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After shopping to our heart's content, Mom and I gradually made our way over to the Left bank where the Musee d'Orsay is - right along the Seine across from one of the wings of the Louvre. It's an old train station that houses some of the most prized French paintings and sculptures. Being the first Sunday of the month, admission was free here too. So there was a bit of a line, but Mom and I had just beat a tour bus full of people so we walked in and wandered around.

The paintings are organized on 3 floors, with the earliest works on the ground floor and progressing upwards. They had a really cool furniture exhibit there as well, but I was pretty much there only for the Monets. By the way, I took these pictures sans flash, and most of the images I have at 1200 x 1600 resolution if anyone wants one. They make wonderful prints.

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One of Monet's earlier works, Magpie was painted in 1869. I liked this one because it was a winter scene and I really couldn't remember ever seeing a Monet winter painting.

I took a close up of this in detail so I could remember the skill it took to paint the snow so realistically. This is why I could never be a painter - you really have to see everything in detailed layers of color. Even with the "Happy" painter on PBS, I couldn't begin to get close.

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The next two painting are from his boat series at Argenteuil. I think most of my favorite Monet works are boat pictures. I think it's because my parents brainwashed me by having some of these prints around the house when I was a kid. There are worse things to be fond of. :)

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Bridge at Argenteuil, 1874

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Regatta at Argenteuil, 1872

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Monet did a series of works featuring the Cathedral in Rouen around 1892. It was a popular place for the artists of the time. I think this one is Rouen Cathedral, Grey Weather.

The Artist's Garden, Irises
1900
wow. Enough said.

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greenbridge.jpg (86211 bytes) By far, my most favorite Monet is The Water Lily Pond, Harmony in Green.

Monet did a series around this bridge, but this one is my favorite. I will admit to tearing up in front of it. I have a print of this in my bed room and to actually see the original was just, well... words don't do the feeling justice. 

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This is the Water Lily Pond, Symphony in Red. Both were done around 1899/1900

Last two images (you thought you were going to have to go through pages of this, didn't you?). I will stop here to relate the incident where I got into a little tiny bit of trouble in the Museum. The atrium on the ground floor has lots of benches to sit and rest (or wait for the more artistically fanatic people in your group) and I was wearing slide on sandals. Mom and I were just chilling out, making our game plan to get back to the hotel.

My feet were tired, as we had done the Louve and the d'Orsay museum that day so I slid my feet out and put them on top of the shoes. I had just done this when about 30 seconds later a very well dressed, very handsome (mmm French men!) man walked up to me and said something sternly in French while he pointed to my feet. It was the motions he made with his hands that let me realize that he did not approve of my feet being out of my shoes. Mom and I giggled all the way home about how I almost got kicked out of the museum and how if I thought the cute French man would come back, I'd take my feet out of my shoes again.
:) 

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Another famous Monet series is his works of London. Here is the Houses of Parlament, Sunlight Breaking Through Fog, 1900

Ah yes, there were other artists in the Museum besides Monet. Here's a token Van Gogh. :) Actually, of all of his works in the museum, this was my favorite.
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After a rest at the hotel, Mom and Dad and I ventured out to take a dinner cruise up the Seine. I didn't take a whole lot of pictures, but it was a wonderful evening, filled with great food, wonderful music (the vocalist sang Ave Maria as we pasted Notre Dame - hand me a hanky!), and what a way to see Paris!!! Everyone should do this if you go to Paris. I highly recommend it.

Next stop - the Chateauxs of the Loire Valley!

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