Friday, September 30, 2016

Spectaculaire Second Empire 1852 - 1870, musee d'Orsay

On Monday there were back-to-back press previews - the Hergé at the Grand Palais
And musee d'Orsay's grand Spectaculaire Second Empire 1852 - 1870 exhibit.
The crowning piece is this três riche portrait by Ingres. In art school I was a huge fan and traipsed down to the Ingres museum in Montauban. Back in the day they let me view and handle his drawings in a storage room. Sheer heaven. Wouldn't happen today.
You feel you've stepped back into Napoleon III's time. Everything is set in a lush red velvet opulent context.
The first time I've seen this wonderfully austere family portrait by Degas of The Belleli. How geometric it is, full of triangles and rectangles. I made a doodle on the spot(see above). It took Degas almost 10 years to complete but he forgot the other leg of the little girl in the center or so it appears.
A fabulous triple portrait by Manet. The figures on the balcony seem to be looking back at us, the observers!
Lots of black paint in these. During the Second Empire the burgeoning middle class flaunted their wealth, fueling a booming portrait industry. Fantin-Latour reaped the benefits among many others.
Hmmm...doing pet portraits does not seem the same at all...
Not to overlook Empress Eugenie by any means
Her presence is everywhere in the exhibit..in her full wedding regalia.
His and hers coronation crowns.
His and hers coronation seats...
Tick tock. Napoleon III revived the pomp of Versailles
Lovely Second Empire jewels to admire and some nice knockoffs in the gift shop take note.
Grand balls were organized by the court
The Opera Garnier was constantly joining in with fabulous productions
Everyone appears to be partying and picnicking.
This Manet painting of Trouville made me want to leave immediately for more lobster and sand in my shoes. Yum
Look in a Second Empire mirror and step back in time. A very complete experience from the current mess we're in. If only one could.
Time for dejeuner sur l'herbe. Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast! If you like this post and want to support it, 
buy my Paris letters and watercolors or forward this to someone who might enjoy it. Cheers 

25 comments:

  1. You are right opulence plus..what beautiful pantings..each and every one..amazing you have d'Orsay right there all the time.
    I would be an habitual vistor.I guess my gradfather would have lived then..the tail end..

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    1. The Orsay was a railroad station back in his day by the way.
      I should go more often

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    2. I meant grandfather;) Yes we read that! Gorgeous museum.

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    3. I attended a comic book festival in that cavernous space. Spectacular even then.

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  2. After seeing this post--you need to read The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee.

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    1. Alexander Chee’s “The Queen of the Night” - The New Yorker
      http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/02/22/alexander-chees-the-queen-of-the-night

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    2. I have a copy if you would like me to bring it to lunch next week!

      Christine G

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    3. https://www.buzzfeed.com/briangalindo/25-stunning-photographs-of-countess-de-castiglione?utm_term=.neovoOZx8#.ukD0GYNXp

      Wonderful photos of the Countess.

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    4. Thanks Pieces, but after reading that review it sounds too...violent for me. No time to read these days trying to keep up with all the new shows in Paris. And fashion week too!

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  3. You're right: doing pet portraits is not the same....however I bet none of your subjects critiques your work! :-)

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  4. Super! Thanks for keeping us posted!!!

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  5. Ingres has always been one of my favorites too. On my first trip to Paris in 2002, I made sure to visit his tomb at Pere Lachaise.

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  6. Much more appealing (to me) than Tintin. The era harkens back, as you say, to the glories of Versailles. Well, just think of all the parties and picnics that were painted in Rococo art while Louis XIV and his court were whistling in the dark.

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  7. Fantastic! Thank you for sharing~

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  8. Absolutely beautiful - I love the D'Orsay. I think the little girl is sitting with her leg under her as I always did until it caused a callous on the top of my foot.

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  9. LOVE the portrait of the young woman in the red short coat and deep black skirt!!! LOVED it! The color!!!!!

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  10. EVEN the wallpaper behind her is vivid!!

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  11. Allie C.9:56 PM

    your latest blog is absolutely terrific. The photos are stunning in their clarity. I love the sketch. too.

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  12. Owls Head3:53 AM

    Thanks for taking us there.

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  13. Vicki M4:57 AM

    Thank you! After seeing your Fantin-Latour, I made his painting my destination during my brief Met visit when I was in the city for the day recently. I so look forward to my Paris Breakfasts and have forwarded to many others. Hope you continue to have wonderful forays into the arts and Paree.

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  14. OMG, Carolg, have you gotten your absentee ballot? I sure hope so.

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  15. Ahhhh...so much beauty to see. Some of those group portraits do tell quite a story. I remember seeing the Degas family quartet at the huge Met retrospective...maybe in the 1980s? Yes, the little girl has tucked her other leg under herself as she posed.

    I'm curious to see more photos of Eugenie and will see how M. Google can assist my searching.

    Carol, your posts are such a treat. xo

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  16. Boy, Carol, this post is a real knockout :)
    The paintings are gorgeous (& plenty to look at), and your photos are crisp, and very well done.
    Beautiful.

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  17. What an intriguing exhibition. I was amazed to see that Degas of the Belleli family as I just saw it in Melbourne last month- they had a big Degas exhibition on, but I just checked and that exhibition closed 10 days before this one started, and they must have got the painting back to Paris pretty quickly to be part of this exhibition. If only I could be in Paris to see it again... I meant to post about the Degas exhibition (which was fab) but am so far behind. I'm enjoying catching up with all the PB action.

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