Monday, January 24, 2011

Waiting in Line for Oscar

Today is the final day of a hugely successful exhibit tracing the over sixty-year-long career of an artist who was known to his family as Oscar.

We know him as Claude…Claude Monet…and the event at Paris’ Grand Palais celebrates his life (1840-1926) and his accomplishments as one of the founders of French Impressionist painting.

The sign shown above warns those in the line outside the Grand Palais that they still had another six hours before they would be able to even begin viewing the two hundred Monet paintings inside…many from Paris’ Musée d’Orsay (which is currently being renovated), as well as others from collections in Brazil, Russia, the Netherlands, Australia, and the United States. It is the first such gathering of Monet’s art since 1980 and as the exhibit encompasses paintings representing his entire range of work, it was a must-see event. Today is the very last day…the exhibit opened on September 22, 2010 and since then some 889,200 visitors have braved long lines…some waiting for over seven hours! Since this last Friday, it’s been a Monet marathon…with the museum being open 24 hours a day. Tonight at 9pm, the final closing bell will toll.

We lug our cameras around with us at all times, but unfortunately…and understandably…photographs were not allowed to be taken within the exhibit.


Just a brief stroll away is the Musée de l’Orangerie…where eight Monet paintings that were too large to be transported gracefully are on display. No line at the entrance…and not too many people to get in our way as we take…with permission…some images for you to enjoy.

monet14 The paintings are enormous…garden scenes…some with nympheas…French for water lily…while others feature saules…French for willow trees. This photo will give you an idea of the size of the paintings. They are all two meters high and range in width from six meters to over twelve meters. Monet first came up with the idea for the series in 1897, with the actual work beginning in 1914 as France was in the midst of World War I.  Later, Monet signed an agreement giving the works to France as his way of honoring the fallen French soldiers. The Impressionists strove to capture the effect of light, often painting outdoors using quick brushstrokes and blocks of color; due to their size, these were painted in a specially-created studio at his home in Giverny.

And now I’ll shut up and let you enjoy Oscar Claude Monet’s message for peace…

Reflets Verts…Green Reflections

monet1 Matin…Morning

monet2 Soleil Couchant…Setting Sun


Les Nuages…Clouds

monet7Le Matin aux Saules…Morning at the Willows

monet9   Le Matin Clair aux Saules…Morning Light at the Willows

 monet8 Les Deux Saules…Two Willows
(Unfortunately, I couldn’t get back far enough to include the second willow, but it’s there!)


Reflets d’Arbres…Reflections of Trees

Those are the eight…and for fun, here are a couple of detail views of Reflets Verts:
monet13Note: Speaking of fun…this posting is the first in a series of our own…the “all-work-and-no-play-is-no-fun” series of posts that will be included from time to time…enjoy!


  1. Wonderful photo's Adela.
    Roger & I enjoyed visiting l'Orangerie in March 2010.
    We saw Monets Les Nymphéas and the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume collection, which included paintings by Cézanne, Renoir, Rousseau, Modigliani, Matisse & Picasso.

  2. Hi Maggie! Yes, I always tell people to be sure to go downstairs at the Orangerie. I'm saving the images and the story of how Paul Guillaume amassed his collection for another posting. It's a fascinating collection and an even more fascinating story...complete with suspicions of murder.

  3. Adela, I love Monet, couldn't wait to get to his home and see it and his gardens. I didn't know he was called Oscar by his family.

    Will eagerly await you next story.

  4. Hi Adela, just passing through! I see you have a few blogs yourselves :-D
    I didn't even bother to go to the Monet exhibition - I was probably too busy being in Paris or something. There will be others and six hours sure is a long time to be, well, just standing there, isn't it!
    I must go to the Orangerie again - I haven't been since it was done up, and I always enjoyed the really doable little exhibition upstairs - it always seemed to me to be just the right size for an art gallery!

  5. Adela, thanks for the preview. Orangerie is on my list for the next trip.
    ~ Sarah