- We’ll give you a fast-track ticket so you can enter the Orsay Museum like a VIP.
- When it comes to the Musée d’Orsay’s dirty side, Jean-Manuel wrote the book – literally!
- You’re tired of haystacks and sunflowers. So come enjoy French art's naughty little secrets!
- You’ll find out how 19th-century artists kept themselves … stimulated.
Naughty Orsay Museum Tour
Officially, museums are serious places. In matter of fact, works of art are made by people, who may not always feel that serious. They are also commented by docents who, commenting the same works for 26 years, yearn for a little variety.
If both artists and docents are from France, the country where innuendo is a national sport, the result is this tour. And the challenge of the tour is: how to maintain excruciatingly proper standards of speech when dealing with excruciatingly improper subject matter?
It is definitely part of the fun of the tour to hear how Jean-Manuel extricates himself from this intriguing quandary. And the works? Well, you will be surprised both at how naughty the most seemingly innocent things can be, and how bluntly naughty works are left unnoticed by your fellow visitors.
You will be with an expert. As author of the 2005 “Louvre and Orsay museums Erotic guide”, Jean-Manuel looked at every single one of the 30,000 works on display in the Louvre before welcoming you on that tour.
Most people come to Orsay for… Monet, Monet, Monet. Possibly a prior visitor yourself, you would like to see its’ masterpieces from another perspective, funny however educational? This tour is for you. You will not look at a single Monet or Van Gogh, for that matter. Jean-Manuel has concocted for you a special tour, in which the naughtiness factor is clearly orders of magnitude higher than in every other museum.
In Orsay, works are moved extremely frequently. And we mean frequently. Nevertheless, you may suffer your first shock right by the Statue of Liberty. No, no she will not be the naughty one. She’s much too clothed and of imposing stance to be that!
Then the fireworks begin with the “Pompiers” painters (pompier means fireman, in French). They were academic painters who churned literally thousands of very naughty works. Have you ever heard about Ingres or Cabanel? They were truly the wealthy artists of their time. One of their works was even bought for 40,000 gold francs by Napoleon III.
After a fusillade of official naughtiness, you’ll check the Orientalists. These ones are cheating a bit. It’s everything but complicated to suggest saucy innuendos when painting Turkish seraglios – absolute fantasy for an upper-class amateur – and hammam scenes with naked women emerging from steam. Ah, harems…
Of course you cannot miss the Naughty-Painter-In-Chief, Monsieur Gustave Courbet. A realist painter, he proclaimed as profession of faith that he wanted to “shock the bourgeois”. The least that can be said is that he got, in that matter, the highest achievement.
You will also look at Gauguin’s works (maybe not the way you think), as well as Rodin or Delille creations. Oh, you won’t probably be shocked – we are in the 21st century – but might be surprised. And this, is a promise!
Meeting Address: 8 Quai Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France - At the foot of the Elephant, on the museum’s forecourt, Metro line 12, Solferino station
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