|Start your visit to the Orangerie by a walk around outside,|
these statues and others are by August Rodin
Not only had I never heard of them, I couldn’t even pronounce it. So in case you’re not any more gifted than I am, I’ll help you out. It’s pronounced “mock-ee-aye-oh-lee”.
My friend explained that they were the Italian Impressionists, and that the name comes from the word “macchia” meaning “stain” or “blot”. (It’s easier in French because “tache” means both.) It also means a wild forest of the Mediterranean variety. So the inference was two-fold: that the Usual Rules didn’t hold, as they don’t for the trees and plants that grow wild, and that the people and things represented were often reduced to alternating patches of color and chiaroscuro.
Interestingly enough, Macchiaoli in Italy was initially used as a term of ridicule, as was the term Impressionist in France. When Monet painted and exposed his “Impression, Sunrise”, a critic decreed that it wasn’t a painting at all, merely an impression, and “less finished than wallpaper”. Neither art movement was taken seriously.
And then, just before the exit, a montage of scenes from Visconti’s “Senso” loops constantly across the entire end wall. Why? Because the story takes place during the Macchiaioli period and the struggle for Italian Unification (Risorgimento), neatly tying together two essential threads of the show.
The exhibit is downstairs, below Monet’s Water Lilies rooms, and shares the space with the museum’s permanent exhibit - which is well worth a trip in and of itself.
Until July 22, 2013
Jardin des Tuileries
01 44 77 80 07
Daily 9 to 6, except Tuesdays, May 1,
Dec. 25 and the morning of July 14
Entrance: 7.5€ & 5 €
Free for visitors under 18 and
for all the first Sunday of the month