Monday, July 17, 2017

The Petit Palais, Paris

Across the street from the famous exhibition hall the Grand Palais sits its more decorative sibling, the Petit Palais.  Built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 by architect Charles Girault in the Beaux-arts style the building now houses a magnificent art museum.
We entered the palais on a whim as the day was hot and the ornate entrance was cool and welcoming. The interior was even more exuberant then the exterior and admission was free!
Before touching on 2 interesting exhibits I saw as well as some of the general collection I'll share some pictures of the astounding architecture with you.
 It may be smaller than the Grand Palais but this is not a small building!
 The interior is light filled due to a lovely courtyard which floods every room with natural light.
 Impressive right?
Decorative murals decorate each space.
A lovely view of the Grand Palais across the street through the windows.
The ironwork on the staircases was astounding as were the mosaic floors. 
 And never forget to look up.
 The newel posts are so intricate and unusual.
 The lower level is no less grand.
 Is it a fish of some sort?
 The most impressive space however must be the internal garden courtyard.
 A cafe rings the loggia so everyone has a garden view.
 The main entry into the building is just under that dome.
This may be my favorite garden in Paris. I probably said that already about the Rodin museum, right? choices choices....
 The ceiling of the loggia is also decorated, fear not!
 And of course everything is curved, even the doors!
 Shall we go inside to see some art?
The permanent collection mostly covers art from the time period of the exhibition, 1900. This lovely Pissaro was the same view I passed daily on the way to my apartment. 

I have long been acquainted with this intriguing portrait of Sarah Bernhardt from 1876 and it is within the collection; also note how large this is, nearly life sized!
This painting below by James Tissot was also incredibly large. It helps for museums to be large scale like the Petit Palais to house these enormous artworks!
Another lifesized sculpture..... note the lovely klismos chair.
A fine 18th century decorative arts collection sits alongside the art.
 I love this obelisk clock by Joseph-Marie Level.
One of the exhibits I enjoyed, which has since closed, was full of sketches from the 18th century entitled "From Watteau to David".
My favorite was the sketch above of 2 women in a garden by Claude-Jean-Baptiste Hoin (that's a mouthful of a name!)
Although the Fragonard sketch of an Italian Garden above was a close second.
Sketches and watercolors remain my favorite art genre because of their loose sketchiness; I feel artists are more creative in these quick pieces.
The sketch above was by Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre who was the court painter to king Louis XVI.
Another exhibit right up my alley was on 18th century ecclesiastical art and architecture entitled "Baroque during the enlightenment".
The baroque artworks of the churches of Paris - brilliant!
Many still exist and can be visited.
I never knew the art of the illuminated manuscript continued after the renaissance; Loved the flowers above.
Many of these pieces were restored just for this exhibit.
While these particular exhibits have recently closed hopefully this post gives you the nature of the art within the Petit Palais. Definitely add this museum to your next adventure into the city of light, it will become one of my regular Parisian haunts for sure!