Paris - Place de la Concorde, Tuileries Gardens, Pyramid du Louvre and the Orangerie Museum

JUL 17,2019 - JUL 17,2019 (1 DAYS)

France

1 DAYS

Citywalk

Place de la Concorde, Tuileries Gardens, Pyramid du Louvre and the Orangerie Museum:

Start & End: Place de la Concorde Metro station. Duration: 3/4 - 1 day. Weather: Any weather. Walk Distance: 3-4 km.

Main Sights: Place de la Concorde, Tuileries Gardens, Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Cour Napoleon et Pyramide du Louvre, the Orangerie Museum.

Note: this itinerary DOES NOT include visit inside the Louvre museum. Most of the day is devoted to the Orangerie museum.

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From Place de la Concorde Metro station, 1 Rue Royale we walk southeast on Place de la Concorde, 60 m. The Jeu de Paume museum or gallery is on our left immediately after leaving the metro station. We walk along Terrasse des Feuillants for 110 m. We visit the Place de la Concorde. Place de la Concorde, formerly Place Louis XV, Place de la Révolution, Place de la Chartre, and Place Louis XVI, is situated on the right bank of the Seine between the Tuileries Gardens and the western terminus of the Champs-Élysées. It was intended to glorify King Louis XV, though during the French Revolution various royals, including Louis XVI, were executed there. In modern Paris, a temporary stand is built in the square each year from which dignitaries review the military parade on Bastille Day. Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris. A design by Ange-Jacques Gabriel won a competition to provide suitable surroundings for a previously commissioned bronze equestrian statue of Louis XV. The moat-skirted square—technically an octagon because of its cut-off corners—was approved in 1755, but Edmé Bouchardon’s statue of the king was not put into place until 1763. The southwestern side of the square was left open to the river. On the opposite side, flanking the rue Royale, Gabriel placed two matching buildings, now called the Hôtel de la Marine and the Hôtel de Crillon. Their arcaded ground floors and colonnaded facades are somewhat reminiscent of the Louvre. Around the periphery of the square, Gabriel built eight giant pedestals upon which statues representing provincial capitals were eventually placed. Viewed clockwise from the Hôtel de la Marine, the statues symbolize Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nantes, Brest, and Rouen. Jean Perronet’s Pont Louis XV, a bridge over the Seine, was begun in 1787 but not completed until 1791, by which time the French Revolution was underway. The bridge was successively renamed Pont de la Révolution and Pont de la Concorde. In 1792, amid revolutionary fervour, the statue of the king was removed and destroyed. In the following year the square was renamed Place de la Révolution. The guillotining of Louis XVI took place on January 21, 1793, near the pedestal that now holds the statue of Brest. Four months later the guillotine was erected near the gates of the Tuileries, and the executions continued for nearly three years. Among those who died in that location were Queen Marie-Antoinette and the revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre. In 1795 the square was named Place de la Concorde, and two monumental marble sculptures by Guillaume Coustou called the Horses of Marly (Chevaux de Marly), were installed at the entrance to the Champs-Élysées. In the following years, the square underwent several changes of name, becoming at various times Place de la Chartre, Place Louis XV again, and Place Louis XVI. It regained its present name in 1830. 

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In 1836, during the reign of Louis-Philippe, the Luxor Obelisk was installed at the centre of the square. The obelisk, an Egyptian artifact originally constructed in about 1300 BCE, is 74.9 feet (22.83 metres) in height. Flanking the obelisk are two fountains (Fontaine des Mers and Fontaine des Fleuves) designed by Jacques Ignace Hittorff, an architect who also supervised other modifications. In the 1850s, during the reign of Napoleon III, the moat was filled in, and the square came closer to its present-day appearance. 

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Facing the square on the grounds of the Tuileries Gardens, the Orangerie (see below) was built in 1852 as a shelter for orange trees, and the Jeu de Paume was built in 1861 as a ball-game court. Both buildings now serve as museums. In 1984 the Horses of Marly were removed for preservation to the Louvre and replaced, on the Champs-Élysées site, by copies. During the 2019 summer season there were construction works around the square - and it was standing completely silent and with no vehicles. We visited the Place on a weekday when it was relatively empty. The Hôtel de la Marine, located at Place de la Concorde, is undergoing renovation by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux. It will reopen to the public in 2020. It was quite hot during July 2019 and the historic background of the square was largely overwhelmed by the pressing heatwave that day.

On our left is the entrance to the Tuileries Gardens. The Tuileries Gardens take their name from the tile factories which previously stood on the site where Queen Catherine de Medici built the Palais des Tuileries in 1564. André Le Nôtre, the famous gardener of King Louis XIV, re-landscaped the gardens in 1664 to give them their current French formal garden style. The gardens, which separate the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde. Louvre at one end and L’Orangerie at the other. They are a pleasant place for walking (if it is not so hot outside...) and for culture for Parisians and tourists. Also keep in mind that the sand will be all over (at least in summer). The Tuileries Garden respect the old tradition of unpaved walks so dust or mud will be for free. Maillol statues stand alongside those of Rodin or Giacometti. The gardens’ two ponds are perfect places to relax by. From March to December, free tours in French are organized. Anyway, it is a good place to rest and unwind and admire the landscapes. Very pretty park that has lots of seating and several places to have a picnic. The gardens are beautiful and have excellent sculptures:

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Le Grand Musicienne 1937, Henri Laurens (1885-1954):

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Personnage II, 1967. Ettienne Martin (1913-1995):

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Standing Woman 1932 - Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935):

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Henry Moore (1896 - 1986), Reclining Figure:

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Exit the gardens from the EASTERN exit, cross Avenue du Général Lemonnier with your face to the east and arrive to the Carrousel Du Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is the smallest of the three arches on the Triumphal Way, the central axis between the Louvre and La Défense. The arch is crowned with a bronze chariot. The other two arches are the Grande Arche de la Défense and the Arc de Triomphe de l'étoile, the most famous of the three.The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel  was built by Percier and Fontaine. The Arc du Carrousel was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon in 1806 to commemorate his Austrian victories and honor his grand army. When that palace was destroyed by fire in 1871, it was generally agreed that the arch stood well on its own; nor was the palace greatly missed in that an exceptional view of the Champs-Elysées had been opened up. The proportions of the arch were directly drawn from those of the Arch of Septimius Severus in Rome. Furthermore, Percier and Fontaine deliberately copied ancient decorative motifs of Corinthian columns in red and white marble, bas-reliefs depicting the major events of the campaign and a chariot pulled by four horses at the top. Each of the eight columns has (above it) a statue of a soldier of the Grand Army, namely: a dragoon, an infantry grenadier, a cavalry chasseur, a grenadier, a gunner, a rifleman and a sapper. The bas-reliefs illustrate the following events: (facing the Louvre) “The Surrender at Ulm” by Cartellier and “The battle of Austerlitz” by Esparcieux; (facing the rue de Rivoli) “Napoleon entering Munich” and “Napoleon bringing back the King of Bavaria” by Clodion; (facing the Tuileries Gardens) “Napoleon entering Vienna” by Deseine and “The Meeting of the two Emperors” by Ramey; (facing the Seine) “The Peace of Presbourg” by Lesueur. Originally, “The Horses of Saint Mark's”, the famous bronzes removed from the Basilica in Venice, crowned the building, but these originals were sent back to Venice in 1815 and replaced by copies, and the statue group was completed by an allegory of the Restoration surrounded by two Victories by Bosio. This large gate provides a scenic entrance to the Jardin des Tulleries. With ornate decorations, it draws tourists from the Louvre so it can be a bit crowded. Still, it provides a nice picture point with the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower in the background. If you don't have the time for making ques at Louvre, stay outside, admire the glass pyramid, this smaller Arc and all the garden around the museum. If you decide to go to the top, expect aching leg muscles and shortness of breath! Approx 400 steep stairs - all in a winding stone staircase. We recommend going in the early evening for golden hour/sunset.

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Move more eastward and you arrive to Cour Napoleon and the Pyramide du Louvre. Practical information for the Louvre visitors: The Louvre is open every day (except Tuesday) from 9.00 to 18.00. Night opening until 21.45  on Wednesdays and Fridays. Free admission on the first Saturday of each month from 18.00. to 21.45. Closed on the following holidays: January 1, May 1, December 25. Admission is free for those under 18, as well as other individuals with proper documentation, such as art teachers, pass holders and people with disabilities. Admission is also free on certain special days, such as Bastille Day (July 14). The Louvre is the world's largest museum and houses one of the most impressive art collections in history. The magnificent, Baroque-style palace and museum is one of the city's biggest tourist attractions. The Louvre was originally built as a fortress in 1190, but was reconstructed in the 16th century to serve as a royal palace. During its time as a royal residence, the Louvre saw tremendous growth. Nearly every monarch expanded it. Today, it covers a total area of 60,600 square meters. In 1682, Louis XIV moved the royal residence to Versailles, and the Louvre became home to various art academies, offering regular exhibitions of its members' works. During the French Revolution, Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were forcibly removed from Versailles and imprisoned in Tuilleries Palace, which was then adjacent to the Louvre. They were beheaded there in 1793. The National Assembly opened the Louvre as a museum in August 1793 with a collection of 537 paintings. The museum closed in 1796 because of structural problems with the building. Napoleon reopened the museum and expanded the collection in 1801, and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon. It was Napoleon Bonaparte who created the foundation for the world famous museum the Louvre is today. He wanted to be in charge of creating a collection of art in Louvre. That's why he renamed it in 1802 to the 'Napoleon Museum.' He wanted to create a museum of France with a wonderful collection of art from all around the world. He enlarged its collection by bringing art from his military campaigns, private donations and commissions he made. Napoleon's contributions included spoils from Belgium, Italy, Prussia and Austria. In 1815, when Napoleon abdicated with the Treaty of Fontainebleau, almost 5,000 artworks were returned to their countries of origin. France was allowed to keep only a few hundred works, and the Louvre reverted to its original name. Many artifacts from Napoleon's conquests in Egypt remained. After Napoleon, the Louvre continued to expand. The multi-building Louvre complex was completed under the reign of Napoleon III in the mid-19th century. Although today its collection is the most interesting part of the museum, the building itself is an important exhibit, too. The building is primarily of Renaissance and French Classical style. The first medieval elements from the old fortress can still be seen underground, beneath the pyramid, around the lobby area. Probably its most famous part is Claude Perrault's 'Colonnade' on the eastern façade of Louvre. It was built in the 17th century and it's a wonderful example of a French Classicism. It's composed of paired Corinthian columns with pavilions at the corners of the facade. The Louvre's new entrance was opened in 1989, marking the bicentennial of the French Revolution. Designed by the Chinese American architect Leoh Ming Pei, the Pyramid's simple form and high-tech glass and metal structure are a popular new symbol for the museum, drawing visitors into the magnificent lobby beneath. The Pyramid by I. M. Pei is a remarkable feat of technical prowess: 22 meters high, with 30 meter sides, it is made up of almost 800 glass lozenges and triangles, assembled with extraordinary precision on an aluminum framework supported by a 95-ton structure of girders and stainless steel joists. Part of the new opening plan of 1983 called for a new design for the main entrance. Architect I.M. Pei was awarded the project, and he designed an underground lobby and modern glass pyramid structure in the courtyard. The French Company Saint-Gobain developed an entirely new kind of glass for the pyramid, which is both lightweight and strong, transparent but with minimal reflectivity. Iron oxide was removed to make it perfectly clear. The connecting joints were cast by Eiffel Constructions, using the lost wax casting technique, rarely employed on an industrial scale. Inaugurated in 1988, the pyramid would become a celebrated element of the landmark museum's design. It combines traditional style with modern architecture, it shows the Louvre's timeless beauty. In 1993, the Inverted Pyramid, a skylight dipping into the underground lobby, was unveiled. A new grand entrance provided a convenient, central lobby space separate from the galleries, which provided focal point for the cyclical process of one’s experience through the museum. In addition to providing a new entrance to the Louvre, Pei’s design featured a new underground system of galleries, storage, and preservation laboratories, as well as a connection between the wings of the museum. The addition and relocation of the supporting spaces of the museum allowed for the Louvre to expand its collection and place more work on exhibit. The large glass and steel pyramid that is surrounded by three smaller triangles that provide light to the space below Cour Napoleon. For Pei, the glass pyramid provided a symbolic entry that had historical and figural importance that reinforced the main entry. The monumental appearance of the glass and steel pyramid fixed in the middle of the court provides a central focal point that compliments the scale and design of the Louvre. The scale of the large pyramid, which is designed to the same proportions of the famous Pyramid of Giza, does not detract from the historical nature of the museum rather the juxtaposition of the modern structure and the French Renaissance architectural style of the museum creates a complimentary effect that enhances each of the design’s details and beauty. So much so that the sloping glass walls of the pyramid begin to pay homage to the mansard roofs of the museum, and the opaque, heavy qualities of the Louvre’s façade exaggerate the transparency of Pei’s design. As the decades have passed and Paris has modernized Pei’s design has become embedded in the Parisian culture. It is regarded with similar significance to that of the Eiffel Tower becoming an icon for the people of Paris, as well as the world. Pei’s design has become synonymous with the image of the Louvre marking it as an inseparable entity from the museum and of Paris.

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Continue with Tip 2 below.

Museums

From the Louvre Pyramid we head south on Cour Napoléon, 200 m. We turn right BACK onto Quai François Mitterrand (south to Place de la Concorde) and walk along this road for 690 m. with our face to the west. We pass through THREE BRIDGES on the SEINE (on our left): Pont du Carrousel, Pont Royal and Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor. We turn right (north) toward Terrasse du Bord de l'Eau for 15 m. Then, we turn left onto the same Terrasse du Bord de l'Eau for 180 m., take the stairs and turn right 45 m. Further, we turn left and walk additional 110 m. to arrive to the entrance of Musée de l'Orangerie, Jardin Tuileries.

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Here, we see the famous, bronze, original sculpture Le Baiser (The Kiss) by Auguste Rodin, from year 1889. ‘The Kiss’ was originally inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy and depicts two of its characters; Paolo and Francesca. In the epic poem, Francesca is arranged to marry Gianciotto through his family. Though noble, Gianciotto was deformed and his father knew that Francesca would not accept the marriage. He had his other son, the handsome Paolo, stand in during the ceremony to assure the wedding would proceed. After reading the story of Lancelot and Guinevere, the two became lovers whilst Francesca was under the assumption that Paolo was her new husband. Upon discovery of his brother’s deception, Gianciotto murdered them both before repenting. For their adultery, the two are punished to hell.

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Note that there are strict measures of security at the entrance of the museum. Opening hours: daily from 9.00 to 18.00 except Tuesdays, 1 May, the morning of 14 July, and 25 December. Last admission at 17.15. Museum cleared from 17.45. Admission rates: Full rate: €9. Concessions (For accompanying persons of a young visitor under 18, residing in the European Union, within the limit of 2 accompanying persons per child): €6.50. Free admission: Visitors under 18 years old, visitors aged from 18 to 25 years old who are European Union nationals, and non-nationals who are long-term residents (more than 3 months) of an EU Member State, on proof of entitlement, all visitors on the first Sunday of each month. Combined Musée de l'Orangerie - Musée d'Orsay ticket: €18 (validity: 3 months from date of purchase). Guided tours: €6 - every Monday at 14.15 and every Saturday at 11.00.  The main attraction are two rooms with huge elliptical paintings by Monet with his lily ponds. The museum is most famous as the permanent home of the eight large water lily murals by Claude Monet. These 8 panels, 2 metres high and spanning 91 metres length, are arranged in 2 oval rooms purpose built for the paintings. Huge panels on 4 walls that literally surround you. EXCEPTIONAL, BREATH-TAKING and a MUST-SEE. Also the purpose-built structure is a must see. Monet is said to have helped with the architectural design, with skylights for observing the paintings in natural light. The effect is absolutely stunning. Built in 1852 as a store for citrus plants of the Tuileries Gardens, l’Orangerie was turned into an art gallery after WWI. It was remodeled several times since, notably once after WWI to house Monet’s water lilies and subsequently after 1960 to accommodate the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume collections acquired in 1959 and 1963 respectively (see below). The museum is NOT over-crowded. So it is much easier to navigate and enjoy because of size and crowd. The way the water lilies are presented allow you to be pulled in by their serene beauty and feel like you are alone, even if the museum is crowded. 

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We found the l’Orangerie less crowded than most other museums in Paris. if one is willing to spend 2 to 3 hours, it is possible to take in the entire museum in one visit, something not feasible in most other museums. Overall, a very pleasant and rewarding museum visit.

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Alex Katz - Homage to Monet - Pictures of lakes in Maine, USA:

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A visit to the l’Orangerie only to see Monet’s water lilies can be a justification in itself, but the museum offers much more. It also contains fascinating paintings by Cezanne, Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, Renoir, Rousseau, Sisley, Utrillo and others. The Monet murals are in floor 0. The collection of Jean Walter & Paul Guillaume (1891-1934) is in floor -2. The Musee de L’Orangerie in Paris is well-known ALSO for its collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces amassed by Paul Guillaume (1891-1934), one of France’s leading early 20th-century art dealers and collectors. After Guillaume’s death, his wife Domenica added pieces by both celebrated and emerging artists and added Jean Walter, her second husband’s name, to the collection title. The highlights of this show of 70 works include “Young Girls at the Piano” (ca. 1892) by Renoir, “Argenteuil” (1875) by Monet, “Odalisque with Red Trousers” (ca. 1924-25) by Matisse and “Apples and Biscuits” (ca. 1879-80) by Cezanne. Note: this floor might be closed due to renovation works. One masterpiece after another assembled by one of Europe’s great art impresarios. You will see the best of the best. DO NOT MISS this floor. Invest five euros and use the audio guide. It is superb.Many of the works have commentary. You will come away knowing SO much more. WHAT A DELIGHT. Allow 3-4 hours for the whole museum (including a lunch or dinner).

Renoir - Jaune Filles au Piano:

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Renoir - Portrait de Deux Filles:

Museums in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip Renoir - Portrait of Mme. Guilaume- Andre Derain:

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Renoir - Femme nue dans un paysage:

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Renoir - Baigneuse aux cheveux longs:

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Renoir - Fraises:

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Renoir - Femme a la Lettre:

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Renoir - Claude Renoir Jouant:

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Renoir - Yvonne & Christine Lerolle au Piano:

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Renoir - Femme accoudée:

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Renoir - Blonde a la Rose:

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Renoir - Gabriel e Jean:

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Renoir - Paysage de Neige:

Museums in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip Move to Tip 3 below.

Museums

Claude Monet - Argenteur:

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Renoir - Claude Renoir en Clown:

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Paul Cezanne - Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe:

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Paul Cezanne - Mme Cezanne:

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Picasso - Nu sur fond rouge:

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Picasso - Grand baigneuse:

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Picasso - Grand nature mort:

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Picasso - Femme au Tambourin:

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Matisse - Femme au Violon:

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Matisse - Nu drapé étendu:

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Matisse - l'Odalisque bleue:

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Matisse - Les Trois Sœurs

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Marie Laurencin - Danseuses espagnoles:

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Marie Laurencin - Femmes au chien:

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Marie Laurencin - Portrait of Mademoiselle Chanel:

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Amedeo Modigliani - Le Jeune Apprenti:

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Amedeo Modigliani - Femme au ruban de velours:

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Andre Derain - Arlequin et Pierrot:

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Andre Derain - La Nièce du peintre:

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Andre Derain - Nu à la cruche:

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Henri Rousseau, dit Le Douanier (1844-1910) - La Noce:

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The Salon of Paul Guillaume with his collection of paintings:

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Museums in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip Maurice Utrillo - La Maison Bernot:

Museums in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip Maurice Utrillo - rue de Mont-Cenis:

Museums in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip Chaim Soutine - Notre-Dame:

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Chaim Soutine - Le Petit Pâtissier:

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Chaim Soutine - Le Garçon d'étage:

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Chaim Soutine - Le Village:

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Chaim Soutine - Le Lapin:

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