Room 34 at The National Gallery is my favorite spot. It’s mainly Turner’s & Constable’s room (Gainsborough & Stubb too). I could stay sitting in the sofa for hours. I don’t understand how people can walk by and just having a glance at those paintings. Last time I went to the The National Gallery, I was with my best friend, Carol, whom really doesn’t like museums as much as I do. She was surprised by the free access and all those tremendous paintings (she especially appreciated the Stubb’s "Whistlejacket"). We sat in front of Constable’s “The Cornfield” and chatted for a while. It was just a delicious moment.
Room 35, you can also admire Thomas Gainsborough paintings and one of my choices is “Mr and Mrs Andrews”. Gainsborough is a terrific painter. Any of his portrays is so subtle and animate. You could even talk to the characters !
Room 40, I am fond of this Sisley “The Watering Place at Marly-le-Roi”. It is just the most surprising and delicate painting I’ve ever seen. It touches my heart each time I walk by.
Room 8, I am used to worship this portray from Bronzino “Portrait of a Young Man”. This man always attracted me along with the other portray painting by Bronzino which is settled in Musée du Louvre (room 8 – Denon Aisle – 1st floor).
Among all the painters I’ve been admiring for years, Turner, Constable, Sisley and Bronzino have not equivalents to me. But I also admire Corot, Raphael and Fantin Latour. In the modern painting, my admiration goes to Soulages and Jasper Johns. As for Soulages, I don’t remember accurately when I discovered his painting but I was astonished by such deep and illuminate black. It shines ! The first souvenir I have from one of his exhibition was in Marseilles, in the Musée Cantini. I was about 16 or 17 years old and stayed about 3 hours sitting in front of his work.
About museums, the choice is rather easier. Apart from The National Gallery, I love British museums such a Victoria & Albert (the fashion dept worth to be visited !), Science and Natural Museums (What a dinosaurs at the Cromwell Entrance !), British Museum (Assyria : Nineveh - Room 9)& Tate Museum (and Modern Tate ; including the London & Liverpool ones). In France, my taste leads me to Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Musée Eugène Delacroix and Musée Cluny.
I won’t tell you why I love going to Musée du Louvre on Fridays evening but one of the reasons is that looking around painting and sculpture at night is magic, especially when it’s cold and dark outside, you feel like the only one in the Museum. Of course, you won’t be alone in that museum but, feeling it is rather delightful !
Some departments at Le Louvre are definitely my “objects of desire” : Middle Ages, French & British painting areas, Dutch Painters, & Near Eastern Antiquities (Mesopotamia & Iran).
Musée Cluny is utterly spectacular and sitting in the garden backyard is a real luxury in Paris.
Musée d’Orsay is incredible and the newly Impressionists Department at the top floor can be equaled. Watching to Monet, Fantin Latour, Sisley, Van Gogh, Degas, Manet, etc. is just as magic as it sounds.
Art, and Culture in general, might be quite expensive for most people. I do understand that sometimes you cannot attend to an exhibition in Paris while you live in Marseilles, Perpignan or Toulouse. The train ticket costs, the museum ticket costs and you may need to get a hotel room too. But Internet offers an easy and almost free solution to get Art enter in your life.
Check out the links within the text and enjoy visiting those places. I gave you some clues about my favorites. Which would be yours ?
Last exhibition attended : “Hommage à Delacroix” – Musée Eugène Delacroix, Paris,
Next exhibitions I attend to :
- New Frontier : l'art américain entre au Louvre. Thomas Cole et la naissance de la peinture de paysage en Amérique, Musée du Louvre.