Wednesday, 1 June 2011

A late start with the Gustave Moreau Museum

After a late start to that day I decided not to be discouraged by the time and  take a quick spin to check out the Musée Gustave Moreau. The museum is located up a quiet sub-street around the Galeries la Fayette, Trinité district in the 9th and thanks to my handy map book was it okay to find, but not great for bicycle parking. 

For the record this museum is the house where the artist worked and lived and he apparently made all the modifications himself to allow him to turn the very large house into apartments and a workshop.

When getting my ticket in the ticket lady informed me that the museum rooms were going to be shutting in 20min, however I was none the less discouraged and proceeded with my visit.

The first part of the house is pretty boring especially if you are not a Moreau fan and don't really know any of his work or any of the family's history, but it is an authentic snap shot into what a house of this era was like and to sum it up in one word - cluttered. I suppose the best thing for me was the old school toilet. The fittings were pretty awesome, and probably used by the artist himself! 

Anyway after leaving the apartment part of the house by moving up  the next flight of stairs I was impressed, the space was massive and covered wall to wall with giant paintings, all of which are reminiscent of the pre-impressionist glory days of the academic salon. 

Sketches and smaller scale paintings were also on show but being so numerous they were housed in cleverly hidden and organised wall units or boxes with sliding panels in the centre of the floor.

After going up the impressive winding staircase finding myself in another large room full of paintings, it was similar to the last one, but I decided to stop and read some of the information sheets and learn a bit about some of the more famous paintings.

Shortly after I left overall feeling contented but not impressed. Once again the museum is impressive and a true snap shot into the life and works of this amazing and significant artist. The only problem for me personally though is that I don’t really have any previous knowledge of the artist and found it hard to be enthusiastic about paintings or the house, especially as a basic guide to the museum was not provided to me.

My advice bring someone who knows about Gustave Moreau and can help fill you in on what your supposed to be appreciating, otherwise you can technically visit everything in 20 minutes.

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