La Palette is a five minute walk from our Airbnb apartment.
This bar opened in 1913 and was frequented by Picasso, Cezanne, Ernest Hemingway and Jim Morrison.
We both ordered the cheese, ham and chive omelette. This omelette was perhaps the tastiest of all time!
Next, we stumbled upon the private workspace/gallery of French photographer, journalist, reporter and environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
Famous Photographers has this to say about Yann Arthus-Bertrand:
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a man known for his animal photography was born on 13 March 1946. With his interest in animals and environment, he became the administrator of a nature reserve, at the age of 20 as he settled in France.
As he turned 30, he moved to Kenya with his wife and together carried out a three-year study on a family of lions in the Massaï Mara reserve. He utilized the camera to capture his observations that would help him in making reports. While living in Africa, he worked as a hot-air balloon pilot. His first book, Lions, can be associated with his adventure in Kenya and he says that those lions were his “first photography teachers”. Gradually he became a reporter, dealing with environmental issues and teamed up with National Geographic, Paris Match, Life and Figaro etc.
He commenced his personal work on the relationship between humans and animals, and came up with books like Good breeding and Horses. In 1991, he started an aerial photography firm called Altitude.
He prepared for the First Rio Conference in 1992, with his major work for the year 2000 on the condition of the earth ‘It is The Earth Fom the Air’. The book was a major hit with millions of sales. Later Yann Arthus-Bertrand founded ‘GoodPlanet Foundation‘ with a motto to add to the awareness of the public on environmental issues, and to fight deforestation, by collaborating with local NGOs. He did several other projects in the same organization, involving the masses. Owing to this step, he is considered an environmentalist more than a photographer. It was his dedication to work he became a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s Environment Program on the Earth Day on 22 April 2009.
What caught our eye and our curiosity to enter the gallery was the below photo of Lion, Kenya.
Voltaire and Other Discoveries
Musée d’Orsay – Rue de Lille – La Victoire & La Force – Antoine Bourdelle
Our final destination for the day was Musee d’Orsay.
The Musee d’Orsay displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914.
We had a private guided tour who told us of the evolution of art in Paris starting with the Industrial Revolution and the use of new materials like steel.
As well, artists began breaking out of the tight control of art schools such as École des Beaux-Arts where artists had to follow strict rules of painting only religion, mythology and history to transform from Academism to Realism to Impressionism to Post Impressionism.
Musee d’Orsay was once a train station. Here is a nice descrition from museumsandmountains.com:
Today the Musée d’Orsay is a world-class museum, but it started life as a train station. Your imagination will have no trouble picturing trains pulling into the Main Hall: the structure has not changed. The mostly-glass ceiling soars high over the Main Hall, diffusing light down onto the art and people below. The second floor marches down the two sides of the Main Hall like train platforms. Victor Laloux’s photo-famous gilt clock presides over all.
By 1939, the station was too small for the long modern trains. And by 1970 the French considered demolishes the defunct station. But the government decided to name it a Historic Monument instead, thus preserving it for future generations. The Musée d’Orsay didn’t officially open as a museum until December 1986.
The Ground Floor (not to be confused with the European first floor, which is the second floor in the U.S.) features works produced from 1848 to the early 1870’s. The right-side galleries focus on the evolution of historical painting and on the Academic and pre-symbolist schools. Highlights include works by Ingres, Delacroix, Moreau, and early works of Edgar Degas, who would later become an important figure in impressionist painting.
Meanwhile, the left-side galleries focus on Naturalism, Realism, and pre-impressionism. Important works by Courbet, Corot, Millet,and Manet can be found here. Major works include Millet’s The Angelus (1857-1859) and Manet’s infamous 1863 painting Le dejeuner sur l’herbe (Lunch on the Grass) which depicts a nude woman picnicking with two clothed men.
Note the men kissing in this religious painting by Léon Benouville . This was the artists way of rebelling against strict rules of what and how to paint enforced by the tight control of art schools of the day.
Jean Joseph Benjamin-Constant
The Musée d’Orsay Restaurant
It was time to eat!
In the heart of the former train station, the Musée d’Orsay Restaurant is a magnificent reference to French tradition, with frescoes by Gabriel Ferrier and Benjamin Constant lining the ceilings of the grand dining room and its salon.
The chandeliers, the painted ceilings and the gilding of this room classified as a historical monument, will make this unique moment you spend here unforgettable.
Committed to seasonal, gourmet and refined dishes, its chef highlights French culinary artistry. He likes to surprise the restaurant’s diners by going for inspiration, always in connection with the museum’s exhibitions.
Musee d’Orsay Clock
Vincent van Gogh
Final Odds and Sods