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
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.