Monet's water lilies, or how I learned to get closer to impressionism

Four years ago, I spent a magical summer in Paris, capturing memories in a long-forgotten blog. Every Thursday, I’ll post my favorite entries from that blog. This is reprinted from 7-19-10.


Impressionist art frustrates me. In art galleries and museums I am always that one annoying person that gets disgustingly close to paintings so I can look at the brushstrokes and the detail behind the artist’s hand. Unfortunately, impressionist art makes less sense the closer I get to it. Take Monet’s water lilies for example. These giant forty feet wide canvases are housed at the Musee de L’Orangerie and the sheer vastness of them in the silent white oval room is a bit overwhelming. Yet, the closer I get to them to piece things apart, the less sense the whole thing makes to me as a whole. And that is why impressionist art becomes so frustrating.

water lilies

The colors of Monet’s paintings are really ethereal. Mauves, lavenders, roses, baby blues, and other colors whose names I can’t pronounce. But I think the fact that I can’t quite piece the water lilies and other impressionist art apart is what makes it so beautiful and entrancing.

water lilies 2

Place de la Concorde

Near the Orangérie and the Tuileries gardens outside of the Louvre is the Place de la Concorde (formerly known as the Place the la Révolution). The Egyptian obelisk seems a bit out of place with the guillotining and bloodshedding that ‘Place de la Concorde’ is so notorious for. Because our perception of Paris consists of the grand boulevards of Haussmann and the wide plazas and streets it’s difficult to imagine the chaos, the bloodshed and the raucous executions that made this plaza so famous.

La comedie francaise

Today I bought impromptu tickets to see Cyrano de Bergerac at the Comédie Française tomorrow. I am almost peeing myself from excitement.

McDonalds (ou McDo)

You knew this was coming. Tonight commemorates my cultural experience of stepping foot in a french McDonalds. Surprisingly, the level of class in the place exceeded my expectations. The walls had modernist vibes and the decor was reminiscent of a posh French cafe. Even the small soda was actually small and not as large as my head. However, to get ketchup one must ask for it over the counter and for that, I will never forgive the French.



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