These are just a few of the museums I visited, and I went to over 20. On the first Sunday of every month entrance to museums is free. On that Sunday I went to 9 of the smallest museums. It was one of my favorite days in Paris.
The Louvre Museum is rather overwhelming upon first entry. It has four floors, three wings and over eight categorized departments with over 35,000 pieces on display. But it’s mapped out well. I did see the most famous pieces, Venus de Milo, Cupid and Psyche sculptures and ‘Freedom lead the people’ and ‘Mona Lisa’ paintings.
I didn’t realize that on the lower floors there are some amazing ancient pieces, some dating back five thousand years. My favorite is the imposing relief sculpture the Shedu. It’s a single block of stone and is a mix of a human, bull, and bird.
Some of the rooms are filled with artwork that truly is in the eye of the beholder. I saw this magnificent sculpture of St. Mary Magdelene. According to legend, the repentant sinner lived a secluded life a cave, clothed only by her hair.
While the Louvre is amazing, I fell in love with The Musée d’Orsay. The museum was originally a real train station and the outside is impressive, but the inside is all the more stunning. The museum is the largest collection of impressionist masterpieces. This painting by Bernard Emile “Harvest by the Sea” was a real eye-catcher.
One of my favorite paintings “Joan of Arc” is at the Met in NYC so I knew in a glance that this was also painted by the artist Jules Bastien-Lepage. It’s his “Portrait of My Grandfather”, the detail is amazing.
The Orangerie Museum is the paradise for Monet-lovers. After World War I Claude Monet donated painted panels to the French government to mark the end of the war. I loved the immersive feeling I got in this gallery. The size, color and lighting from above was spectacular.
Auguste Rodin is more than a museum it is a beautiful curated house and garden filled with his sculptures. This lovely garden is the perfect home for his “Thinker”.
I feel in love with The Cluny Museum. It tells the tales of the French Middle Ages. It also is the home of the famous six-piece tapestry that tells the story of The Lady and The Unicorn.
Nissim de Camondo displays the Camondo’s passion for 18th-century art as well as his family’s lavish lifestyle. It was named for his son Nissim who died in World War I. Tragically, the Count’s daughter and family were deported to Auschwitz and today there are no living descendants.
There is also a wonderful restaurant and a terrace that has a wonderful ‘secret garden’ feel to it. The perfect oasis to relax.
The Carnavalet Museum is worth the visit for several reasons. It’s free and not too busy. Walking through the over 100 rooms you’ll experience the atmosphere of Paris through the ages. As a decorative painter, this stairwell mural painted by the Brunetti brothers was very impressive.
The petit hedges of the museum’s garden are something out a fairytale.
The nineteenth-century home and studio of Gustave Moreau was given to the French nation. Entering this small museum I was transported into Moreau’s world. He was known for large-scale biblical and mythological scenes. The walls are filled with his paintings and this circular staircase is a favorite of photographers. This was one of my favorite museums and I recommend it to everyone going to Paris.