Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ice Cream, Musée de Beaux-Arts & Quernons d'Ardoise

By the looks of my title you may think I know more French now. But don't be fooled. I get out of class by 10:30 on Thursdays, so that leaves the rest of the day completely free for me. I decided to make some good use of my time and visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Angers, which is the art museum located in the heart of Angers, about 15 minutes from my residence. The museum, which originally opened its doors in 1801, was modeled by the Louvre. Between 1999 and 2004, there were massive renovations done to the museum, and I could definitely tell the difference between the older and the newer parts of the museum. While most of it was new, there are still some beautiful historic aspects in tact like the detailed arc ceilings.

The art inside was absolutely stunning and definitely more than I was expected. It showcased paintings, sculptures, and artworks dating back to the 14th century that span a period from Italian, French and Flemish Primitives all the way to artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. Now I'm definitely no art specialist, but this museum surprisingly displayed some of the most well-known pieces of art in history.  What was really cool about one of the sections of the museum was that it showed pottery and artifacts found in Angers that dated back to the 14th century, and also showed pictures of what the city used to look like.

Because today was absolutely beautiful and by far the warmest day Angers has had since I've been here (about 75 degrees) I made a pit stop for some much needed (okay, much wanted) ice cream on the way. Although theres like a million bakery shops that sell ice cream all over town, I've been wanting to stop at one place called La Gourmandise that has a huge variety of flavors! I went for the chocolate (you can never go wrong) and it was a great decision. I'm still wondering how these people aren't obese.

According to my "must-do things in Angers, France" Google searches, one of the top things on the list is to stop at a chocolate shop called La Petite Marquise, where they sell an Angers speciality - a blue colored chocolate called Le Quernons d'Ardoise. Apparently this certain piece of chocolate has been around for ages here. Before today, I haven't been able to find the chocolate shop until I got lost today and accidentally ran into it! I decided it must be fate, so I got some for myself and some to bring home to the fam.

The place I got my ice cream! 


Ancient Roman currency. 

A more contemporary art series. 

Quatre tetes riant et un chat (Four people laughing at the sight of a cat)
Niccolo Frangipani (1555-1600)

Phillippe de Champaigne 

Jésus retrouvé au Temple par ses parents, 1683
Phillippe de Champaigne 

La Vierge, l'Enfant Jésus et saint Jean-Baptiste
Entre 1645 et 1648
Pierre Mignard

Cléopatre rendant son dernier hommage au tombeau d'Antoine, 1785
Francois-Guillaume Ménageot 

Paysage de bord de mer, 1907
Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes

Paintings by Alexis Jeaneau & Mérodack-Jeaneau

Sans titre, 1982
Daniel Tremblay 

Part of an exhibition series by Edward Baran that was going on at the time. Most of his pieces were made out of delicate, painted pieces of paper woven together on a piece of thread. 

Triptyque rose, 2009
Edward Baran 

Opus J. Joyce, 1988-1989

Part of the outside of the museum.

Neat sculpture outside the museum.


Some blue colored macarons on display in the window of La Petite Marquise. 


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