Saturday, May 18, 2013

Paris vacation - day 5

Day 5 started with a long overdue visit to the Rodin Museum located in the historic hotel Biron.  Despite ongoing restorations (half of the museum and gardens were closed) it was an awe inspiring visit; great house, great art, great story. 
One thing I have to say is that it was nice to see a place that actually looked OLD, at least on the interior. Most things I find here are 'restored' to a state more pristine than their original form.  Whats wrong with old sometimes? Being a museum since 1918 has left it a little worn though.  The entry foyer was a beautiful space seen above.
The art is amazing of course. The movement found within the pieces is my favorite aspect; these large hands were so expressive and probably my favorite piece.
A (quick) stop next door to the Invalides is also recommended, but you don't need to spend too much time here (unless you're interested in military museums).  Check out the chapel and Napolean's tomb (you can't miss it, under the dome!).
After a quick lunch at a local bistro, we jumped on the subway to the Marais to check out the Cognaq-Jay Museum. Often overlooked, the charming museum is housed in a renovated hotel particuleur and is full of 18th century decorative arts and furniture (you KNOW I loved that).  Light on substance perhaps but lots of pretty.
Across the street is the enormous Carnavalet Museum - the museum of the city of Paris. The central garden courtyard, seen above, is gorgeous.  I had avoided this museum on past trips thinking it would be a dry but I was so wrong.
The museum tells the story of the city through its people and events, not dry numbers and facts. Models of the city and its monuments, paintings of celebrities, period rooms, ephemora from the revolution and different time periods: altogether a fascinating look at an interesting but dramatic city.
The period rooms are lovely, this boiserie was highly detailed. The photo above was of Proust's bedroom recreated along with a number of other celebrities.
A bust of architect Mansart lines one of the many stair wells. Don't miss the Carnavalet! Lesson learned.


Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Fantastic photos, Stefan! You've visited many of my favorite museums. Although I've yet to visit the Carnavalet Museum - that's on my list! Hope the shopping is good!

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

I am enjoying your Paris trip! If I could only have cassoulet, escargot and profitoroles, all would be right.

Reggie Darling said...

Thanks for this post, and your series on Paris. We (memorably) visited both the Rodin Museum and Les Invalides when we were there in March. It was my first time at the Rodin Museum in over thirty years. As far as I'm concerned, it is perfection (even the tatty parts) and would be the ideal maison to call one's own in Paris, should one be so fortunate! I, too, find the French's practice of "restoring" buildings to a fare-thee-well somewhat disconcerting. They look better than brand new! The Cognac Jay was on our list, but, alas, didn't make it there this time. Thanks, Reggie

Windlost said...

I left a comment yesterday but I thought that Blogger ate it. I loved the Rodin museum and also Carnavelet. I thought the paintings were amazing there. Have not visited Cognaq-Jay but really must - the Marais is always too distracting to want to go indoors.

xo Terri