Musée d’Orsay – Van Gogh Collection

Musee d'Orsay

I’ve loved Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings since I was in elementary school.  My elementary school P.E. coach, Georgia Moore, was passionate about art and literature, and all of her students benefited from her knowledge.  I have vivid memories of our Friday Humanities classes (Humanities replaced P.E. on Fridays).  I remember learning about Shakespeare, Matisse, and Van Gogh.  I remember going home and telling my parents about The Starry Night — they bought me a framed copy of it shortly there after for getting all As on my report card.  In addition to The Starry Night, I specifically remember learning about his sunflower paintings, Bedroom in Arles, and Self Portrait with Pipe and Straw Hat.  At the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam I learned that he painted so many self-portraits because he wanted to practice painting people but couldn’t afford to pay people to model for him.  His work didn’t become highly regarded until after his death.

I had never heard of Paris’ Musée d’Orsay, but upon finding out about their many Van Gogh paintings, I know that the Musée d’Orsay had to be part of our itinerary.  We visited Musée d’Orsay on our second day in Paris, and the museum, as a whole, was fantastic.  We got there right when the museum opened, so it wasn’t very crowded.  I relished being able to examine the Van Goghs in near-solitude (much unlike when I saw The Starry Night at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City).

The photographs in this post were all taken at Musée d’Orsay.  Someday I’ll have to write additional blog posts about the other Van Gogh paintings I’ve had the opportunity to see.

This self-portrait (below) is suspected to be Van Gogh’s last self-portrait.  He painted it during September 1889 and gave it to his beloved brother, Theo.  He died on July 29, 1890.


Self Portrait
September 1889

Bedroom in Arles [third version]
September 1889


Portrait of Dr. Gachet [second version]

1890


Doctor Gachet’s Garden in Auvers
1890


iPad Picture


The Church at Auvers
June 1890

Thatched Cottages at Cordeville
1890

One of the things that I enjoy the most about seeing Van Gogh’s paintings in person is being able to see the texture of the paint with my own eyes.  Seeing it in person allows you to see all three dimensions of his paintings.

Close-up of Thatched Cottages at Cordeville
1890


Close-up of Thatched Cottages at Cordeville

1890

The Siesta (After Millet)
January 1890


The Italian Woman – Agostina Segatori

1887

The Restaurant de la Sirène
1887


Portrait of a Peasant – Patience Escalier
August 1888
On Loan from Norton Simon Museum; Pasadena, CA

Caravans, Gypsy Camp Near Arles
1888

Roses et anémones
1890

The glass (and lighting in the room) on the painting in the next photograph made it difficult to get a good picture; however, the colors in this painting were too pretty for me to exclude it.


Hospital at Saint-Paul Asylum Saint-Rémy
October 1889

Vincent (Starry Starry Night) – Don Mclean

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land
Now, I understand, what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now
Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand
Now, I understand, what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now
For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left inside
On that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do
But I could have told you, Vincent
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you
Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frame less heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget
Like the strangers that you’ve met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow
Now, I think I know what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they’re not listening still
Perhaps they never will

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