People traveling to Paris always seem to have high on their list of “Must See” first the Eiffel Tower then The Louvre followed by the Musee d”Orsay. If you were to ask them who their favourite French painter is, more than likely 60% or more of them would respond “Monet”. So I have made it a project of mine to introduce Americans to the Musée Marmottan-Monet.
It just happens to be about three blocks from where I live but that is only one of the reasons I love it. In no particular order, I love it because 1–it is small and easily negotiable without getting overwhelmed or tired. 2– it has the largest collection of Monet paintings in the world 3–it has the largest collection of Berte Morrissot paintings and drawings and 4–it is a wonderful example of what an old hunting lodge turned town house looked like back in the days when this part of Paris was actually outside of Paris and men came in the Autumn to hunt.
The website of the Musée Marmottan has this to say about the history of the building and the permanent Collection. “Former hunting lodge of Christophe Edmond Kellerman, Duke of Valmy, the Marmottan Monet Museum was bought in 1882 by Jules Marmottan. His son Paul settled in it, and had another hunting lodge built to house his private collection of art pieces and First Empire paintings.
Upon his death he bequeathed all his collections, his town house – which will become the Marmottan Monet Museum in 1934 – and the Boulogne Library’s historical rich historical archives to the French Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1957, the Marmottan Monet Museum received the private collection of Madame Victorine Donop de Monchy as a donation inherited from her father, Doctor Georges de Bellio, one of the first lovers’ of impressionism whose patients included Manet, Monet, Pissaro, Sisley, and Renoir.
In 1966, Michel Monet, the painter’s second son, bequeathed his property in Giverny to the French Academy of Fine Arts and his collection of paintings, inherited from his father, to the Marmottan Monet Museum. This donation endowed the Museum with the largest Claude Monet collection in the world. On this occasion, the academician architect and museum curator, Jacques Carlu, built a room inspired from the Grandes Décorations in the Tuilerie’s Orangerie to house the collection.
The Denis and Annie Rouart Foundation was created in 1996 within the Marmottan Monet Museum, in compliance with the benefactress’ wishes. The Museum was hence enriched with prestigious works by Berthe Morisot, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and Henri Rouart.
In 1980, Daniel Wildstein gave the Museum the exceptional illumination collection put together by his father. Throughout the years, other major donations have come to enrich the Marmottan Monet Museum collections: Emile Bastien Lepage, Vincens Bourguereau, Henri Le Riche, Jean Paul Léon, André Billecocq, Gaston Schulmann, Florence Gould Foundation, Cila Dreyfus, and Thérèse Rouart.”
As well as the extraordinary room downstairs that houses many of the Monet’s, the Museum has twice yearly exhibitions. The one that is there from September 13, 2018–February 10, 2019 is called Private Collections: From Impressionism to the Fauves. The entire exhibition is paintings taken from private collections, many have never been seen before.
It seems only right that the exhibition opens with paintings by Monet.
Caillebotte, who I never studied in University as an Art History major, has become an artist that I highly respect and I have grown to love his work. The poster announcing the exhibition is by Caillebotte.
These two Gauguin paintings are examples of his work from the time he lived in Pont-Aven, Brittany. I had to include The School of Pont-Aven as I visited friends there last summer. That is when I first learned of the school and the Gauguin stayed there between Paris and French Polynesia.
I have taken up way too much of your time so I will introduce you to Berte Morisot and her paintings at another time. If you are coming to Paris, please make sure to visit the museum. You take the metro 9 to La Muette. From there you walk through the wonderful Parc de Ranelagh. The park ends at the museum. If you love art, you will not be sorry.
And to wet your appetite in case you are not visiting until next Spring, the next exhibition is posted here!!
For more information on the Musée Marmottan-Monet: http://www.marmottan.fr/page.asp?ref_arbo=2507
And Paris?? It is cold, cold, cold. The days have been in the high 40s and low 50s. The nights have fallen to the high 30s. Out have come the wooly caps and scarves, down jackets and doubling up on socks in one’s boots. Restaurants have brought out their large heaters so that Parisians can still sit outside if they choose. Seats have blankets on them to serve as lap warmers!!! How wonderful is Paris?!
So wherever you are, stay warm.
Everyone in Paris is praying and wishing the United States Bon Chance and Bon Courage on November 6.