- No waiting in line to get into the Orsay & Orangerie Museums, thanks to our skip-the-line tickets.
- You’ll delve into the Impressionist period with your welcomer, an art historian specializing in the movement.
- You’ll see two of France’s greatest Impressionist collections in one tour.
- You’ll surround yourself with 360 degrees of Monet’s biggest water lily painting.
Orsay & Orangerie Tour: Impressionism Lovers (Private)
Painters of the joy of living, painters of modern life, crazy daubers, brilliant artists… Who exactly were the Impressionists? Today, for sure, founders of the most appreciated art movement in the world, yesterday a group of young mocked, offended, misunderstood painters.
How did we pass from one status to the other? Why such hatred for these colorful marvels, for these family scenes in gardens or crowds walking on boulevards. In the Orsay Museum, you will relive the painful birth of this movement, while the Orangerie Museum will allow you to discover its acme and plain success. Your welcomer wil reveal all!
Come relive the “Battle of Impressionism”, its low blows, its terrible jibes and the final victory of rebel but sincere artists.
Important Remark: The Orsay Museum is closed every Monday and the Orangerie Museum on every Tuesday. Therefore, this tour cannot be booked on those days.
Orsay Museum Great Nave with its zenithal lighting is a perfect introduction to your tour. Indeed, what characterizes impressionism, if not the taste of light, the study of its variations, the way it modifies our perception of patterns? To seize this light, the artists eventually resolved to paint outdoors, in the “open air”. Besides, the landscapes were inexpensive models, a cunning choice for penniless artists.
Previously, landscapes with characters were created in the studio, and such a composition influenced the rendering of the light. Which happened with works produced by the School of Barbizon (after a small village in the South of Paris), which represent the first stage on the long way to Impressionism.
Manet himself, sometimes considered as the great elder of the movement, recomposed his works in a workshop and Monet, beginning his career, followed his lead. Your welcomer will show you their respective Luncheon on the grass and you will easily observe a slight evolution.
Monet henceforth released himself from the workshop to venture outside, he was doubtless the biggest landscape painter of the impressionistic movement. Everything made subject for him: banks of the Seine, roofs of Paris, railroad bridges. All that real, modern life was made of was glorified by his brush.
Renoir dedicated his researches to portraits and human figures. Does she seem to us vaporous, adorable, smiling, the woman of this era! Degas, of darker temper, pointed out the other side of the brilliant Second Empire society: workers exhausted by their task, ravaged by alcohol. He even attempted to create impressionistic sculpture with his moving Small Dancer aged 14.
Gustave Caillebotte represented bourgeois life and Parisian cityscapes getting modernized by beautiful dwellings and wide avenues. Sisley, of English origin, and Whistler, from the United States, evoke a style which exceeded a simple Parisian phenomenon which was shortly to irrigate all European art.
At Orsay Museum restaurant, even having a break could be an excuse to keep speaking about art. You will enjoy coffee or refreshment under a majestic ceiling full of goddesses and flying cherubs… that perfectly expresses the official art 18th century spirit against which the Impressionists vigorously fought.
Crossing the Seine towards the Orangerie Museum, situated in the Tuileries Gardens, you will have the privilege to discover the kind of large decorations Impressionism could give birth to. Monet’s Nymphéas were offered by the painter to France, in order to commemorate World War I and its end, like an armistice signed into the color.
Recently redisplayed as the painter wished it, these panels immerge you into a mesmerizing world of water, sky reflections, water lilies and radiant light. You would gladly remain dreaming in this garden cultivated right in Painting.
Meeting Address: 2 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris - At the foot of the Elephant, on the museum’s forecourt. Closest metro station: Solferino (line 12)
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