Musée d’Orsay is one of the most beautiful
museums in Paris. Works of art from 1848 and 1914
are housed in a historic train station, originally
built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, but
extensively remodeled in the 1980’s. The building
itself is considered the first “work of art” when
entering the Musée d’Orsay.
It is located on
the Seine’s Left Bank in the 7th
arrondissement across from the Tulleries Gardens at
Pont Royal. Its collection includes work by Pissarro,
Gauguin, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Renoir,
Degas, Whistler, and
Today, Arnaud happens to meet his cousin Emilie near
the entrance to the Musée d’Orsay, which is not far
from the RER station.
Arnaud: Hi, Emilie! I did
not know you would be here today. It’s great to see
you! Are you here for the Picasso/Manet exhibition
Déjeuner sur l’herbe? I think it ends soon.
Emilie: No, I had to write
a paper on Degas’ sculptures for an art class I am
taking. He was such an amazing sculptor, don’t you
think? And what about you? What are you doing here?
Arnaud: Just a casual
visit. I came to admire the paintings by Van Gogh,
among others…yes, I like Degas too, of course. I
come here often. Incidentally, I bought a
reproduction of the
Church at Auvers, which he painted in 1890.
Tomorrow, I plan to go and see the places Van
Gogh used to visit at the end of his life. Would you
like to come with me? To
Emilie: Really? Um…sure.
OK. Tomorrow I will go with you to Auvers. I adore
Van Gogh, but he was a tortured artist at the end of
his life, no? His paintings were not appreciated
until well after his death.
Arnaud: Van Gogh lived with his brother Theo
during those last months, before the great artist
committed suicide. Such a tragedy. Both he and Theo
are both buried in the cemetery at Auvers.
Emilie: If you don’t mind, I would like to
visit the cemetery to see their tombstones. Can we
Arnaud: Yes, of course. Their tombstones are
covered in ivy, and from the cemetery there is a
magnificent view of the church, Notre Dame d’Auvers,
which dates back to the 12th century. After the
cemetery we can walk into the field where Van Gogh
painted many landscapes.