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Pierre-Auguste Renoir

January 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm UTC

Jeune femme à la voilettevers (1870)

I spent the past week in Paris, celebrating my birthday with family and friends. While there, we visited the Musée d’Orsay; I was wholly unprepared for the way the museum changed me.

I was familiar with many of the famous paintings there, but had never seen them in real life. So when we came upon the Renoir pieces I was suddenly and unexpectedly overwhelmed by their beauty, utterly transported. His paintings are so impossibly beautiful, so full of longing and light and love for his subjects. I came away deeply, deeply inspired, renewed, excited to get back to work and grateful to be alive.

Bal du moulin de la Galetteen (1876)


Danse à la campagneen (1883)


Paysage algérien, le ravin de la femme sauvageen (1881)

  • Justin Combs


    Happy Belated Birthday, Mr. Whitacre! I hope you had a wonderful day and from your post it seems you did.

    Art is truly amazing. The emotions captured in still shots of oil, watercolor, or whatever medium, can range so dramatically that it cannot help but touch some deeper essence of what it means to be human.

    There’s something to be learned from our brothers in this particular section of expression. Sometimes as musicians we tend to forget the relationship between performer and conductor. Between composer and audience. Music at its roots is a form of communication. Just like painting. Those artists were trying to tell us something powerful. We should be inspired by their message, because they are shooting for the same desire to communicate. Just in a different medium.

    I’m glad you had the opportunity to view them. I hope it does indeed inspire you. As you have inspired many of us musicians.

  • annemie

    Hello Eric,

    Celebrating the New Year and your birthday in a city like Paris, can there be more romance??? No. Paris is one city I adore! I hope you could see more things but Le Musée d’Orsay is so beautiful. First of all, the place, an old trainstation, but above all, the impressionists.

    Really, it must be an inspiration for all of you!

    At this time i’m still practicing Water Night – and somethings i feel so angry, because i still make the same mistake (so no record yet) and practise 4-5 times a day.

    Hope you have a nice stay in Europe during the next months and that you may admire more of the Euro-art!!!



  • Jon Fisher

    Happy Belated Birthday Eric! So cool you got to see those paintings, and thanks for sharing some of the examples of things you saw! ^_^

  • Cathy L

    Paris, the perfect place to celebrate……anything! The Musée d’Orsay had a similar effect on me. I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of seeing, in real life, images that are almost cliched, that I was brought to tears and was speechless for a while afterwards (not a bad thing some would say!). I was particularly captivated by the light in the paintings which seemed to radiate from them.

    Planning any trips to Ireland??? We have lots of very atmospheric mist and rain, lots!