If you can find a day in Paris – you can experience Picasso.

Begin your day in the Musee D’Orsay, in an historic Parisian train station.

See the predecessors of the Impressionists – those who were acceptable to the ‘Academie’.  Then walk across the central court and view the ‘Salon des Refuses’ – the Impressionists who finally were allowed their own, ‘lesser’ exhibition in 1863. See Picasso’s interpretation of ‘Dejeuner sur l’Herbe’ by Edouard Manet.

In the Louvre,

See Picasso’s view of “Les femmes d’Alger” by Delacroix, located just next to … guess who? Mona Lisa of course!

Lunch –  Go to Café Le Notre .

It is across the Champs Elysee from your primary Picasso experience.  Le Notre is part cooking school – modern and bright – you will be happy. Make a reservation.

Le Notre
10 Avenue des Champs Elysees
Tel 01 42 65 85 10

Next – See the current show at le Grand Palais. Built in 1900 and designed for the Universal Exhibitions that Paris organized every 11 years, the Grand Palais is an important and beautiful piece of piece of history in the heart of Paris. The building has housed everything from horse shows (1901 – 1957 ) to art, fashion and innovations. Your afternoon will be well spent at le Grand Palais.

Do not stand in line for tickets – The concierge at The Sofitel, in Frauborg can get tickets – no waiting in line.

Make sure your concierge does the same for you during your stay!

Go for coffee:

At Ladurée on the Champs Elysées, well known for its pastries and especially its macaroons (great gift to bring home by the way).

Maybe you are in the mood for champagne?

The bar of the Plaza Athenee Hotel, Avenue Montaigne.

Or at Fouquet’s, which has the only bar and restaurant classified as an historic monument on the Champs Elysées.

Our guide made the stories of the artists and the history of Paris come alive.

Virginie Rampal speaks perfect English and is our favorite guide.  She knows the history and art of France.  She ties the economic history, the scientific breakthroughs and the sweep of social change to the art and architecture of Paris.  She takes you to beautiful places and tells the stories of the people.  She connects the eras and provides historical context.  And, it is all great fun.

Virginie Rampal, National Guide
Tel/fax 01 47 63 00 87
Cell  06 08 90 89 73
Email  [email protected]
42. rue Laugier
75017 Paris

To give you some sense of a day with Virginie, she introduced us to the Impressionists by offering the thought that three innovations prompted the rise of Impressionism:

1.      The train – painters could go to the country for the day and paint in “Plein air”

2.      The metal tube to hold paint – paints could be packed up and taken outside.  Previously, painters were tied to their studios by a practical need to ‘cook’ paint.

3.      The Camera – because photographers could capture realistic pictures of people and scenes, painters needed to distinguish their art from the realistic photographs.  They began to create the ‘impressions’ with their art.

Perhaps simple, this theme makes for an interesting day of viewing.  The fact the Musee D’Orsay is a renovated train station makes it an all the more appropriate home for the Impressionists.