Nearly 2.5 million visitors each year come to see the largest collection in the world of impressionist artwork, found in the ... More
Nearly 2.5 million visitors each year come to see the largest collection in the world of impressionist artwork, found in the splendid Musée d'Orsay. The building itself, called the Gare d'Orsay, was built for the World's Fair of 1900. During World War II, it was used to welcome freed prisoners. Once the train station (the Gare) fell into disuse and the adjacent hotel closed down in 1973, the building was threatened with demolition. However, it was decided to transform the building's function to house a collection of art from the second half of the 19th Century. It was inaugurated in 1986 under the governance of François Mitterrand. The principal gallery of the ground floor, 138 meters long (453 feet) and 32 meters tall (105 feet), is a reminder of the building's history. Among the masterpieces in this gallery are the scandalous Un enterrement à Ornans by Gustave Courbet and the Glaneuses by Jean-François Millet. Fans of impressionism should head directly up to the fifth floor, where works by the greatest masters of this genre are hung in galleries 29 to 48. These include La classe de danse by Degas, Still Lifes by Manet such as L'Asperge, Bal du moulin de la Galette by Renoir, and La gare Saint-Lazare, La cathédrale de Rouen, or the Nymphéas by Claude Monet. Works by Van Gogh in gallery 35 and Cézanne in 36 follow, the small galleries 37 and 38 contain pastels by Degas, and galleries 43-44 are devoted to Gauguin's paintings of Tahiti. Decorative arts are located a few flights down, worth visiting notably for the impressive collection of Art Nouveau. While on this floor, don't miss the Terrasse Rodin, where L'Homme qui marche is located. For a short rest to help absorb this astonishing collection, visit the Cafe des Hauteurs on the third floor or the restaurant on the sixth floor. Also don't forget to check out the beautiful Hotel Le Bellehasse, walking distance from here.
We (my son and I) loved the openness of it. Also it was my only opportunity to see so many French Impressionist paintings in one place. Once in a lifetime visit! Actually preferred it to the Louvre, although I wouldn't miss that either! Very much worth the time to see and I highly recommend it. The view across the Seine in November was priceless!
Fantastic museum in a wonderful setting. The converted railway station, with its imposing roof, provides a truely magnificent stage for the extensive collection of paintings and sculpture. All the classic impressionist paintings under one roof. Who could ask for more?
For the art lover, a full day outing.
I loved Musee d'Orsay because of the eclectic setting. Who would have thought that an old train station could be transformed into a museum of all things?
The artwork takes your breath away and the statues leave you standing there in awe. Everything seems to flow into one another, and you could spend days upon days just letting everything seep in.
Definitely worth the time and money.
It was the most exciting museum I saw. When you think you have seen it all, you get to the top floor... the impressionists... get ready for the thrill of your life.
The price was worth it, it took us about 5 hours to see the whole museum.
If you have visited Italy, you'll notice that you spent 10 Euro just to see a couple important art pieces in one musuem. For that price you get to see some of the most important pieces from the impressionists and the post-impressionist all in one place. Try to buy the musuem pass before you get there so that you don't waste precious time standing in the long lines and then enjoy!
Use Rick Steeve's guide to Paris as a guide to the Musee d'Orsay; it is excellent. Here are Van Gogh's bedroom, Whistler's mother, Manet's Dejeuner Sur L'Herb, Renoir's Moulin a la Galette--all the iconic paintings of the Impressionist era in a fantastic retro train station. I love this place and you won't want to miss it.
I visited this Museum 10 years ago and found it to have beautiful art work both inside and the building itself.....
Definitely worth seeing and enjoying, that is if you enjoy museums and art work......
Positive - Fabulous collection. Spacious interior. Crowds inside are moderate and you can certainly see the things that you came to see.
Negative - Lines are very, very long at times. We waited almost 2 hours to get in. Older museum guides are not useful because the collection was only put together about 15 years ago. Inadequate dining inside.
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