Musée d'Orsay

Paris, France

The Musée d'Orsay was built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum's opening in 1986.

The museum building was originally a railway station, Gare d'Orsay, constructed for the Chemin de Fer de Paris à Orléans and finished in time for the 1900 Exposition Universelle to the design of three architects: Lucien Magne, Émile Bénard and Victor Laloux. It was the terminus for the railways of southwestern France until 1939.

By 1939 the station's short platforms had become unsuitable for the longer trains that had come to be used for mainline services. After 1939 it was used for suburban services and part of it became a mailing centre during World War II. It was then used as a set for several films, such as Kafka's The Trial adapted by Orson Welles, and as a haven for the Renaud–Barrault Theatre Company and for auctioneers, while the Hôtel Drouot was being rebuilt.

Comments

Your name



Address

Rue de Lille 62, Paris, France
See all sites in Paris

Details

Founded: 1898-1900
Category: Museums in France

More Information

www.musee-orsay.fr

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martin Ewen (2 years ago)
Superb museum with plenty to see. We spent over 4 hours here and thoroughly enjoyed it. Also had our breakfast and dinner as well which was really nice. Going back this April as a lot changes every now and again, and will have changed.
Tom Marvel (2 years ago)
Awesome museum experience for a reasonable price. Had a mixture of everything from paintings to sculptures to home furniture. I'd highly recommend buying tickets in advance as the line to buy them at the door can get extremely long. If you make it there without tickets, they do have free wifi and you can purchase them directly from your phone.
Andy Duvall (2 years ago)
There are many reasons why this is one of the most important museums in the world, and stands out even in Paris where there is so much to do and see. Beautiful architecture and breathtaking artwork of course, but the ambiance and even the restaurant are noteworthy. Save yourself some hassle and a long wait in line by buying your tickets online for a small fee. I bought mine online with my phone when I arrived, and walked to the reserved ticket entrance bypassing a line of a couple hundred people.
dillyjanjan (2 years ago)
I visited this Museum with my toddler sleeping in a stroller. I was really concerned that there would be only steps but this place had ramps on either side of the exhibits. How wonderful. It wasn't crowded. We didn't even buy tickets online. The queues moved quickly. It was a fantastic experience even though my son missed everything. I would recommend this place for ppl with small kids. there is also a food stall outside with the best sandwiches.
Artem Aleksandrovich Kost (3 years ago)
It is located parallel to the Louvre but on the opposite side of the Seine river. I recommend to go there through the bridge of love. In my opinion it is way better than the Louvre! It has several modern masterpieces of famous artists, and a dedicated hall to each artist. The atmosphere is quiet (as opposed to the Louvre) and relaxing. The only drawback is that there is no English translation to the descriptions of the pictures... so you have to take the audio guides (which don't cover all the exponents in the museum). All in all it is one of the best museum in Paris!!!!!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.