Monday, July 18, 2011

Looking Around Outside of Paris

I am continually amazed at the number of museums in France.  We visited two on the same day, which are near to our house:  Musee Maurice Denis and Musee national des chateaux de Malmaison et Bois-Preau. Bill forgot to change the GPS from walking to driving, when we headed over to the chateau. BIB said it would take us 3 hours to go 3.8 miles.  We wandered a bit, even turning the wrong way on a one way street, before he realized the problem.  We had a good laugh!

Maurice Denis was an artist whose contemporaries are Monet and Gauguin.  He lived in a beautiful old priory which had room for artists to come and live.  After Denis died, his family gave the estate and paintings to the government to use as an art museum.
The Musee Maurice Denis

Bronze statue in the garden.

Original poster for an exhibit.  We used to sell copies of this at Pier 1.

Beautiful stained glass window which was designed as part of an entire room, complete with furniture.

Maurice Denis as a young man.

A portrait of a young woman by Gauguin

Tourists playing with their camera.

The chateau de Malmaison et Bois-Preau is the former home of Josephine, Empress of France, first wife of Napoleon I.  The house is small for a chateau, but makes up for it inside.  These folks really likes their gold trim.  It is on the walls, ceiling, furniture, dishes, bedding, curtains, even the books have gold embossed titles.

Detail on one of the pillars.

One of several sitting rooms.  The chairs don't look very comfortable.
One of the rooms upstairs is dedicated to Napoleon I's campaigns.  Several display cases of war souveniers, his swords from each campaign (I guess you never carry the same sword twice), and portraits of him at different ages.
That's a lot of gold! 

One of Napoleon's swords.  Unfortunately, the lighting made getting pictures sans flash almost impossible.

Josephine's bedroom is round, with red silk on the walls. 
The house and gardens must have been beautiful during Josephine's time.  Now they are in need of renovation and care. A good coat of paint, some mowing and watering would certainly be a start.
Chateau de Malmaison

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