Paris is loved for the café culture, shopping, its famous landmarks and but mostly for the wonderful museums. From the Louvre to Musee del l’Armee .. there is so much to see, learn and experience… One museum I adore is Musee de l’Orangerie, located inside the Tuileries Garden, Paris. Its compact size is perfect for visits with kids. Every art lover has probably seen Monet’s Waterlilies but the ones at the Orangerie envelope you giving the “illusion of an endless whole, of a wave with no horizon and no shore” in the words of Monet.
In addition to Claude Monet’s monumental series of water lily paintings, Les Nymphéas, the museum also houses an important collection of primarily early 20th-century art including Picasso, Modigliani, Soutine, and Braque. Under the directorship of Cécile Debray, the Musée de l’Orangerie is also gaining prominence for its ongoing series of special exhibitions.
Oval Rooms of Infinity
According to Claude Monet’s own suggestion, the eight compositions of waterlilies were set out in the two consecutive oval rooms. These rooms have the advantage of natural light from the roof, and are oriented from west to east, following the course of the sun and one of the main routes through Paris along the Seine. The two ovals evoke the symbol of infinity, whereas the paintings represent the cycle of light throughout the day.
Monet greatly increased the dimensions of his initial project, started before 1914. He wanted visitors to be able to immerse themselves completely in the painting and to forget about the outside world. The end of the First World War in 1918 reinforced his desire to offer beauty to wounded souls. Sitting amongst these masterpieces brings such tranquility!
The first room brings together four compositions showing the reflections of the sky and the vegetation in the water, from morning to evening, whereas the second room contains a group of paintings with contrasts created by the branches of weeping willow around the water’s edge. These unique masterpieces have no equivalent worldwide.
Painting by Claude Monet
See this post for more paintings by Claude Monet and a short video to paint your own version of water lilies.
The Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume collection
The Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume collection is one of the finest European collections of paintings. It comprises about 150 works by Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Utrillo, Soutine… The collection, for the most part, belonged to Paul Guillaume, a young French art dealer who amassed an extraordinary collection of several hundred paintings, from Impressionism to Modern Art. His widow Domenica, remarried to the architect Jean Walter, transformed and reduced the collection while also making new acquisitions. She wanted to name the collection after both her husbands when the French State acquired it in the late 1950s. From then on, the collection was destined for display at the Musée de l’Orangerie.
Here are a few masterpieces that caught my eye, enjoy this virtual museum walk at your leisure!
Works of Paul Cezanne
Works of Pablo Picasso
Works of Auguste Renoir
Works of Henri Matisse
Works of Chaim Soutine
Additional information for visiting the Musée de l’Orangerie
Here is the complete list of 146 works that make up the collection.
Musée de l’Orangerie offers free admission to visitors aged under 26 who are European Union nationals, and non-nationals who are long-term residents (more than 3 months) of an EU Member State, on proof of entitlement. You can visit Musee de l’Orangerie for free on the first Sunday of each month.
Address: Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde
Combined Musée de l’Orangerie – Musée d’Orsay – Ticket: €14
Passport Musée de l’Orangerie – Fondation Claude Monet – Giverny
You might also like: Paul Cezanne in Aix-en-Provence
I hope you enjoyed this virtual museum walk of Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris.
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15 thoughts on “A museum walk at Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris”
We completely enjoyed the Orangerie the last time we were in Paris. Gorgeous Art!
Thank you for this great virtual museum tour. We’ve been to Paris twice and never made it to l’Orangerie. You’re so right that Paris has so many wonderful museums for everyone no matter what your interests are. We love Monet and will need to definitely add this for the next visit.
I have visited so many museums in Paris, but this one I still need to visit!
I would love to see Monet’s paintings!
Happy to have you on #MondayEscapes
I didn’t have a chance to visit l’Orangerie when we were in Paris. Looking at your photos, I’m realizing that seeing Monet’s work in real life is a vastly different experience than just seeing a small print. I wish I had the time to go. Perhaps on my next visit.
I haven’t done this museum in Paris, only the Louvre and d’Orsay
Love Paris and all its great museums. Sounds like you had a great visit. I would also encourage those who visit Paris and plan to go to several museusm/attractions to check out the Paris Museum Pass as it can save you time (skipping lines) and money if you visit several sights. Looking forward to returning to Paris next month!
We’ve been here on our first wedding anniversary and it was brilliant. You really don’t understand the size of them until you see them. I did a school project on Monet so really enjoyed it xx #Mondayescapes
You have no idea of how many museums I will like to visit in Paris. I have heard about this one and your descriptions make it more interesting. Will like to visit one day.
I’ve never been…..long lines but will definitely pay a visit on my next trip to Paris.
Paris is on my travel to-do list, so I will definitely keep this museum in mind for when I finally make it there. I love visiting the different museums when I travel. The Antoni Gaudi museums in Barcelona are amazing!!
The Frugal Fashionista
This is one of my favourite galleries in Paris, mainly for the Derains. I discovered him there (for me, obvs the world was aware of him)
Musee de l’Orangerie is, for me, at the top of Paris’ museums. Maybe because it’s of a manageable size, but largely because of the Water Lilies. The display is just perfect. Glad to have found you on #MondayEscapes!
Musee de l’Orangerie was one of my favourite things to do in Paris when I was there in 2011. I loved going to the museums and art galleries in Paris. I remembered how quiet it was in the gallery in which Monet’s Water Lilies was displayed – the stark white background and the beauty of this creation automatically shushed chattering 😉 #MondayEscapes
Hi PriVin, I’ve been haivng a look arund your blog (found through #MondayEscapes) and see youhave a lot of lovely posts about France like this one which would make a great addition to my monthy link up #AllAboutFrance which opens this Thursday. You can link up 2 posts and of course old posts are welcome. I hope to see you there. (You’ll find info on the sidebar in my blog).
Hi Phoebe – Thanks for stopping by. Would love to linkup.