My shiny little online spot to help y'all keep track of me while I galavant around London.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Musee D'Orsay

The first (and only other time) I've been to the Musee D'Orsay was with Nat, Ann and Daorcey last Febuary (indeed, I still call it the Daorcey Museum).

After spending much too much time together, things were tense and we were a bit frustrated; we decided to split up in the museum. While staggering exhausted about the converted train station, glancing from time to time up at the walls of Van Goghs and Monets and Cezannes, I came across a painting. I'd seen it as a poster and in books before, and never really cared for it. But something about it then -- seeing it for real -- struck me, and I was in awe of it.

It's this painting, by Caillebotte:

So upon my return to the Musee D'Orsay, after waiting in the security line with my parents (Michelle was left behind in the hotel), and then waiting again in the ticket line, I rushed through the special Cezzane/Pissaro exhibit and -- with much anticipation -- went to the top floor, where the impressionist paintings are (mostly) all displayed.

Rushing through rooms of tourists, past walls of Renoirs and Manet and all the rest, I found room 30. Remembering how I first came across it last year, I knew this painting hung on the other side of a big wall in the centre of the room. Speedwalking across the wooden floors as quickly as my tired feet and good manners would allow, I reached the wall, turned the corner, and... was completely deflated and confused.

It wasn't there. Looking around, I realized it wasn't anywhere in the room. There were other works by Caillebotte. But not mine. Where mine should be, another painting had the nerve to hang. Standing before this other painting -- I couldn't tell you what it was, or by who -- I spotted, below it, the name of my painting, Les raboteurs de parquet, among some other words in French, which I roughly translated to mean that the painting -- my painting -- was on loan and therefore currently in... Moscow.

I spent the next few hours wandering listlessly among the other artworks, but none moved me, none interested me. I was too dejected to care what Degas and the rest of them had to say or show me.

So I went to the gift shop instead. And bought a poster -- of which painting, you'll never guess...


Anonymous Mary said...

I know how you feel. The same thing happened to me the last time I was in Ottawa. I went to the National Gallery to visit (ahem, view) Marc Chagall's The Eiffel Tower, my favourite painting the world that must be seen in person, and to my consternation it was not there. No note, either, about where it had gone, but after speaking to someone at the front desk, I concluded that either they had put it in storage in favour of another Chagall (and to be fair, it had been up for years) or the family that had loaned it asked for it back. Alas, to this day I have not been able to find a poster, though I do have it on a calendar.




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