Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 15th

Today was an 18th Century Palooza!! All days should be an 18th Century Palooza. I started by going to the Musee Cognacq-Jay which is in the Hotel Donan on the Rue Elzevir. It says it's a museum of 18th century Paris, but what it really is is some dude's collection of 18th Century Stuff. No complaints here! An entire museum with my favorite art!! They had Fragonards and Bouchers and Vigee-Lebruns and a bed belonging to one of Louis XVs daughters! I give it four out of five macarons because their selection of postcards in the gift shop left much to be desired and most of the guards were literally asleep in their chairs. Which firstly meant that I could have stolen my very own Boucher as a souvenier, and secondly meant that I couldn't ask questions. One guy was awake and he didn't speak much English but he did his best to tell me about the bed and the beautiful portrait of the woman who used to read to Marie Antoinette. Definitely one of my favorite museums of the trip so far.

Then I went to the Hotel de Soubise which was a little disappointing because they didn't have that many rooms open. But the ones that were open were full out rococo splendor, which just happens to be my favorite so that was exciting. This Hotel, and its neighboring Hotels, house the national archives, so some exciting papers were on display. Like Louis XVI's and Napoleon's wills, a letter written by Marie Antoinette while in prison, the Edict of Nantes, and Something Important written in 612. They also had a very cool exhibit about something, possibly counterfitting or treasonous plots or something. The displays were very cool, but as there was no English translation anywhere I couldn't tell what was going on.

Now I'm pretty sure the Hotel de Rohan on the opposite corner is also a museum, but it wasn't open which was disappointing. So I headed down the street to the Musee Carnavalet, which is the museum of the history of Paris. It's in two Hotels, so there's no staight path to get through so you end up doing a lot of doubling back, and the 17th century section was sadly closed, but other than that I give it five out of five macarons. The 18th century section is made up of rooms from various Hotels and the like and their all painted different pastel colors and are so so beautiful. Someday when I have a house I'm making all the rooms full out rococo. And there was lots of art to look at! I also liked the French Revolution floor, which had some stuff belonging to my ancestor the Marquis de LaFayette, some revolutionary cockades and other assorted paraphenalia, and an actual lock of Marie Antoinette's hair. There was one really interesting painting, so I asked the guard if he could translate the info plaque for me. He had a really thick accent so it was hard to understand him, but it had something to do with people being angry about Necker. He asked if I knew who that was and was impressed when I said yes. Then he took me to another painting and said "Now this is very interesting. You know how they wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Man? Well this is the Declaration of the Rights of Women, which most people haven't heard of. It's about-" And I said "Oh yes, I know, I've read it." He was so surprised and very impressed.

The 19th century rooms were cool too, one had allthese little statues that were charicatures of famous people. The Franz Lizst one had this huge flowing mane of hair. I laughed out loud. I didn't do the 20th century rooms because the museum was closing and modern stuff is boring.

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