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Paris for art lovers

by Dabs Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 8:29 AM

I'm bringing my niece who is an art student to Paris in June, I've been to Paris many times and know about the major art museums (Orsay, Louvre, Rodin, Orangerie, decorative arts) but was looking for other places to tie into the art. I've been to Giverny by car and have found instructions on how to get there via train/shuttle, is it as straightforward as it looks? Would early June be a good time to go (I think we were there in September)?

Monet also seemed to paint a lot in Argenteuil, does it look anything similar to the paintings today? Worth a look if we have time? Rouen is another possibility, it looks like there is a train connection that takes 70-90 minutes each way.

Anyplace else? Sights in Paris? I'd like to find the corner from "Rainy Day in Paris" by Caillebotte which hangs in the Art Institute in Chicago. Are there any cafes worth visiting that artisits might have frequented? I've found a couple of books on Amazon with walking tours of impressionist Paris and daytrips which may have some helpful ideas.

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33 Answers
  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by rexvaughan Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Kristi, June would be a perfect time for Giverny. It will look totally different than September and will likely knock your eyes out. She would probably also like Monet's house there as there a lot of reproductions of his art and also his splendid collection of Japanese art. It is easy to get to by train, and from the station in Vernon, it is an easy walk or bike ride. There is a pedestrian/cycle path and you can rent bicycles across from the station. Shuttle or taxi are also alternatives. If you do the shuttle, be sure to check return times as they tend to be less frequent in mid to late afternoon. Small museums we loved in Paris are the Picasso and the Marmotten.

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  • y2ketan2007's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by y2ketan2007 Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    You seem very well prepared to show your niece the art museums and other art related sites in Paris. But I think June will be quite a hot month to travel around.Late April should be perfect climate wise.I'll dig into my art library to add something useful to what you already know.

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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by pfsmalo Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Hi Kristi,

    The painting is done from rue de Turin, looking across place de Dublin north towards the angled buildings between rue de Turin and rue de Chapeyron.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Dabs Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Paul, would you know what Metro station that is near so I can look on a map? Thanks.

    Rex, it looks like it's an hour walk from the train station (don't want to wear the poor girl out!) but I like the idea of bikes. I might also look into the shuttle if it's possible to go Paris-Giverny-Rouen and back since it appears Giverny and Rouen are on the same train line. Does anyone know how you would buy that ticket? Would you buy point to point tickets? Round trip Paris-Rouen? I'm guessing it'd be a problem to hop off in Giverny and then get back on. Is that too much for a day even if that was the only way we'd be able to see both?

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Dabs Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Ketan, our tickets are already booked, since she is a student, I had to wait until she was finished at the end of May. It gets really hot in Chicago in the summer so I don't really have a problem touring in the heat although last year in the south of France at that time I thought I might melt :-)

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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by pfsmalo Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Yes Kristi, it is right in the middle of the triangle of stations, Rome - Liege and Europe just north of the St. Lazare mainline station.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Dabs Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Found it on the map, thanks Paul :-)

    I found a post on TA that talks about Paris-Giverny-Rouen, it sounds like I have to buy Paris-Vernon Vernon-Rouen and Rouen-Paris. It's been a long time since I've traveled by train in France, any benefit to prebuying tickets or is it the same price day of travel? Any problem with trains being full?

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by gwened Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    june is a nice month to visit the area, away from the holidays of May and the summer rush of July. Weather wise should be neutral and nice to visit.

    I used to lived near Giverny and came often by car to do volunteer work at the American Art Museum that has since closed to be name now the Musée des Impressionismes. Unfortunately the Terra Foundation no longer wished to either manage or finance this establishment, preferring to devote itself to its role as a research center (a library devoted to American Art will soon open in Paris, rue des Pyramides) and helping museums with projects related to American Art. This foundation owns an important art collection, part of which is on deposit at the Art Institute of Chicago . here is their webpage there I believe close to you, terraamericanart.org/chicago...

    I just too busy to write tips on older items just trying to catch up with the new ones lol!!!

    Monet painted in several places, and the best exhibition of its work is at the Mormattan-Monet museum in the 16th of Paris district, its gorgeous in a beautiful area of Paris, great art inspiration at the parc de Ranelaigh and will host the VTMeeting in march in the area at la Gare resto, here is the museum site, http://www.marmottan.fr/

    Rouen is beautiful, direct train from gare St Lazare, and yes its about 90 or less mins from Paris, where monet painted the Cathedral , from a window in the 2nd floor of a boutique facing the Cathedral ,he did 18 frontal views of the Cathedral!

    Argenteuil is good for a day time, Monet was there in 1871 and here is their webpage in French, argenteuil.fr/584-maison-de-...

    PAris is full of cafes of artists and painters, the "Rainy Day in Paris" got it from pfsmalo above. the czfé des beaux-arts is a must ,
    cafe-des-beaux-arts.com/fr,1...
    Cafe les arts et metiers,51, Rue de Turbigo ,metro same name, its a rdv for sure.
    the most touristic café procope, Deux Magots, etc etc etc, so many at all price levels now.

    YOu can go to the place I go a lot as most American clubs/organisations are house there the Mona Bismack FOundation off 34 ave de NEw york near trocadero; AMerican Arts at its best, and it can be seen, Mona was an American socialite who end up marrying the nephew of admiral Bismarck of the Fame WWII boat of Germany, the place is full of history too. If she want to see anything let me know,
    http://monabismarck.org/?lang=en

    I am afraid it will give her an introduction for coming back to Paris forever ::)
    While not here this page from France in English will give her plenty to read on the masters of the Impressionist movement,
    impressionniste.net/impressi...
    hope it helps

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by gwened Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    well you are too fast writing lol!! yes , I am afraid the train tickets needs to be purchase separate, once you leave one station the ticket is used.
    Paris-Vernon Vernon-Rouen and Rouen-Paris

    the www.voyages-sncf.com TRAIN will let you know, and dont worry its easy heck I live here and try to avoid trains as possible.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Dabs Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Thanks Gwened :-) The Terra used to have a cool little free museum on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, that closed years ago. It looks like the museum at Giverny reopens in April I'm guessing to coincide with the reopening of the gardens? Is it within walking distance of Monet's gardens?

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by gwened Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    yes its a very small town, all on the same street ::)

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  • Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Kuskiwi Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Another place she may find interesting is the Musee Carnavalet which is all about Paris history. Today (Sunday) there was a class of art students who were throughly enjoying themselves as it is so varied. They were sketching, discussing things with one another and taking photos of the exhibits for later work. It's also close to the Marais area for a little r&r from art.

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by rexvaughan Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    It has been 4 or 5 years since I took the train, but remember that we once took a "milk train" which made a lot of stops. Book a direct one if possible. It should be only about 45-50 minutes. I don't remember it being an hour walk, but you are probably right. It is a nice bike ride.

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Beausoleil Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    gwened suggested the Marmottan-Monet Museum and it is wonderful. The Picasso is a favorite, but it's been closed for renovation so check to see if it's open before you go.

    We have been there in June and it was lovely weather.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    You may have done this already but I'll throw out exhibitions at Petit Palais?

    http://www.petitpalais.paris.fr/en

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Dabs Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    I seem to recall having been to the Marmotten but I also thought it was near Pere Lachaise so maybe I went somewhere else. I'll take a look and it and see if I can fit it in. One I've not been to is the Jacquemart-Andre so I'll try to fit that in somewhere. I've been to the Petit Palais, if we are in the area, it's free so we might pop in. I'm thinking at some point we'll be over museumed though, even if she is an art student. Right now I think I've only got 6, maybe 7 days total for Paris, one day we'll do Versailles, one day we'll do Giverny/Rouen and 3 days of museum pass (the 4th day being Versailles) with a few other things thrown in.

    How does the cemetery in Montmartre compare to Pere Lachaise? Pere Lachaise is a bit of a hike outside central Paris, I thought maybe we could stop in Montmartre on our way to or from the Marche aux Puces if I can get a late train back to Paris on Sunday (day 6)

    I can also subtract a day from London but I want to decide soon because the Eurostar tickets will be on sale next week for our dates.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    >How does the cemetery in Montmartre compare to Pere Lachaise?

    Excellent cemetery! I loved that one!

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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by pfsmalo Online Now Feb 3, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Montmartre cemetery is quite good, but not on the same level for interest as Pere-Lachaise. Montparnasse, for my money is better. Passy cemetery on the corner of Trocadero is also quite interesting. If you are on Montmartre the tiny cemetery of St. Vincent has the interest of Utrillo's tomb.

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by gwened Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    "the Marmotten but I also thought it was near Pere Lachaise so maybe I went somewhere else". HAHAHA yes at the other end of Paris really, and better area at Marmotten.

    "Jacquemart-Andre" THIS is a good one too and a wonderful cafe to zip a coffee around art is sublime. "Petit Palais" ,Is coming along, last was there last year on a Inca exhibition for free. "one day we'll do Versailles" OHH of course you need to see this one, lol!! is part of my VTmeeting in march get together with some interesting sites! out of palace.

    Enjoy the artful trip you will be have a good time in all of them. Cheers


    How does the cemetery in Montmartre compare to Pere Lachaise? Pere Lachaise is a bit of a hike outside central Paris, I thought maybe we could stop in Montmartre on our way to or from the Marche aux Puces if I can get a late train back to Paris on Sunday (day 6)

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by gwened Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    oh yes left out the montmartre is a nice cementary but I am not a fan of them, not my time yet...
    cheers

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Dabs Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    I couldn't possibly skip Versailles :-) My problem is that I keep taking 1st timers with me so instead of seeing new things, I'm seeing the major attractions over again. Not that it's a problem but I don't want to skip something that "everyone" sees just because I've been there a half dozen times....

    But I'm really going to try and squeeze Jacquemart Andre in somewhere, it's been on my to do list for years but since it's not on the museum pass I always toss it aside.

    Cemeteries are good for history lessons and for the sometimes beautiful monuments, I suppose it would be a shame if no one ever saw them. But the last time I was at Pere Lachaise there was an active service going on, it was a little creepy and I felt rather disrespectful. Montmartre might fit better with our plans, I'll see if we can visit both

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by gwened Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    yes history lessons are always found in cementaries, ::)

    if you want to see something different at Versailles walk up ave de paris to no 73 , domaine de montreuil this is where the rich and noble hiding away from the court at the palace lived, many beautiful mansions and history of count of provence, (king bro) and madame elizabeth (king sister) lived and now can be seen the Elizabeth house and gardens, in the back its the Italian musician house where louis rented his Italian singers to please him in court. The garden is free ,the house is paying about 7 euros. plenty of art painting in it too.

    or go around 54 Boulevard de la Reine and see the musée Lambinet, history of the city of Versailles...its in French its the city hall site of Versailles,
    versailles.fr/culture-et-pat...

    plenty there more than a castle ::) my loving home for almost 10 years.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Kristi, I included a link to a PDF map/burial listing for Montmartre so you can pinpoint persons on interest in advance if you want to? My apologies if you've already found one.

    "Cimetière de Montmartre" - Cimetière de Montmartre Tip by goodfish

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Dabs Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Thanks Kate, I found maps to the three major cemeteries yesterday and printed them out in case we go, as always, too much I want to cram into too few days. I really should budget some time for sleep ;-) I'd like to see Pere Lachaise again, I'm sure I've only been there once and I think it was on my 1st trip in January 1997. And it was cold, even for a tough Chicagoan!

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    LOL, after 5 hours my long-suffering husband threw in the towel and wandered off in search of a bar. I could have stayed another 5.

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  • Parisforless's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Parisforless Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Hi Dabs,

    You are well prepared and I can only add local tips - visit some of the art galleries in Paris as well as some artists studios in Paris. They are not open all year around, but during the time you are in Paris you will probably find a few. This way you can not only see their art but also their environment - I've done it on several occasion and it was an eye opener.

    Svetlana - parisforless

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by gwened Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    in a cementary ! lol!!! you know the catacombes had structural problems due to the humidity and its close for inspection,afraid all those bones will fall on top of you hehehehe !

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  • wandering360's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by wandering360 Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Two other museums not mentioned so far: the Guimet (Asian Arts, included in Museum Pass) and the small, free Cognacq-Jay (around the corner from the Carnavalet which hosts excellent porcelain figurines).

    There is also a fan museum.

    re: Monet's house. Vernon is quaint and the view at the river is magnificent. I've done Vernon-Giverny on foot but it's not so fun in the heat. There is a bus that awaits the arriving Paris train in the morning. http://giverny.org/transpor/ usually will post the schedule.

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  • wandering360's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by wandering360 Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    And don't forget some Art Nouveau sites:

    Métro Stations by Hector Guimard (1867–1942):
    • Châtelet (Rue des Halles and Place Sainte-Opportune)
    • Abbesses (Line 12, 18th arr. at the foot of Montmartre)
    • Porte Dauphine (Line 2, 16th arr. @ Av. Foch)

    • Galeries Lafayette
    • Printemps (René Binet)

    • Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Dabs Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Thanks Svetlana and Wandering for the additional ideas, I love the old art nouveau metro stations, I will be sure to hit at least a couple of them so she can see them. And I'm sure we will pass by some of the buildings since they are very central.

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