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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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26 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Sandypaws3's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Sandypaws3 Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    My husband and I took our granddaughter to Paris two years ago, and we took the train to get to Giverny. Yes, it was very straight forward. We took the train to Vernon from Gare Saint Lazare, and when we arrived, two buses were waiting to take us out to Giverny. The buses were waiting when we left, and we went back to Vernon to get the train -- easy :-)

    Sandy

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Beausoleil Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Don't miss the really fun Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre Metro station on rue St. Honore just off Av. de l'Opera. You can like it or not but it is unforgettable and truly fun. There are often very good buskers there. We heard an entire orchestra once.

    Have fun in Paris.

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  • Sandypaws3's Profile Photo

    Re: Paris for art lovers

    by Sandypaws3 Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    If you go to the Jacquemart Andre, be sure to stop and have tea and a wonderful dessert :-) When we were there we had the lemon meringue pie, which I believe is made at Storher on the rue Montorgueil. Storher was begun by one of King Louis the XIV's pastry chefs.

    The Musee Marmottan is in the 16th arrondissement, and we went there by bus 22, from Trocadero to La Muette. We walked from there to Park Ranelagh along avenue Ranelagh. It's in a very nice area. My memory is a little fuzzy about the directions to the museum, as it was several years ago, but I remember that we walked through the park to get to the museum.

    Sandy

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