Musee d’Orsay #travelthursdays


Apart from a briefly schneaky colour interlude, I hope you’re enjoying Adventures of a London Kiwi going à la Français for a week… it started off with an overall 48 hour exploration of Paris, leading to a brief read outside Notre Dame, and then out for a gourmet snack and refreshing beverage a la wookie. Now, we’re onto the culture baby!



Now, my hubby is a proper Northern English lad. He likes beer, football, rock music and Shepherds Pie. He’s not into ‘imaginary stuff’ Sci-fi, not super keen on gossiping over afternoon tea or dare I say it, Art generally. (This said we do have a Renoir print hanging in our lounge that he adores!)


This simply isn’t a criticism on my part, it’s just how he was raised and is, and he’s perfect for it. We are chalk and cheese, yin and yang which works beautifully in so many ways. Trouble is, over the years I’ve dragged him to many things that deep down inside he really isn’t interested in or fussed to see. When we went to Italy on holiday, he asked plaintively if we could ‘only look at the Protestant Churches’ because he knows what I’m like.



Life is about compromise – we averaged 2-3 Roman Catholic churches a day. But, with the promise of beer afterwards & a bit of an explanation how the structural design of the church ties in with the religion he was much more interested. 


We’ve been to the Louvre on a previous trip where much to hubby’s hilarity I drained the camera of batteries taking snaps of the rooms themselves – cornicings, ceilings… (I was an architecture student.)When we got to the Mona Lisa the most famous painting in the world, and one he thinks is beautiful, the battery died a blinky death before we were able to take a photo of it. I’ve never lived the episode down, so it was to much giggling we set off for the Musee d’Orsay.


Him: “Hey, cool building. This looks like a train station”
Me: “Sigh, you never listen to me, do you?”


Me: “Picasso, Cezanne, Manet, Degas, Seurat..” 
Him: “Ok, so what does that mean?” (not really listening, thinking it’s a French phrase)
Me: “They are the Impressionist and post-Impressionist painters whose works are here”
Him: “Oh… I’m in trouble again, aren’t I?”


Previously a train station, the Musee d’Orsay houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world. It is breathtaking, and causes people to declare they want to have it’s babies. Well, one of my friends anyway!


The coolest café I think I’ve ever seen.

The lad, surprisingly simplistically accurate: “So, upstairs for splodges, downstairs for dots and spots,?”

A lesser known van Gogh, in quite a remarkable frame (oh Twitter, how much you have changed my world!)

A reaction to Classicism and the development of photography, Impressionism is typified by the use of light, unarranged scenes, common & lower class subjects and impasto – the ‘splodging’ of paint onto canvas to texturise and add to the scene.

Can you tell I loved my Art History classes?

I highly recommend the Musee d’Orsay. You have the impressionists gallery on the first floor, statuary & furniture on the first floor and many random art works on the lower floors – something for everyone, even the Northern Lads among and with us.


Top tips:

  • Try to book your tickets online or visit early to avoid the worst of the entry queues

  • As most other musuems are shut, Tuesdays seem to be the busiest day to visit

  • At time of writing, the first Sunday of the month is free entry to the museum & we got 2 for 1 tickets in conjunction with our Eurostar tickets

  • We started in the top Impressionist Galleries and slowly wended our way down

  • Don’t miss the artworks tucked away on the ground floor right at the back – again RunawayKiwi tipped me off & I’m so glad she did!

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