My final day was a mad dash to see as much as I could before 5:30pm when all the galleries closed. I managed to see quite a lot and enjoy myself in the process, I indeed stumbled upon a few gems.
Aside from the Louvre and Musse d'Orsay, seeing Henner's work in person was one of those hidden gems I had mentioned. His work is moody yet beautiful and precisely what I love to see in paintings. I arrived at the museum at a little before 11am when doors opened. The late start to the day was perfect because it gave me a bit more time in bed after my epic 8+ hours in the Louvre the day before. To my surprise, I was one of the only people that were in the entire museum aside from the staff. This added to the allure of the place and the idea that I had really discovered an open secret of Paris. I managed to spend about an hour and a half in there alone getting up close to all the paintings and sculptures. I insist on an art lover to go here at least once, Henner's work can also be found in the Musse d'Orsay, but it's nothing like seeing a vast collection of his paintings and drawings all in one place (he also has a room of just sketches and chalk drawings for those interested.)
Taken from the Musee John-Jacques Henner website: Housed in a 19th-century mansion, the museum is dedicated to the work of the painter Jean-Jacques Henner (1829-1905). Its collections tell the story of Henner’s life, from the early days in his native Alsace to his stay at the Villa Medici after his Prix de Rome and finally to Paris where he was a successful painter and one of the most important of his time. The many works from Henner’s studio provide insight into how a successful painter would work during the Impressionist period.
The National History Museum:
Highly recommended by my friend I had to stop off at the national history museum to see their collection of animal bones and oddities. They also had a dinosaur exhibition on which was mesmerising. It was nice to take a break from art for a moment and appreciate the natural beauty in nature.
This museum is another one of those open secrets i'd highly recommend, Gustave Moreau's work is a mixture of figurative and abstract which was fascinating to see for it's time however he clearly had a solid foundation in the classical. On the 4th floor open for anyone to discover was a whole display wall of thousands of his drawings. You could pull each one out and draw from them which many in the gallery were already doing.
Finally I ended my day squeezing in the Monet Museum and hour and a half before closing time. Unfortunately I must have gotten so engrossed in seeing the water lilies up close that I actually forgot to take a picture of them. Of course due to technical difficulties the video I had taken won't upload. This works out perfectly as it's the best incentive to go see the for yourself!
This entire trip has been one I will cherish for a long time to come. I am humbled and honoured to have received the De Laszlo Scholarship and have tried to maintain my momentum of learning in school and outside in my own hours. The Louvre was quite literally a dream to finally be able to visit. I believed I discovered a lot about myself as a person, as well as my taste in art and who I'd aspire to be more like in the future. Travelling alone for me is a rare occasion. Usually, the self-doubt and anxiety would get the best of me. However, this time when I was presented with the opportunity to make this trip I made sure I filled every second of it and soaked it all in. I believe it's time to take more risks, be a little braver and apply with i've learnt about myself and from the Old Masters into my own work.