I was bored so I went to the Musee d’Orsay. I love saying that: I was bored so I (insert some cool Parisian thing here). Anyway, sometimes they give me a stink because I am not EU when I flash my ID, but HEY, under 26 and resident, I still am.
There was a special exhibit about death, mysticism, satan etc in art. It was pretty Gothic and dark, but interesting. It pulled reference from vampires, Milton, Dante and others. I got to see one of my favorite pieces as seen above. It depicts a pair of lovers Paulo and Francesco who were adulterers I believe. It is just so riveting, and I stared at it for a good while.
I love Dante’s Inferno section of the Divine Comedy. It is probably one of my favorite things to read. I think the whole idea of death, destruction, and circles of hell was just brilliant, and I often stalked Dante things in Florence. Some of the gory allusions and classical references are just nuts and really haunting. Not that I would ever kill myself, but the fact that in the Inferno suicides become weeping trees with broken bloody branches is enough for me to be all NO THANKS I DON’T WANT TO BE A TREE FOR ETERNITY.
From the Inferno, Canto ….. 13 or 7, I forget and it’s not like this is a term paper:
When we had put ourselves within a wood,
That was not marked by any path whatever.
Not foliage green, but of a dusky colour,
Not branches smooth, but gnarled and intertangled,
Not apple-trees were there, but thorns with poison.
Such tangled thickets have not, nor so dense,
So many voices issued through those trunks
Then stretched I forth my hand a little forward,
And plucked a branchlet off from a great thorn;
And the trunk cried, “Why dost thou mangle me?”
After it had become embrowned with blood,
It recommenced its cry: “Why dost thou rend me?
Hast thou no spirit of pity whatsoever?
Men once we were, and now are changed to trees;
Indeed, thy hand should be more pitiful,
Even if the souls of serpents we had been.”
As out of a green brand, that is on fire
At one of the ends, and from the other drips
And hisses with the wind that is escaping;
So from that splinter issued forth together
Both words and blood; whereat I let the tip
Fall, and stood like a man who is afraid.
“Had he been able sooner to believe,”
Other than the trees I find Dante pretty alluring. How more romantic can you be than Dante looking for his one true love then by descending into hell? Plus the fact that Dante based it on meeting a women whom he loved even after only meeting her once in real life! I love things like that. I have yet to read Paradisio and only snippets of Purgatoria, but perhaps soon.
I don’t like talking publicly about religion as I think it is just really personal and none of your damned business, but there is one quote from the Divine Comedy that pretty much sums up my ideas on the whole idea:
L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle
The love that moves the sun and the other stars .
It is just so poetic, and eloquent that I would and could not describe God in any other way.
All right, then so the rest of the exhibit was just a bunch of gnarled nasty faces. I wandered onto the giant clock and the impressionists. I tried to find a Louis like Blair did, but I didn’t get so lucky.
I must say the Orsay has never been my favorite as I always preferred the Louvre. However, I think I under appreciated it as the sculptures and Impressionist collections are quite extensive. I will give it another chance.
I took the following pictures on my walk after the museum closed.