I don’t know much about art and painting and was never really fond of going to art exhibitions. I hate standing in line to buy my ticket and always felt that exhibitions were extremely crowded, that I found them more tiring than enjoyable
Ever since I retired, I started booking ahead of time, which gets rid of the queueing problem, but not of the crowds that decide to go to the same exhibition as me. How dare they?
Now this gets even worse in small museums. I recently went to Musée du Luxembourg where they had a wonderful Arcimboldo exhibition (wrote about it and grumbled a lot on my French blog) but last Friday, was different: I went to the great Gustave Courbet retrospective at the Galeries du Grand Palais and really loved it.
I had booked my ticket, so didn’t queue and as Grand Palais is a large place, and as the exhibition had only opened a few days before, it was not too crowded.
Courbet au Grand Palais
For some reason, most probably because I am an ignoramus where art is concerned, I hardly knew any paintings by Courbet except the famous Origine du Monde, and Les Demoiselles du Bord de Seine.
I cannot believe that I actually went several times to Musée d’Orsay and didn’t remember l’Enterrement à Ornans and l’Atelier du Peintre. They didn’t even ring a bell! Good thing they decided to put all these together to fix my ignorance!
Shame on me 🙂
My favourite paintings there, were Courbet’s self-portraits and portraits. There was a whole section dedicated to hunting paintings, and honestly, I didn’t enjoy those much.
One little detail which I found really nice was that there was a digital device that showed you the pages of Courbet’s sketching book if you leant over it, slowly turning the pages while the actual sketchbook was in a window next to the device. A useful bit of modernity.