"A Virtual Trip to Giverny" Musée de l'Orangerie Tip by von.otter
Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris: 25 reviews and 86 photos
“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.” — Claude Monet (1840-1926)
LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED We made Musée de l’Orangerie our must-see art destination in July of 2008. It had been undergoing renovations on our previous three trips to Paris. We had to see Monet’s ethereal nymphéas (water lilies). We were not disappointed with this virtual return to Giverny.
Built in 1852 to house an orange grove, the Orangerie was used to billet soldiers on leave from the trenches during the First World War. After the war’s end, the French prime minister Georges Clemenceau invited his friend Claude Monet to display his large-format nymphéas there. A pair of oval rooms was built within the orangerie as a permanent home for eight of Monet’s water lily paintings. The exhibit opened to the public on 16.May.1927, a few months after Monet’s death.
The canvases appear to be attached directly to the wall — rather than mounted on stretchers — with gold frames edging the paintings. These paintings are mesmerizing. There is an oval-shaped bench fixed at the center of each oval-shaped room. Take some time to sit and become lost in the colors and patterns of these works.
Capturing the beauty of his flower garden at Giverny was the main focus of Monet’s artistic production during the last thirty years of his life. In total, he produced 250 oils of the vegetation in and around the pond at his home in the Normandy countryside. They can be found in major museums around the world. Yet the Orangerie series is unique, not least because of its size: each painting is six and a half feet tall. If placed end-to-end, the works would measure 298.5 feet long.
Among the canvases on display are “Soleil couchant” (“The Setting Sun,” photo #2); “Reflets verts” (“Green Reflections” photo #3); “Les Nuages” (“The Clouds,” photo #4); and “Le Matin clair aux saules” (“Clear Morning with Willows,” photo #5).
Address: Jardin des Tuileries, 75001 Paris
Directions: At the western end of Tuileries Gardens, just east of Place de la Concorde, adjacent to the River Seine.
Phone: 01 44 77 80 07
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