Today we’re off to see the Musee Marmottan Monet, located in a more suburban area of Paris, but still only about 20 minutes away by Metro. The weather today looks more promising than yesterday with mostly blue skies and some clouds , but I’m taking an umbrella!
A short walk down Ave Georges V to the metro, close to the informal tribute sculpture (Flame of Liberty) . Though created entirely for other purposes, it’s proximity to the location of the death of Diana Princess of Wales, (who tragically died in 1997 in a car accident in the tunnel under the Pont de l’Alma), the sculpture has become a symbolic monument dedicated to her. Since 2019, the site has been officially named Place Diana.
From this Metro, it’s just a few stops until we reach the Metro stop La Muette, from which we walk to find the museum. While standing at a corner deciding whether to turn or walk straight ahead, a local citizen asked us if we were looking for the museum and gave us more a direct route (glad I speak enough French to have understood). The museum is located next to the small park Jardin du Ranelagh. Autumn is much more evident in the trees here than it appeared when we were in London. It’s not a large park, but there are a number of children out playing, riding scooters , as the children’s merry go round has been packed up for the winter.
At the entrance to the museum, security scans our Pass Sanitaire and we enter to pay the 12€ per person entry fee. The museum is dedicated to Monet, but has works from other impressionist artists including Manet, Renoir, Degas. Many of the paintings came from contributions from Manet and Monet family members, especially Julia Manet (whose mother, Berthe Morisot, was herself an impressionist painter) and Michel Monet (Claude Monet’s only son). This museum houses the largest collection of Monet’s work in the world and this is partly due to the fact that Monet’s son Michel donated his father’s paintings from Giverny to the museum.The museum building was originally constructed as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Valmy and a few years later was sold to Jules Marmottan which on his death along with all his belongings was bequeathed to his son Paul. Paul Marmottan later built a small pavilion in the courtyard as the original building was too small to house all of his paintings, furniture and bronzes. Paul Marmottan bequeathed his home and collection to the Académie des Beaux-Arts, which opened up the house and collection as the Museum Marmottan in 1934.
Though I read and speak (limited) French, the descriptions of the paintings and stories were also in English (they also have an audio guide) , so don’t be afraid to wander through this small jewel of a museum.
Leaving the museum, we took the Metro back towards the 1st Arrondissement and stopped at Eric Kayser for lunch and Laduree for macarons. We thought we’d either stop for a chocolate African at Angelina, but too many other people had the same idea and too, at Cedric Grolet’s shop, the line was too long.
As we walked back towards the Tuileries, we walked down a side street and noticed how many different modes of transportation are being “experimented” with here. There have been electric cars and bicycles for rent here for many years, but there are more still, as well as car and motorbike and electric scooters share services. Since we were here just two years ago, we see a noticeable difference on some major streets with fewer car traffic lanes and dedicated lanes for scooters and bicycles. Though there have been electric scooters for some time (just as in other major cities), they’ve obviously tightened up where these vehicles can be ridden (dedicated lanes) and where they are to be parked – you don’t see them parked or thrown down randomly at street corners or ridden on sidewalks. Many more bicycles than we’ve ever seen (though nothing like Amsterdam where bicycles outnumber people).
It was getting late in the afternoon but I wanted to go into the Tuileries. We were at the end near the Carrousel du Louvre and the Louvre itself. Still busy, there are two large water ponds where people lounge in the reclining green chairs, taking a nap, talking with friends, playing cards or, for children, sailing boats.
And I didn’t need that umbrella after all.
P.S. We just barely avoided this mess. We have our Pass Sanitaire!