- We’ll give you a fast-track ticket to skip the long Musée d’Orsay lines.
- Your Welcomer will explain why this is one of France's iconic art collections.
- You'll see that there's more to the Musée d’Orsay than Monet’s haystacks!
- You’ll impress friends by explaining the difference between Impressionism, Symbolism and Realism!
Musée d’Orsay Tour: Impressionism and Beyond
So, you think the Orsay Museum is all about the Impressionists? Housed in a former train station, the collection was created as a companion piece to the Louvre to display some of Western visual artists’ most iconic works, from 1848 to 1914.
There’s actually much more to it than Monet’s suburbia, Pissarro’s cityscapes and Renoir’s women…
Embark on a journey through the long 19th century and across various techniques (painting, drawing, sculpture, design). Discover and distinguish the characteristics of different artistic movements: Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Symbolism, Post-Impressionism. And last but not least, for you to shine in society, get to grasp that Manet, Caillebotte and Degas were not – oh, shocking true Impressionists!
Your Welcomer will begin this tour with a comprehensive introduction about the museum’s foundation. A former train station, which only ran between 1900 and 1939, it was about to be destroyed when turned into a museum that could release pressure from the Louvre where masterpieces overcrowded rooms… and storage rooms.
From 1986, the M’O as labelled on its logo displays works created during the second half of the 19th century, when Art History experienced a permanent revolution.
Your Welcomer will continue with an account of historical display conditions and then detail styles and contents of the works she studied. Her selection comprises ones of the most celebrated and loaned artworks of the collection.
Let’s only quote here the highly Neoclassic Ingres’s The Spring. Romanticism and Realism are well represented by paintings of Delacroix (The Lion Hunt) or Courbet, whose Artist’s Studio had recently got its 21 square meters restored in front of visitors’ eyes. The Impressionist collection is one of the best of the world. Its highlights have names: Monet’s Poppies or Renoir’s Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette.
Your guide will show you breath-taking viewpoints to take pictures of these masterpieces and will lead to rooms usually forgotten during classical visits: Symbolism and Post-Impressionism are also widely represented, for example with Gauguin late Tahitian views or Cézanne Apples & Oranges.
Sculpture is also at its higher quality on the median terraces: from Rodin’s Gates of Hell, so full of figures than they seem to be seized by gravity on the museum ground itself. The smooth marble carving by Pompon (Polar Bear) offers the highest contrast with Claudel’s Maturity and its tormented ridges.
So many emotions and interactive analysis with your Welcomer await you there. Who said the art of the 19th century was dull?
Meeting Address: 8 Quai Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France - At the foot of the Elephant, on the museum’s forecourt, Metro station Solferino (line 12)
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