Musée d'Orsay
Paris

Musée d’Orsay – an art gallery in the center of Paris

French art gallery.

In the very center of Paris, on the left side of the Seine and directly opposite the Tuileries Gardens near the Louvre, there is a gallery of French art from the 19th and 20th centuries – the Orsay Museum. The place visited by over 4 million people annually belongs to the most famous museums in Paris.

Entrance to the Musée d'Orsay
Entrance to the Musée d’Orsay
The building.

The museum has an interesting, over 100 years history. At the end of the 19th century, this area was purchased for the purpose of building a railway station. The new building was designed by Victor Laloux and his task was to create a place that fits in the elegant district of Paris. This way, the present building was built with an eclectic façade, a glass roof and two huge clocks that have survived till today.

Clock in the Musée d'Orsay
Clock at the Musée d’Orsay

The inauguration took place in 1900 during the world exhibition, at the same time as the Grand and Petit Palais or the Eiffel Tower.

Plac przed wejściem do Muzeum Orsay
Plac przed wejściem do Muzeum Orsay

Unfortunately, the building served as a train station only for 39 years, because due to the change in the length of trains, they did not fit into the train station d’Orsay. Over the years, the building had many roles, it served as Renault-Barrault theater, then the Druot auction house, and many movies were shot there.

Musée d'Orsay in Paris
Musée d’Orsay in Paris

Plans to demolish the building encountered Parisian opposition, which is why in 1978 it was enlisted on the list of historical monuments. A few years later, the idea of creating a nineteenth-century art museum there started to be implemented by architect Gae Aulenti.

View behind the clock at Musée d'Orsay
View behind the clock at Musée d’Orsay
Museum.

The opening of Musée d’Orsay was made by President François Mitterrand on December 1, 1986.

Selfie with a clock at Musée d'Orsay in Paris
Selfie with a clock at Musée d’Orsay in Paris

The museum’s collection consists of collections of paintings, sculptures, photography and graphics, but Impressionist works are the most popular.

Orsay – meaning.

What does Orsay actually mean? It’s a type of shoe, a slipper that covers the back of the foot and fingers, but reveals the foot on the sides. It can be high heels or flat.

Statue of Liberty at Musée d'Orsay in Paris
Statue of Liberty at Musée d’Orsay in Paris
What to find in Orsay Museum?

In the museum you can admire the works of many famous artists about whoI heard many times, and never expected to see live. I remember writing a few-handed paper about Paul Cézanne in elementary school and how abstract was the thought of seeing his original works in Paris. That’s why it was an amazing experience for me to see the paintings of the great Impressionists, especially Cézanne in my case.

Musée d'Orsay in Paris
Musée d’Orsay in Paris

In addition to Paul Cézanne, the Musée d’Orsay features works by Gustave Courbet, Paul Gaugin, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, Auguste Renoir and Vincent Van Gogh.

Women in the Garden by Claude Monet at the Orsay Museum
Women in the Garden by Claude Monet at the Orsay Museum

The most famous exhibits include paintings Self-Portrait and Starry Night on the Rhone of Van Gogh, Breakfast on the grass of Maneta, Tahitian women on the beach of Paul Gauguin or Cathedral of Rouen Monet.

A Self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh at the Orsay Museum
A Self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh at the Orsay Museum

The Orsay Museum has 3 floors and each is divided into a different part depending on the artists and the type of art.

Safo from Lesbos, Musée d'Orsay
Safo from Lesbos, Musée d’Orsay

The Orsay Museum is an art gallery with works by outstanding artists, but it is also a beautiful building with a café with a view into Louvre. It is enough to spend a few hours to see all the works calmly and it is really a pleasure to visit this museum.

View of the Seine from balconies at the Orsay Museum
View of the Seine from balconies at the Orsay Museum
Vivante, the Orsay Museum in Paris
Vivante, the Orsay Museum in Paris
Useful information

How to get there:

  • metro 12, stop: Solférino
  • Rer C, stop: Musée d’Orsay

Ticket:

  • full rate 12€
  • reduced rate 9€

Opening hours:

Every day except Mondays from 9.30am  to 6 pm, on Thursdays to 9.45 pm

Address:

62, rue de Lille, 75343 Paris Cedex 07

More information on the official website.

 

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