Thursday, August 9, 2012

Paris: Maritime Museum

There have been a few unexpected surprises during our trip. 1) There's a bottle of pretty decent sparkling wine at our local grocery store that says its 4 euros but for some reason always rings up at only 1.62. 2) Despite being highlighted extensively in our Rich Steve's guidebook, the modern art museum is abysmal. And 3) the Maritime and Army museums (which might seem boring to anyone not very well versed in French military history) are both fantastic and not very crowded.

I can only report on the greatness of the army museum through my brother since I, in my shortsightedness, did not go in. But I did go into the Maritime Museum and loved it! There are so many model ships, and they are so beautiful! And the actual experience of going to the museum, unlike all of the art museums, is so pleasant. We got there around noon and were literally 2 of maybe 20 people in the whole place. And the audio guides are free here. So you can follow along with the  pieces that interest you the most. I learned:
  • that the female masthead holding the scorpion was part of Marie Antoinette's boat that she cruised the lake at Versailles on. And the white boat with the raised ores was Louis XVI's counterpart.
  • the most boats were "shes" with female mastheads unless they were large, important warships. Those were always "hes" with mastheads depicting famous leaders.
  • the boat made of ivory was a gift to Napoleon and his second wife, and some of the ivory sailors sculpted on it are only a few millimeters tall!


Anonymous said...

I love to see you share history and then share it with us.

scott davidson said...

I had a chance to combine my two loves in life recently and had a two weeks' holiday in wonderful France, to which I had been before, and had loved so much. I took a little Renault rental car and headed off from Paris, to the Palace of Versailles, to Chartres then southward to sunny Provence, via the Auvergne region, with the Songs of the Auvergne playing repeated on the CD player.
Magnifique, comme toujours. I saw many art galleries and followed the footsteps of artists, like poor Vincent Van Gogh.
Back home all too soon, I ordered a canvas print from, choosing this painting by Cézanne,, to remember my trip by.