"Getting About and the Pre-Impressionists" Musée d'Orsay Tip by hquittner
Musée d'Orsay, Paris: 275 reviews and 558 photos
When we first went to Paris in 1978, there was no Musee d'Orsay. We saw the late 19C "French Art Explosion" hanging cheek by jowl in multiple poorly lit tiers (in the old-fashioned manner) crowded into the two floored "Musee du Jeu de Paume" in the Tuilleries Gardens. In our earlier rush to become proficient biological scientists, we had never studied Art and did not know Manet from Monet. We were stupefied. In 1987 when we entered the remodelled Orsay Station we were again astounded: single level hangings, attention to lighting, special exhibit areas with background materials, sculpture, period art furniture, more. There is a cafe and a restaurant and an auditorium (See Separate Tips). The Grand Ballroom (1900) of the Station-Hotel (with appropriate art) is preserved to wander through. But the arrangement of paintings still follows the old chronological sequence from the late 1840's to 1910 by decade, and it is difficult to follow a single artist's evolution of style. Thankfully it almost confines itself to French artists or those living in France (Whistler, Cassat, Homer). The time cut excludes Matisse (1 painting), Picasso, the Fauves; they have no Turner. Of course the rest continues at the Pompidou.
You enter at the ground level with the 1850 period, which is divided left (Realism) and right ("Classical"). You should familiarize yourself with a written guide before going ( we recommend again Rick Steves' "Mona Winks"). The famous Impressionists and Post-Impressioists are on the upper floor (before and after the cafe).
Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris
Directions: Métro: line 12, Solférino station; RER: line C, Musée d'Orsay station
Phone: +33 1 40 49 48 14
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