Impressionist Paintings & the Musée d'Orsay with Marie Dessaillen - Context Travel

Impressionist Paintings & the Musée d'Orsay with Marie Dessaillen


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Paris in the 19th century was the capital of art and culture. Musicians, writers, and artists flocked to the city to enjoy the freedom brought by the French Revolution. But the Revolution also brought the "bourgeoisie", the French middle class, into power, and their taste in art was classical. Passions were not to be publicly displayed, according to 19th century "good" society. Rejected by the older generations and the clients, some artists in the second half of the century launched a revolution of their own, a visual one, and it led to modern art. Away from the heaviness of decorum and the artificial light of the studios, they painted the world as they saw it and felt it, showed the reality of the underworld of Montmartre, abandoned the varnished, perfect paintbrushes of the Academy and tried art their way - a freeway. We call them the Impressionists.

This conversation will delve into the collection of Impressionist paintings that are held at the Musée d'Orsay. The museum was born in 1986 from an overflowing Louvre and a 1900 station that needed to be saved from destruction. The French national collections in Paris were split, and art from 1848 to 1905 was carefully transported across the Seine. Among the pieces was one of the most complete collections of Impressionism in the world, a collection that has since turned the musée d'Orsay into a tourist favorite.

Led by art historian Marie Dessaillen, this interactive discussion will focus on some of the most iconic paintings of the collection by Manet, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, and explore the notion that Impressionism was a collaboration of a group of artists with a shared goal - to find buyers - rather than a school with a common style.

The daughter of a sculptor, Marie has been surrounded by art ever since she was born. A native Parisienne, she holds an undergraduate degree in history and art history, with a specialty in iconography and French and Flemish paintings from the 16th to the 18th centuries. She also holds a Master's degree in museology from the Ecole du Louvre and one in Art History from the Sorbonne.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 58 reviews
97%
(56)
3%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
R
R.
I went to the D’Orsay today!

I’ve been to the Impressionist galleries at the Musée D’Orsay many times. Today I learned so much about the paintings I love. Marie was extraordinary—so knowledgeable about the museum and so interesting and charming. And French! I’d love to take another Musée D’Orsay seminar with Marie Dessaillen!

J
J.T.
Excellent presentation

Marie was an outstanding, well-organized presenter. Her enthusiasm for her subject was infectious. Slides were appropriate to her lecture and easy to view online.

S
S.

Guest did not leave comment

S
S.G.
Excellent virtual tour

The virtual tours of Context Conversations provide a welcome and delightful escape from reality. I am a Francophile, so I enjoy the French-themed tours and the Impressionists at the Musée d'Orsay was my favorite so far. Marie Dessaillen's credentials are impeccable allowing her to provide so much insight to the selected works and their artists. It was entertaining & informative; a delightful way to visit a variety of locations without leaving home.

j
j.m.
Not to be missed

Having viewed many Impressionist paintings in person in Paris and other venues, I wondered whether Ms. Dessaillen would offer some new perspectives. Indeed she did: I was not disappointed nor will you be. She is an engaging speaker with a broad depth of knowledge about her subject and a mastery of the visual presentation lecture. She managed to discuss 19th C French train stations, the Academic Salon, the development of French modern art, how the Impressionist got their “name” and who they were and how they related to each other and evolved over time, techniques of Impressionist painting and the Musée d’Orsay itself without seeming rushed or fragmented. A most enjoyable and educational 90 minutes well spent.

Customer Reviews

Based on 58 reviews
97%
(56)
3%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
R
R.
I went to the D’Orsay today!

I’ve been to the Impressionist galleries at the Musée D’Orsay many times. Today I learned so much about the paintings I love. Marie was extraordinary—so knowledgeable about the museum and so interesting and charming. And French! I’d love to take another Musée D’Orsay seminar with Marie Dessaillen!

J
J.T.
Excellent presentation

Marie was an outstanding, well-organized presenter. Her enthusiasm for her subject was infectious. Slides were appropriate to her lecture and easy to view online.

S
S.

Guest did not leave comment

S
S.G.
Excellent virtual tour

The virtual tours of Context Conversations provide a welcome and delightful escape from reality. I am a Francophile, so I enjoy the French-themed tours and the Impressionists at the Musée d'Orsay was my favorite so far. Marie Dessaillen's credentials are impeccable allowing her to provide so much insight to the selected works and their artists. It was entertaining & informative; a delightful way to visit a variety of locations without leaving home.

j
j.m.
Not to be missed

Having viewed many Impressionist paintings in person in Paris and other venues, I wondered whether Ms. Dessaillen would offer some new perspectives. Indeed she did: I was not disappointed nor will you be. She is an engaging speaker with a broad depth of knowledge about her subject and a mastery of the visual presentation lecture. She managed to discuss 19th C French train stations, the Academic Salon, the development of French modern art, how the Impressionist got their “name” and who they were and how they related to each other and evolved over time, techniques of Impressionist painting and the Musée d’Orsay itself without seeming rushed or fragmented. A most enjoyable and educational 90 minutes well spent.