Wednesday, February 01, 2006

No Romantic Life with Gustave Moreau

Hoisted on my own petard … again. After hearing from my friend, Fanny, that one of the best NoCrowds museum in all of Paris had to be the Museum of Romantic Life in the 9th arrondissement, off I went to see it. But alas, there was to be no romantic life for me that day. Like the Museum of the Hunt, the Museum of Romantic Life is closed for renovations until February 28th. And try finding that little tidbit on the website.

This life as a travel blogger can be difficult. Here I am, far away from my own quartier. Oh, where to next? On the locked gates of my original destination, there was a thoughtful note from the under-occupied staff of Romantic Life suggesting that I visit the Musee Gustave Moreau which was a short walk away. Such is the richness of Paris’s cultural landscape that having been disappointed twice in as many days by closures; I was able to find fabulous alternatives for both just around the corner.

And, as advertised, The Gustave Moreau museum proved to be highly worthwhile, thanks in large part to the excellent public relations skills of the French symbolist, Gustave Moreau. Obviously concerned about his position in the history of art, Moreau designed and paid for the museum to be built so that his works could be collected and displayed as he desired and the setting is fabulous. I’m not a big fan of symbolism, but the more I looked at the paintings, drawing, water colours and sculptures, the better I liked the work. You see, Moreau knew what he was doing.

From the perspective of experiencing how a successful artist lived and worked in Paris towards the turn-of-the-2oth century, the Museum is first class. After touring the dramatic studio, visitors are directed to the intimate apartments of the artist which have been perfectly preserved and offer rich insight into the sources of inspiration for his work. According to the museum, nothing has changed in a century and the “windows still open onto the garden Moreau could see every day.”

This is a small museum and can easily be viewed in under an hour. Of course, fans of Moreau could spend much longer. As a national museum, it is included on the Museum Pass. Please be aware that it closes on Tuesday and for lunch.

Gustave Moreau Museum
14, rue de La Rochefoucauld
Paris 75009

Phone 01 48 74 38 50
Metro: Trinite
Open every day from 10:00 to 12:45 pm and from 2:00 PM to 5:15
Closed on Tuesday

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