This page covers visual arts that I saw in the year
2000. In particular, it includes Russian and French photos from my
round-the-world trip. Other trip photos are found at my
Trip 2000 page.
I spent only three days in Saint Petersburg. It is a
large city with maddening subways, friendly people and lovely old
buildings. It also has an excess of culture. I first visited the
Michailovsky palace museum. This is the foremost museum for art created by Russians.
The museum is in a princely palace in the centre of
the old city. The colours are lively and the staircases imposing. There is
much iconic religious art -- which did not thrill me -- some grand 19th
century works and some fine early Modern art. Some of the finest
works are unfortunately in rooms where photography is not allowed or they
are covered by shiny glass.
I was impressed by the works of Valentin Serov. He
mastered a variety of styles. These works were made within a few years and
are shown in a single room.
The next day spent at the Hermitage. It is immense and
rambling. It is located between the grand Palace Square and the River
Neva. It probably has the finest art collection to be found anywhere. The
palace collection was stored here under the direction of Katherine the
Great who continues to stare over the vast square.
There are a few Picassos and many Van Gough's.
There were many guards but most seemed bored with
The rooms were richly decorated. The first one
features golden walls while the second featured about 20 Rembrandt
The Da Vinci room features wonderful decorations and
two Da Vinci paintings. (Unlike the French museums that I visited, the
crowds here were sparse).
The furniture and furnishings were as impressive as
the art. I would have like to have had more time for visiting the royal
The week after leaving Russia I visited Paris. The
Louvre was as I remembered with some modern improvements.
This museum as one of the finest collection of ancient
art. The Sumerian art is unrivalled. Greek sculptures such as La
Victoire de Samothrace or Venus de Milo may be cliches but
they remain superb. (The museum also has vast collections from Rome and
Other familiar art abounds. The next picture shows me
and Mona Lisa. She is hiding behind many inches of glass.
Larger paintings are from Delacroix, David and Rubens. The Louvre
has vast hallways and paintings.
I also visited the relatively new Musée d'Orsay. This
museum was originally a railway station for trains to Orleans. The plaza
outside is a popular meeting place, while the inside retains its Art
Nouveau splendour. This museum contains French art from about 1850 to
The Rodin collection was closed off during my visit. I
found many other sculptures of people having fun. That seemed a common
theme in late 19th century art.
This is called A Nymph Collecting Fauns.
She is having fun but they do not seem so happy to be collected.
This museums has rooms of Van Goughs, Gaugins, Monets, etc. The first view is a study in black, white and grey. The second is a Van Gough room.
There were also many works from Renoir and Degas.
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