It was today that we realised that our 2 day Paris Museum pass would expire at the end of its 2nd day rather than 48 hours after we bought it so we needed to see as much as possible to justify buying the pass! Our second day in Paris focused on the magnificent art galleries that Paris has to offer. Living in London I take it for granted that I can see first hand, some of the world's greatest art treasures but for my Canadian friend this was going to be a first. But we started off not in a gallery but a church, Sainte Chapelle, a great favourite of mine.
Sainte Chapelle was founded by King Louis IX of France who constructed it as a chapel for the Royal Palace and to house precious relics. The Palace has now gone leaving the chapel surrounded by the Palace of Justice. The building was started in 1246 and was consecrated on April 26th 1248. A remarkable feat of speedy construction.
The stained glass windows in Sainte Chapelle date from the 13th cent (1242-1248). Around 70% of the windows are original. Each window is 15.5 m high in the nave and 1113 scenes from the Bible are depicted in the windows.
The stained glass windows are stunning.
Our Museum pass meant we didn't have to queue although, to be honest, the queues were not very long anyway. With the lack of tourists in Paris, it meant we were able to walk around the Louvre with ease even when viewing the Mona Lisa! With a Museum the size of the Louvre you can only scratch the surface and after a couple of hours we needed a long French lunch before moving on to our next destination.
The museum also contains works by Cezanne, Matisse, Renoir, Picasso and others. For me, it was all about the Monet's. I have seen a number of the Water Lilies at exhibitions in London but to see this series displayed in rooms just as Monet had envisaged was very special.
Our final Museum of the day was the Musee d'Orsay. Once a railway station it now houses paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs showing the evolution of western world art from 1848 to 1914. As it was a Thursday the museum was open until 9.15pm so we could wander at leisure and admire the numerous masterpieces on show.
|Vincent Van Gogh|