I Like What I’m Seeing

8 Aug

A couple of sayings come to mind when I think about art.  The first is that if the art is good it will make you feel something.  You may not like it but if you are responding to it then it’s good art.  The other thought is by Rick Steves.  He said that if the art is boring then you don’t know enough about it.

I’ve been trying to learn more about art in prepration for our trip for just that reason.  The Mister and I are making our way to the Louvre but we both like Impressionism a bit more, so we’ll be hitting the Orangerie (ohr-rahn-jzehr-ree) for sure to see Monet’s work there.  But this post is about the Musée d’Orsay and its fantastic website.  The Orangerie site is entirely in French, as befits a site for a museum in France, but if you click English in the top right corner you’ll get a PDF with all the particulars for visiting the museum.  Great information but then the Orsay had to kick out the jams with something they call Discovery.

The Orsay has set up a part of their website to really help you discover what kind of art appeals to you.  It’s magnificent, really.  It especially caters to those of us who like the art of this period but aren’t really sure about the terms or the artists.  Using Discovery you can view a work in the center frame with additional works on all four sides.  The top has a display of other works by that artist at the Orsay.  The bottom displays works from the same artistic movement and some will belong to more than one.  On the left are works from the same year and on the right are works with the same type of subject matter such as landscapes or modern life.

If you get caught up in one work then you can easily explore different aspects of it.  The tool doesn’t suggest anything either.  It doesn’t say “Oh, I see you like Rage Against the Machine.  We have some Joni Mitchell that you might also be interested in.”  Art is very personal and it lets you make the choice as to what you want to see.  I dig it. 

Even if you aren’t planning a visit to the Orsay any time soon I’d recommend visiting the site and finding out what art you love.  Angry Birds will still be there when you get back, promise.

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