Musée Jacquemart-André

Last Wednesday night, I was feeling pretty crummy about everything, asking myself existential questions like, “why am I here, what’s the point of going into Paris, I’m running out of money, what is life, who am I???” So I decided, instead of wallowing in these thoughts, I should defy them and go see something I’ve never seen before in Paris.

I chose Musée Jacquemart-André, a relatively small museum of decorative arts in the fancy 8th arrondissement. One downside to no longer being a student, is that I no longer receive free admission to certain museums around Paris. I naively attempted to use my old Parisian student ID, but embarrassingly, the ticket woman checked the date on the back and I ended up paying the full price. oops! :p

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Art History is Cool – Art Nouveau

What makes Art Nouveau so unique, is that it was created for a very simple purpose: to beautify. To make cities, homes, posters, advertisements – in short, the world around us – beautiful. (you might know the famous curvy green Metro station in Paris) This isn’t a typical “fine art” movement, found only in painting or sculpture, this was a movement found within everyday objects of upper-middle class people.

Inspired by the curving lines and floral patterns found in nature, Art Nouveau is popularized today by the work of Alphonse Mucha. Almost all of his work seems to feature nymph-like women, usually with really long hair. There is a flatness to his work, which gives it a graphic design aspect, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in detail and sophistication. The colors he uses are so harmonious!

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