Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Musee d'Orsay

© 2009 Constance Hobbs. All rights reserved.

The musee d'Orsay is not to be missed on any one's trip to Paris. The museum has been converted and restored from an old railway station and retains much of it's original architecture. It is situated on the left bank just across the Seine river from the Louvre and the Jardin Des Tuileries. If you are a fan of Impressionist paintings, this museum contains one of the finest collections in the world. You will find works by Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Pissarro, Cezanne, Corot, Degas, Gauguin, Renoir, Sisley and the list goes on and on. I was thinking of Van Gogh's life as I looked upon the painting he made of his small room in Arles, France, "La Chambre de Van Gogh a Arles", painted in 1889. I really respond to that piece, the color and energy are incredible. We've been taught that he led a tortured life and maybe that's true. But he had a passion for his work and that is tremendous reward in and of itself. Anyone looking at his work knows that this is true. 

Art is not created for recognition and success. It is created for itself. If recognition, money and success come, so much the better, but it isn't the goal. It does seem incredible that he was never recognized in his own time. His paintings have sold for some of the highest prices ever in the art market today. I wonder if he knows? Is he sitting at some cafe in the universe having a good laugh at all those who tortured him, misunderstood him and ridiculed him? I would love to think so. Many artists have all the same struggles today. Families that don't understand or support them. A market place that has no use for their work, and the difficulty of making ends meet. As an artist it's so hard to stick to your dream as practical realities present themselves endlessly. This is the usefulness of success, supporting yourself from your art, every artists dream.

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