I am always interested in the reception of a work of art and how paintings and sculptures can fall in and out of fashion. A perfect example of this is the allegory of the Six Continents just outside the Musée d’Orsay. Originally commissioned for the World’s Fair of 1878, these six figures are accompanied by symbols of their continent: North America for example sits in native dress holding a plaque bearing the names of the founding fathers while an elephant peeps out from behind Asia. Tides changed however when the figures found themselves unwanted and homeless in a landfill before regaining their glory once again outside the Orsay. Before visiting Monet and Degas, stop for a moment at the Six Continents and remember that it was not always smooth sailing for Impressionist works either. -- Karen Ralph
If you're in an adventuresome mood, explore the upper balconies, where through the massive transparent clock you can get a glimpse of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, located at the highest point of the city in Montmartre.
Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France
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