All posts filed under: Museums

Visit to Sainte-Chapelle

It was one of those grey, drizzly Sundays and a perfect chance to take a walk in the gentle rain before retreating to the comfort of home. It was also an ideal day to set out and pay a visit to the only remaining structure of the Capetian’s palace – La Sainte-Chapelle. Its austere, svelte Gothic architecture certainly belies a more elaborate and generous interior design: ornate floors, brilliant frescoes and wall design and intricate stained glass windows. Apparently, its stained glass windows are the most impressive still-surviving ones of the age. Like almost all other major religious buildings in the city, it was not left untouched by the revolution and is therefore something of a massive work of restoration. While today it poses as a monument – which was overcrowded today I must say – in better times it was built to house Louis IX impressive collection of relics which was reported to include the crown of thorns among other things. Now, one could question the veracity of the claims of the royals to …

Museum on the history of immigration to France

It is not as easy to remember the name of ‘Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration’ as easily as the Louvre or other well loved museums – but it is nonetheless one worth seeing. There aren’t any historic art pieces or archaelogical finds but it is a treasure trove of documents and images that capture the role that immigration has played into shaping modern day France. The museum departs from the premise that the French revolution while ushering in the concept of Liberté, Franternité et Egalité, also forced a complete redefinition of citizenship while drawing the line between those who belong and those who do not. The birth of a republic also forced other questions to the fore – such as that of integration. That is, for those who do not fit the bill, what is to be done to make them a part of the freedom and equality loving majority. The question remains pertinent today, more than ever. ANd I am hoping to follow this during the election period. As for the museum, it …

Musée Rodin

I have always had a respect for sculptors and their ability to capture human feeling and thought and artfully etch it into stone, bronze: these being themselves as lifeless and expressionless materials as they come. Beyond being an art on the part of the sculptor, to me, it really does speak of a much deeper gift of these artists to comprehend and empathise with the deepest of human thoughts and feelings – and perhaps that these sculptors also possess a much deeper self awareness and knowledge of themselves than we mere mortals do not possess. I mean, how else is one able to so aptly recognise, capture and reproduce a human emotion or mental state and create it, without a profound self awareness of the same emotion and thought processes within themselves? It is quite an astonishing gift to my mind. Fewer places capture this more than the museum and gardens dedicated to the work of Auguste Rodin. Apparently, over his lifetime he produced over 7,000 works of art of which his sculptures have proven …

Expo: “Fra Angelico et les Maîtres de la lumiére”

The Musée Jacquemart-André is hosting an interesting expo of artists in the renaissance style of Fra Angelico. It seems to be a celebration of gifted Italian artists who mastered the art of creating exquisite, intricate fresco’s. It is not quite the same as going to Florence to imbibe the spirit behind these paintings and work. Nonetheless, I’m hoping to get lost in the works of Fra Angelico and other renaissance masterpieces. So I guess I’ve decided to spend the day off by indulging in a bit of escapism. Details of access, direction, opening times are presented beautifully here. The link also includes information on how to download a supplementary iPad/iPhone application to enhance the experience.

Museums and monuments open in Paris on All Saints Day 2011

Tomorrow is All Saints Day an hopefully there will be enough time to profit from the museums and other things that will be open then. Luckily, I bumped into a list of options of museums and monuments that are going to be open despite it being a public holiday. So I put together a list, complete with links below… Decisions, decisions, decisions… La Sainte Chapelle Le musée des Arts Décoratifs La Fondation Cartier Les Égouts de Paris Le Musée de l’Érotisme Le musée du Parfum Fragonard Le musée Grévin La Halle Saint-Pierre L’Institut du Monde Arabe Le musée Jacquemart-André Le musée Marmottan Le musée de la Mode et du Textile Le musée d’Orsay Le Palais de la Découverte Le Panthéon Le Musée du Quai Branly Le musée Rodin L’Espace Salvador Dali Le musée du Vin Source: Paris.fr

Chateau de Vincennes

Well, my love for the Middle Ages was further expressed though a visit to the Chåteau de Vincennes, which has consistently played an important part in French history since its construction. Perhaps not so much in the country’s most recent history – but from the times of Saint Louis to I guess the mid 19th Century. Charles V, one of my more favourite monarchs also spent some time here: and it was a surreal moment visiting the very same room that he slept in, his library – and the small chapel where he prayed the Liturgy of the Hours (or rather where assigned priests would do so on his behalf). Needless to say, the Chåteau also serves as a reminder of all that was wrong and reprehensible about the world of monarchs and such: the Chateau also holds the cells of political prisoners held for their ‘subversive’ views for their times. Diderot stand out as one of those who did their time here for his humanism which was seen as a terrible threat to Christendom …

Musée de Cluny – Positively Medieval

Visited this museum as part of a late Sunday afternoon activity with my beloved – and several things can be said about it: As a place that hosts quite an impressive collection of instructive views into the medieval past, something that vey few museums can offer on the scale of this national museum of the Middle Ages. However for me – it transported me to childhood fairy tales, school plays: happy childhood memories! It transported me instantly to the world of Kings, Bishops, Queens, Knights … frogs that transform into Princes upon being kissed by beautiful, naive girls. For history buffs and the curious-minded lay person, it is also a fantastic Sunday afternoon visit. Even better, this would be a museum to get lost in during the week if one has a day off work or happens to be ‘ill’. Address: Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge 6 place Paul Painlevé 75005 Paris More information on tariffs, opening hours, public transport and so forth: Here