☆ Musée d’Orsay ☆
There is no draught in this train station, just art and light!!
Inaugurated during the Exposition Universelle of 1900, the Orsay train station resembled “a fine arts palace” to the painter Édouard Detaille.. which was what it was to become 86 years later.. Unsuitable for modern trains, its deserted platforms finally closed in 1979.. Plans to demolish it in 1970 were overturned just in time and it became a listed building..
In 1986 a renovated train station and the best art of the 19th century were combined to create one of the world’s great museums..
The Compagnie des Chemins de Fer d’Orléans constructed the fabulous ironand-glass monument to the industrial age in 1900, but after only 39 years, it was virtually abandoned.. Years later, Orson Welles’s film of Kafka’s The Trial captured its sorry state.. In the 1970s, it was classified as a historical monument.. Work began in 1983 to transform the station into a museum for 19th-century art..
Its immense volumes were transformed into a museum whose canopy, nave, cupolas, pillars, iron girders and stucco decors draw unanimous praise.. The huge clock in the glass roof of the central alley dominates a chronological layout over three main levels, focussing on the major artistic movements in Western art from 1848 to 1914: painting, sculpture, graphic arts and art objects, as well as furniture, architecture and photography.. The period was so productive, the collections so rich in wonderful works (and in –isms: expressionism, fauvism, impressionism, etc.) that it seems impossible to cite one unique masterpiece..
It holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Impressionist art, in addition to Pre-Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, and Neo-Impressionists.. See the sculptures on the ground floor, and then head upstairs for a look at the spectacular collection of Van Gogh, some little-known Gauguins, and a roomful of Toulouse-Lautrec pastels..
For years, Paris’s collections of 19th-century art had been distributed among the Louvre, the Musée d’Art Moderne, and the small Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, with its Impressionist masterpieces.. In 1986 the collections were transferred to the Orsay.. Thousands of paintings, sculptures, objects d’art, items of furniture, architectural displays, even photographs and movies illustrate the diversity and richness of the century.. They encompass Impressionism, realism, Pos-Impressionism, and Art Nouveau..
There are three floors of exhibits. On the ground floor you will find Ingres’s: La Source, Millet’s: L’Angelus, the Barbizon school, Manet’s: Olympia, and other works of early Impressionism.. Impressionism continues on the top level, with Renoir’s: Le Moulin de la Galette, Manet’s: Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, Degas’s: Racing at Longchamps, Monet’s: Cathedrals, Van Gogh’s: Self-Portrait, and Whistler’s: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother.. There are also works by Gauguin and the Pont-Aven school, Toulouse-Lautrec, Pissarro, Cézanne, and Seurat..
☆ Vincent Van Gogh ☆ Portrait de l’artiste 1887 ☆
☆ Vincent Van Gogh ☆ Portrait de l’artiste 1889 ☆
☆ Edouard Manet ☆ ☆
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☆ Claude Monet ☆ Cathédrales 1892 ☆
Symbolism, Naturalism, and Art Nouveau are represented on the middle level; the international Art Nouveau exhibit includes wonderful furniture and objects d’art..
You’ll leave refreshed and energized..
☆ Top 10 Features ☆
1 The Building
2 Van Gogh Paintings
3 Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe
5 Blue Waterlilies
6 Degas’ Statues of Dancers
7 Jane Avril Dancing
8 Dancing at the Moulin de la Galette
9 La Belle Angèle
10 Café des Hauteurs
☆☆ 1 rue de la Légiond’Honneur, 75007
• 01 40 49 48 14
• Open summer: 9am–6pm Tue–Sun (Thu till 9:45pm); winter: 10am–6pm Tue–Sat, 9am–6pm Sun; closed 1 Jan, 1 May, 25 Dec
• Admission €7.50 (€5.50 Sun)