By Cresent Fujii
Easy access to other European countries is one of the perks of living in the United Kingdom. By travelling, we can immerse ourselves in an entirely different culture and history that takes us away from what we know and have seen before. Art is one of the historical and cultural reflections of different societies, countries, and epochs, and visiting these European museums is the perfect opportunity to delve into the history of art.
Musée d’Orsay (Paris, France)
The Musee d’Orsay is a box of treasures filled with the most marvellous impressionist paintings. This is a perfect museum to visit for lovers of impressionist paintings and painters such as Monet, Degas, Renoir, and Manet. Located by the Seine river, the museum itself is worth a visit, for it was originally built as a station for the Paris Exposition in 1900. Also, since it is free for students, why not include it on your bucket list?
Musée de l’Orangerie (Paris, France)
A ten-minute walk from the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée de l’Orangerie is another impressive museum that exhibits works that can be fully experienced only by visiting the museum. Most importantly, Claude Monet’s water lilies, displayed in the basement rooms, surrounds visitors from 360 degrees and transports them away from reality. Many visitors gaze at the large, magnificent paintings, illustrated by one of the most influential and renowned painters in the world. This museum is also free for students, so make sure you bring your student card and ID.
Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
It is quite obvious that the Van Gogh Museum exhibits works by Van Gogh, but the museum is not just that. The museum traces Van Gogh’s life as a man, as a prolific painter, a lover of Japanese art, and as an individual who struggled to cope with depression from time to time. The museum proudly displays some of the most prominent works by him, such as the Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers, Bedroom in Arles, Almond Blossoms, and various self-portraits of himself.
Fondazione Prada (Milan, Italy)
Fondazione Prada, or the Prada Museum, is a modern art museum that has been built recently. Though it is called Fondazione “Prada”, it is not a museum of handbags and purses, but rather collections of contemporary art. Engaging in contemporary art can help visitors contemplate on the themes hidden behind satires, or take interesting pictures that may be insta-worthy.
Belvedere Museum (Vienna, Austria)
This museum is located in the Belvedere Palace, and it is not only the facade that is gorgeous but also the paintings exhibited inside. Gustav Klimt’s Kiss is the most famous work in this museum, and the aesthetic of the painting, especially the extravagant use of gold, is completely different from the Kiss we know from posters or books. The massive painting awes visitors, and if feels as if the gasps of other visitors could be heard in the serene museum, with the help of the no-photo policy of the museum.
Photographs: Harriet Willis