with such a small hand and arm.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

One Response to “Monet … and Chopin’s left hand … and George Sand’s right hand and arm …”

  1. 1
    Jo Wake Says:

    Thus are illusions shattered. I admire your fortitude Marilyn. Maybe I would have visited museums when I was younger, but there is no way I could, or would, do so today. Of course I visited the Louvre and the Hopital des Invalides in my day plus numerous other places to which I was taken. I also visited a few galleries in London, but no more.

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