Green in the Orsay

This is the first installment of Creative June on the theme of the Outdoors. (If you missed it, check out a description of the project here!)

Green, painting, Orsay, Paris

When thinking about the outdoors, the first image that came to mind was the color green. And what better museum to scour for instances of green than the Musée d’Orsay? I first thought of the Orsay because of the green in Degas's famous glass of absinthe. I knew the Orsay would be a rich source of greens, with the impressive canvases of Impressionists who painted outdoors, the verdant landscapes of the Barbizon School, the profound colors of Gauguin and Van Gogh…

So, I went on a photo safari in the Orsay, on the hunt for splashes of green. A photo safari is a visit to a museum focusing on details found in artworks around various themes, with the aim of looking at everything differently. 

Spending time with the color green left me with two very distinct feelings. Getting lost in the lush landscapes was relaxing and left me feeling calm. It was almost as if I had spent a moment in nature. But some uses of green left me feeling slightly ill at ease, as if something sinister was lying behind the use of the color.

Green, as found in the permanent collection of the Musée d’Orsay:

Woman, painting, Orsay, Paris
Monet, painting, Orsay, Paris
Green, deer, painting, Orsay, Paris
Van Gogh, plants, painting, Orsay, Paris
Green, woman, painting, Orsay, Paris
Hallway, painting, Orsay, Paris
Green, painting, Orsay, Paris
Woman, painting, Orsay, Paris
Degas, Absinthe, Orsay, Paris
Green, painting, Orsay, Paris
Women, painting, Orsay, Paris
Woman, painting, Orsay, Paris

Musée d'Orsay

Address1, rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris  ∣  Métro: Solférino (line 12) ∣ Opening hoursTuesday to Sunday from 9:30am to 6pm, open until 9:45pm on Thursday

What colors do you associate with the outdoors? Do you ever feel transported by the use of color in art?