The Musée d’Orsay is organising a series of balls to celebrate their exhibition the “Spectacular Second Empire”. Some of the balls are masked! You can spend the day learning the Polka (if you can count to 3 you can dance this) or the Quadrille from the members of the Association Carnet des Bals. Take part in the ball in the afternoon just as Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie would have, all within the spectacular surroundings of the Musée d’Orsay.
I’m a fan of the Black Eyed Peas so when I heard last month that Will.i.am (founding member of the Black Eyed Peas for those over 30) was re-interpreting his “Mona Lisa Smile” video in association with the Louvre, my interest was piqued.
I love the new video which was entirely set in the Louvre. Throughout the song Will.i.am super-imposes himself on numerous of the Louvre’s most famous paintings, half of which I should know but don’t. Nicole Scherzinger plays La Joconde / Mona Lisa – but as I am over 30 I haven’t heard of her ;-(
I think it would be a great wheeze to wander round the Louvre trying to spot the paintings used in the song ! One way to interest the teens, I think.
I might have to find them in the correct order sequence though just because I am waaayy too complicated for my own good…
Click on the photo to see the video.
How many can you name off the top of your head ? If you need help this link shows the original painting, the video version and a bio !
Not content with this collaboration, Will.i.am has also produced a 12 minute documentary – Will.i.am at the Louvre – with the senior creator of the Department of Decorative Arts at the Louvre and the Editor of Wired UK discussing his passion for art and technology and his fascination with the Louvre, “the greatest museum in the World”. Some contents that particularly inspired him included one of my favourite subjects, Marie-Antoinette, his view of the parallels between creativity in the 18th century and today and the piece de résistance in his mind, Claude-Simeon Passemant’s 18th Century silver and gold “Pendulum of the Creation of the World”, which not only tells the time but shows precisely how the Earth tilts on its axis.
Click here to see the documentary.
The Louvre has a lot of Visitor Trails, maps with detailed directions and explanations of what you are seeing which you follow at your leisure and they have created a 90 minute Will.i.am at the Louvre Trail based on the documentary incorporating everything he talks about including the sumptuous Napoleon III apartments, the monumental white stone Lefuel double staircase and ‘that clock’ which I also think is amazing (I recently saw a smaller version in the Kings private state rooms in Versailles Palace but it is not on public display).
If you are up to it, and your teens aren’t yet dragging their feet and demanding to be fed, there is 90 minute themed tour about the Da Vinci Code called ‘from Fiction to Fact’ and just one guided tour in English – an introduction to the ‘Masterpieces’ at 11.30am and 2pm each day.
Happy Louvring !
Check out tickets for Carambolages at the Grand Palais until July 4th 2016. Just the kind of museum exhibition the children will enjoy too.
Carambolages – I had to look it up – means a pile-up in the sense of a train crash or someone playing billiards and ‘cannoning’ one ball into another.
In this exhibition there are 185 pieces, all mixed up, the only thread is that each piece is connected to the next by an association of ideas or forms but at no time does the museum tell you how! It is not structured by artist, country, date or medium, nor are there any explanations typed by each piece giving you any clues.
There is a line of paintings, sculptures and videos and it is left to the viewer to figure out what the connections are and as there are no answers provided, everybody is right! If you need a hand take a look at the video screens in each room which give you the name of each work which may help a little. Some well-known artists are on show; Rembrandt, Man Ray, Giacometti interspersed with anonymous ones.
I don’t know any young children who could go but if you do please leave a comment on whether you or they found the connections easier. The exhibition also has a workbook for children and a downloadable app (not sure if it is in English).
Open from 10.00 am to 8.00pm on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays et Sundays and late nights on Wednesdays from 10.00 am to 10:00 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Pricing : Full : 13€ OR Tarif ‘tribu’ (4 people incl. 2 between 16 et 25 years old) : 35 € (When did they start this !!)
For more information in English : click here
The perfect eaterie in walking distance is the Brasserie le Grand Palais, just hang a left past the Palais de la Découverte, also a good choice of Museum for children, and it is across the road opposite the Aston Martin showroom. There is a smart part with sunny terrace and a large café part with wicker chairs. There are at least 2 menus and the lunch food is very reasonable: bagels, sandwiches and gi-normous hotdogs in half a baguette, cheaper in most cases than drinking there!
Hope you enjoy it.
The ‘Musée National Picasso-Paris’ in Paris is presenting its first major international exhibition : ” Picasso Sculptures “. This follows on from the ” Picasso Sculpture ” retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and is being staged here until the 28th August 2016.
The intention is to contemplate the artist’s sculptures from a different angle through series and variations, casts, reproductions and enlargements all produced from the original sculptures. Featuring over 240 pieces, it is the largest collection of his sculpted work assembled since the Picasso Sculpteur exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in 2000.
Exceptional collections will be presented, such as the series of six ‘Verres d’absinthe’ (glasses of absinthe; 1914), which will be seen in its entirety for the first time in Europe. Others such as Pregnant woman, Heads of a Woman which were cast in cement and just to be even – handed, Head of a Man.
A video explanation in English from the curator of the sculpture department of the museum is here.
The exhibition comprises fifteen sections arranged over two floors. Unlike his paintings for which I find the curatorship completely unfathomable, his scupltures are shown in chronological order – from the very first models he produced in the 1900s through to the enlarged versions he made from sheet metal during the sixties.
An example of his work is the ‘Monument to Apollinaire’ which is in room 5. In 1921, Picasso was commissioned to produce a monument in tribute to Guillaume Apollinaire, who died in November 1918. In 1928, Picasso collaborated with Julio González to produce at least four models entitled ‘Figure’ echoing the Bird of Benin, the artist’s double in Apollinaire’s short story ‘Le Poète assassiné’ (The Assasinated Poet) – it has been described as a “profound statue made out of nothing, like poetry and glory.” All the projects on display in room 5 were rejected by the Apollinaire Committee !
NB : An exhibition dedicated to Guillaume Apollinaire, ‘Apollinaire, le regard du poète’ (Apollinaire, the vision of the Poet) is being held at the Musée de l’Orangerie from 6 April to 18 July 2016.
When you start feeling peckish, pop into the renowned Breizh Café for an organic, authentic Brittany crepe. The ‘complet’ is egg, ham and cheese, there are a multitude of choices of cider and if you have a desert crepe as well the meal will still only be €15. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Come and stay at 52 Clichy. BOOK HERE.
Want to hear what previous guests have said about 52 Clichy ? CLICK HERE.
For years I have wanted to visit the Catacombs as it is a huge tourist attraction. It is the ossuary of Paris which, from 1786, has held the uprooted skeletons of 6 million Parisians, some up to 900 years old, moved from over-flowing cemeteries into a small part of the 186 miles of tunnels created by limestone mining for the stone to build Paris.
Descend the 19 metre spiral staircase (130 steps) walking for about 45 minutes / 1½ miles with 200 other people, 12 at a time, through the cavernous chambers displaying the carefully arranged bones. What has stopped me going ? Lovely guests queued for an hour last week and in Summer it is more like 2-3 hrs with no cloakroom / toilet facilities. But that has all changed!
There is now a Catacombs ‘jump the queue’ ticket costing €27 including an audioguide which you book online. It is not part of the Paris Museum Pass package.
Book early, or ask me to do it for you. I tried to book in 10 days time at 5pm and there were only 17 places left. If not, you have 2 other choices :
- Queue for an ordinary ticket for €15 including audioguide and turn up, as even the official website heavily suggests, mid-week in the late afternoon. Last slot is 7pm.
- Or try my cunning plan, be in Paris on the 1st Sunday of the month when most museums are free as my untested hypothesis is that this is the one day people will not pay to go to a museum…
Of course it is something to do in Winter and the hottest days of Summer as it will be the same ambient temperature down there all year round.
Will keep you posted when I go.
Want to know what previous guests said about 52 Clichy ?
Wonderful oasis in the heart of Paris : The minute we open the street door into the quiet garden entry we realized how lucky we were to stay at 52 Clichy. We choose the spacious apartment which had everything we needed and more. Our host Rosemary did a beautiful job of making us comfortable…We will be back to this wonderful home and host.
John and Pam, USA. Stayed in the Apartment in September 2016. Reviewed on Trip Advisor.