March 13, 2015

What's inside the Petit Palais?

Who knew the Petit Palais had so much to offer? I was following the invitation of my friend Mona once again to join one of her tours; this time we were to discover the permanent collection of the Petit Palais.

Having just visited the spectacular temporary Baccarat exhibition before Christmas, I decided it was time to see what lay inside the rest of the Petit Palais. I was not disappointed.

In fact, there are so many precious pieces of paintings, furniture, sculptures and objects that it is difficult to concentrate on them all.

We learnt that the Petit Palais was inaugurated in 1900 for the World Exhibition of the same year, and presented in tandem with the neighboring Grand Palais. As a matter of fact I spent quite some time taking pictures of the lovely view onto the Grand Palais. The "petit" counterpart is a striking example of art nouveau architecture with wrought iron entrances and decorative elements, elaborate cupolas and colourful murals that convey the space and the grandeur of a palace.

Our lovely English guide seem to know every single piece of art. As we walked through the imposing  halls with the "whipped cream" ornaments along the walls and ceiling, she picked and chose her way through 1300 works from the antiquity through the early 20th century with expert knowledge of each creation she set her eyes on.

The collection is rather eclectic featuring classical masterpieces as Courbet, Cezanne, Monet, and Delacroix, however, I like eclectic. Therefore, along with the Nissim de Camondo and the Carnevalet museum it is definitely an alternative to the overcrowded Louvre that you can suggest next time you have visitors.

The grand entrance to the Petit Palais

The winter garden inside the Petit Palais

Just couldn't resist!

The "whipped cream" ornaments

The view onto the Grand Palais and beyond

Eclectic collection of vases...

... stunning paravent...

... antique pitcher and bowl set in PiNk...

... art deco sculptures...

... furniture and tapestry...

... impressionist paintings...

Monsieur Alphand who participated in the renovation of Paris
directed by Baron Haussmann between 1852 and 1870

Portrait of a "Parisienne"
(Chic, elegant, maybe flamboyant but never seductive)

Monsieur Hector Guimard's dining room. 
A French architect, who is best-known for 
the Art Nouveau style of Paris' metro stations.

Magnificent iron wrought staircase designed by Hector Guimard.

 Stark architectural contrasts

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