About Victoria C
Lives in Paris, France
Since Sep 2013
25-34 year old female
I'm a modern day explorer, always on the lookout for my next adventure (or restaurant). I now live and work in Paris, where I'm constantly discovering new places and corners even after all these years. I love the train, the open road and eating good food in good company.
Art Museums, Museums
Art Museums, Architectural Buildings
Operas, Architectural Buildings, Theatres
Architectural Buildings, Art Museums
Points of Interest & Landmarks
The Musée du Louvre has a sense of majesty and history which cannot be ignored. Beyond the Mona Lisa, there's art to inspire any soul and enough history that it would take a life time to learn. The different halls of the Louvre offer a mix of art from Mesopotamian and Egyptian architecture to more contemporary works.
Gustave Moreau was an artist of the Symbolism movement, inspired by biblical and mythological themes. This lesser-known art gallery is a calm retreat where you can admire his delicate work, right where he used to live and create.
The Musee d'Orsay is where I fell in love with the impressionists, and I don't think I'm the first. It houses the largest collection of impressionists and post-impressionists in the world, and does a great job of it. Artists include Manet, Monet, Degas, Cézanne and Van Gogh, and art forms vary from paintings to photos to furniture. Famous works include 'The Luncheon on the Grass' by Manet, 'The Church at Auvers' by Van Gogh and several paintings from the Rouen Cathdral series by Monet. Like many of Paris's museums, the building, which is the old Orsay train station, is inspiring in itself and a most apt home for the artwork it holds. Take time to explore the nooks and crannies, and climb up the podium in the northeast corner of the main hall as well as the walkway on the west side to get a great view of the museum. My favourite floor is the impressionists on the 6th floor, where the paintings are organised by collectors, but I'm always impressed by the quality of the temporary exhibitions too. They're worth the investment for an extra ticket.
Housed in a small Renaissance mansion, with a courtyard garden to match, Musee Carnavalet offers a calm break from the crowds that bustle through the Marais. Inside, you'll be guided through the history of Paris with the aid of everyday objects, as well as artwork and room reconstructions. The garden is designed in a classic 18th-century French style and is a great place to relax for a few moments as you contemplate the history of the city of lights.
The Cité de l'architcture et de patrimonie is a celebration of the grand architectural forms that man has created. Its position at the Palais de Chaillot, Place de Trocadero means a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. Inside, you're guided through architectural forms, exhibitions and shows that span the millennia in a permanent exhibition space of around 10,000m². The main exhibition is the Museum of French Monuments. This museum is a must for any lover of architecture.
The Musée de l'Orangerie houses part of the Water Lily series by Monet, which has its own white oval room - you have to see it to experience it. But Monet is only the beginning. Dedicated mostly to impressionists and post-impressionists, the museum is a bite-size display of artwork that defined the end of the 19th century and onward. You would almost think the place was made for it, but this museum was originally, as the name suggests, an Orangerie to grow oranges. It was built in 1852 and sits overlooking the Tuileries gardens.
Despite its grand history, Paris never stops moving, and its culture moves with it. Jeu de Paume is a contemporary art museum in the Tuileries gardens, just opposite the Musée de l'Orangerie. Here there are only temporary exhibitions which, usually offer photos captured by artists at the forefront of their field.
This building divides opinion. The inside-out colourful architecture is not your usual Parisian style and marks its time (it was built in the 1970s). It's a must see in any case, as it houses Europe's largest museum for modern art as well as a vast public library and a centre for music and acoustic research. Inside opinion continues to be divided, but you cannot deny the iconic status of many of the modern art works by artists such as Matisse, Kandinsky and Picasso.
Rodin was one of the greatest sculptors of his time, and this is the place he chose to display his work, dedicating his sculpture collection and the property to the French state on the condition that it be used as a museum to display his work. You can simply visit the garden, where you'll find The Thinker, or head into the museum to see works such as The Kiss (and it's worth it).
Bourdelle is a lesser known artist who worked alongside Rodin, but his sculptures are impressive and emotional too, with their own distinctive style. Musee Bourdelle was his studio between 1885 and 1929, and it now contains more than 500 works, the artist's own as well as items from his personal collection of artists such as Delacroix, Carrière, Ingres and Rodin.
Opera and drama lovers should not miss a tour around the Opéra Garnier. Be sure to peek into the great hall of the Opera to see the Chagall fresco which crowns it, but also look around a museum dedicated to the Opera's present and past. The music, costumes, drama and scenery are brought back to life in very well thought out displays.
The Musée Maillol always shows high-class temporary art exhibitions. Established by Dina Vierny, who was a model for Maillol, it displays the artist's work as well as Vierny's collection of the masters.
The Grand Palais was born out of preparations for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, constructed around the same time as the Petit Palais and the Alexandre III Bridge. Its original purpose was dedicated to the glory of French art by the Republic. This still stands true, and the beaux-art construction with an ornate greenhouse-like roof is an inspiring space for both traditional and contemporary exhibitions.
Walk past the antique shops and La Durée and head to the National School of Fine Arts. Not far from the Seine, the École des Beaux-Arts is noticeable but often overlooked. This world-famous art school is worth a look around, though. There are often small exhibitions and you can sometimes see the students at work to catch a glimpse at the the next generation of French artists.