Wednesday, May 25, 2016


I hadn't intended visiting the Musée d'Orsay. I've never really liked it actually. Thought it was a bit of a mess to be honest.

But something strange happened. 

The other night at a favourite local restaurant we were crammed into two seats - you know: table to table, cheek by jowl, drizzly rain, the heater on under the green canvas, cigarette smoke everywhere - when a red sweater caught my eye, and then a greying clutch of hair tucked into a bun. Without saying a word I took out my phone, got this up on screen, and showed the man in the red sweater, our elbows already rubbing, this 

from a recent post.

Shocks all round. They were from New York. Anyway, chatter chatter and when the Henri Rousseau (1844 - 1910) retrospective came up, highly recommended, I was there. These things don't just happen. 

It was brilliant. I'm mad about the style - the loss of the third dimension, the brilliance of the colouring, the naivety; the wit; the savagery, and the sadness.

He was quite a character. Several marriages; children dead - two from seven surviving; early rejection by the establishment; fiercely nationalistic; influencing and influenced by his peers - other works inserted to demonstrate ...

Photographs even without flash (which is generally permitted everywhere theses days) were not allowed, as I along with many was gently reminded not long after the first room.

Never mind - there is still this delicious "Footballers" from somewhere on the internet and now in my luggage as a fridge magnet!

And I did discover one particularly interesting corner of the Musée - the little cafe high up behind the old station clock.

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