In the past week we’ve been to seven museums, all rich with art and history, full of beautiful objects and stunning paintings, celebrations of creativity and the pleasures and challenges of visual representation of the experience of the world. And we’ve done it in a city that’s like a giant museum, with street after winding street cobbled in stone and lined with charming boutiques. Or boulevard after boulevard lined with grand palaces, ornately decorated with gargoyles and statues and bas-relief sculptures and lit up at night, the Eiffel Tower glittering like a giant sequined dream in the distance.
Yesterday we went to Musee Carnavalet, the Museum of the History of the City of Paris, housed in two old mansions, full of paintings and furniture and drawings and dioramas. We walked through the Marais using the tour in the Lonely Planet, admiring the grand 16th and 17th century buildings that line the streets. In the Musee Cognacq-Jay there were rooms and rooms and rooms, in another old mansion, with the incredible art and furniture of a wealthy family. The inlaid and lacquered wooden tables were stunning. The day before we went to Musee l’Orangerie, which houses an outrageously gorgeous collection of Impressionist paintings, including two large oval rooms wrapped in huge canvases of Monet’s water lilies.
Today, at the Pompidou, France’s National Museum of Modern Art, I finally felt drunk on art. At one point I just walked through rooms with paintings by Picasso and Derain and Matisse and Kandinsky and Miro and felt like I couldn’t take in one more drop of visual stimulation. So here’s a small sampling of art I’ve caught on my iPhone (sometimes surreptitiously, like at the Musee D’Orsay where you’re not supposed to take photos, but everyone does). I need to get to bed, not just because we have to be up early tomorrow to catch the train to the airport. I need to sleep this Art Drunk off.