Sunday started off dreary, clouds covered everything, casting gray shadows over the city. I almost took it as a “repose day,” where all I would do is drink tea, read & maybe go for a run. But after a couple hours of lounging I decided to take the gloomy weather as a hint to go to a museum. I chose Musée Marmottan Monet, which has so much artistic history. Originally a hunting lodge turned into a trendy town house with a private art collection, was bequeathed & turned into the museum. Following this, an art donation was made from a daughter of a doctor, who adored impressionism, & happened to have a patient list including Pissaro, Manet, Renoir, Monet etc. Totally casual.
The art itself is stunning but it’s made even more entrancing by the staging of the actual museum. Because it used to be a home, each room gives just as much visual stimulation as the artwork on the walls. This is what gives the museum its standout characteristic, because so many other museums have the “blank canvas” styled rooms that almost feel sterile.
As I found myself edging toward the end of the museum, anxiety swam over me.
WHERE. ARE. THE. MONETS?
As I walked through the gift shop, there’s a staircase leading down & you see the sign for the Claude Monet gallery. Tucked away, descending the stairs one by one, I came around a corner & gasped.
There they were. Not just a few… An entire basement floor filled with nothing but Monet. I wanted to view them in peace so I plugged in my headphones, went to my jazz playlist & hit shuffle. La vie en rose, the Louis Armstrong version. Immediately, that lump in the throat, overwhelmingly emotional feeling overcame me. The coincidence of a having the perfect Parisian jazz song mixed with my favorite impressionist art all in one big room made me intoxicated; I almost forgot to breathe.
It will go down as one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever experienced.