Hi, it’s me Marimonda.
Today, I’d like to introduce you one of the most popular museums in Paris, Orsay Museum. It’s called a museum but it’s closer to an art gallery.
Used to be a train station, the Orsay museum is well-known for its big clocks on the facade toward the Seine and various collections of paintings mostly in 19th- 20th centuries. From Millet to Seurat, you can see the development of the art movements, esp. in France.
Built in 1898-1900, the Orsay Museum primarily served as a train station(Gare d’Orsay) and a hotel to facilitate the visitors of 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. It provided the rail service of southwestern France until 1939. In 1986, it opened its door as a museum with rich art collections and became a must visit place in Paris. There are three important museums in Paris : The Louvre, The Orsay, and The Pompidou. You can find art collections in different era in each museum. There might be few exceptions but at the Louvre you may find art pieces until 1848, at the Orsay(1848 ~1914) and the Pompidou (1914~).
After the security check, you will pass two souvenir shops on your left and right. You will see a long hallway(nef) full of statues such as a miniature of the Statue of Liberty (the artist is a French, that’s probably why they display a mini one). On the side of the nef, you can see artist-based rooms and the exhibition continues to upto 5th floors.
There are plenty of the bathrooms in the museum. At the entrance, you may find one below the stairs, also another one at the end of the hall. Since the museum is very big, you may take a break at a restaurant or cafes. The restaurant is located on the second floor (in French, 1er étage), the Café de l’ours is on the ground floor(rez-de-chaussée) in front of the white bear(Ours blanc), and the Café Campana is on the 5th floor, end of the gallery of Impressionism. Since the coffee shops and the restaurant are inside the museum, their menus are more expensive than nearby places. Compared to other two, the cafe de l’our is more casual and cheaper which make it’s more popular than other two places. There is an auditorium on the 2nd basement floor, where you can enjoy cultural activities such as cinema, concert, or performances. You can check the programs on the web.
As I mentioned above, the Orsay Museum is a great collection of late 19th and early 20th masterpieces. In the Orsay Museum, you can see <The Gleaners> and <The Angelus> by Jean François Millet, or <Self-portrait> by Vincent Van Gogh, <Olympia> by Édouard Manet, <The Ballet Class> by Edgar Degas, <The Saint Lazare Station> by Claude Monet, etc. Seeing the paintings, it reminds me of my school times. I had difficulties to remember names of the artists and the paintings which were mostly on the exams. If I had had opportunities to visit the orsay, I would have gotten better grades in arts. You can see most paintings or other artworks in the museum on its official website. Click here.
Even though it’s a post on the Orsay Museum in general, I have to admit that I’d like focus a bit more on paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. After visiting Dr. Gachet’s house the 3rd Saturday in Auvers-sur-Oise, I became more interested in the Dr. Gachet. I am very curious how he could engage the great impressionists (i.g. Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet, Auguste Renoir, and Édouard Manet, of course Vincent Van Gogh, too.) and build up his networks with them. Last week, I spent a lot of time in the Vincent Van Gogh room (with artworks of Gauguin on the 2nd floor).
Since I saw the greenery wheatfield when I went to the town in June (see the previous post on Auvers-sur-Oise), this time I wish I could see the goldish wheatfield. Unfortunately, they just started harvest. As a result I failed to see the scenery like a painting again. Hopefully, next time…
Don’t forget to enjoy the view at the terrace of the museum. Next to the cafe, there’s a door you can go out and see the view of the Seine and the Louvre, or even Sacre-coeur.
Special exhibitions are on-going all around the year. Now, you can enjoy Berthe Morisot exhibition until 22nd September, 2019.
Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂
Address : 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
Hours : 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Tue.-Sun.) except Thursday (9:30 a.m. – 9:45 p.m.) / Closed on Mondays
Ticket : €14 (adult) /
Museum pass available (some days in high season, the museum pass doesn’t guarantee that your entrance)