Friday, September 17, 2010

Paris, Je t'aime.

(photo courtesy of New York Magazine)

(photo courtesy of NWFLAA)

(The Musée d'Orsay, Paris)

No longer is it necessary to travel across the Atlantic to get a taste of one of my favorite European cities. At least not for a brief window this fall season, as we look forward to an exhibition coming a bit nearer to us than the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. Opening this October at the Frist Center in Nashville, The Birth of Impressionism promises to bring one of the many highlights of Paris to us. Embarking upon a mere four hour excursion, and a scenic one at that, seems more than worthwhile to get a glimpse of what will be on view starting October 15th. From Manet to Degas, the exhibit will feature an extensive look at mid to late 19th century artists who were seminal figures in the foundation of later movements such as Modernism. There will be over 100 pieces on view, mostly on loan from the d'Orsay, which makes for more the perfect excuse to make the trek.

While each viewer will no doubt have their favorite piece, one that stands out to me personally is a Whistler piece entitled, Arrangement in Gray and Black, No. 1: Portrait of the Painter's Mother, commonly known as Whistler's Mother. As most who have taken art history courses can attest, this is a heavily studied piece in any American art class, and a haunting image of the artist's mother. It is one of many pieces that I would love to see in person, after spending much time memorizing slides of the image.

In another recent tribute to the city of lights, Gossip Girl, a guilty pleasure of mine, premiered this week with an episode dedicated to showcasing Paris as the female leads romped around the city. Blair Waldorf even made a (daily) stop at the d'Orsay, to gaze longingly at a favorite Manet for hours on end. For more commentary and ridicule regarding this week's episode, I highly recommend a stop over at New York Magazine.

While a trip to Paris may not be on the calendar any time soon, I think a quick weekend in Nashville will make me feel as if I had spent a lovely afternoon at a museum overlooking the Seine, almost.

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