Musee d'Orsay

Inside the Musee d'Orsay history fills the spaces like a thick blanket covering permeating all the sense. If you're a fan of impressionist art, you will regret missing the Musee d Orsay on any visit to Paris, France, long or short. The Musee d'Orsay is easily one of the most visited of any museum in the entire world and deserves high praise for the amazing art collection contained inside. All incredible works belonging to the Musee d Orsay Paris were all produced between the years of 1848 and 1914, making it the largest collection housed in a museum from that specific era. A wide variety of beautiful works from the early modern era are on display, drawing more than two and a half million visitors to Paris each year.

Musee d'Orsay
Musee d'Orsay

At the Museum d Orsay history can be found in every direction, but especially in the walls enclosing the building. Built to be used as a railway station, and named the Gare d'Orsay, the purpose for the building later changed and it was construction was finished in time for the it to be used for the World Fair held in 1900. The three architects responsible for the elaborate design were Victor Laloux, Lucien Magne and Emile Benard. In Musee d'Orsay history, after the 1900 Exposition Universelle, railway station serviced southwestern France up until circa 1939.

Musee d'Orsay Floorplan Map
Musee d'Orsay Floorplan Map

The Musee d'Orsay later became extremely important during World War II where prisoners freed from enemy hands were received and welcomed with open arms. It gained a reputation as being a place of solace and peace for the prisoners as well as for the workers. During this period in Musee d Orsay history the building was also used as a postal center as well as a railway station servicing the suburban area. Later still, the Musee d Orsay was used as a set for The Trial, written by Kafka himself and adapted by Orson Welles. It was also a popular choice as a set for many other films produced in that period. The railway station also included an adjacent and magnificent hotel used by hundreds of auctioneers as well as for members of the theater company Renaud-Barrault.

As the years crept by to 1973, the Musee d Orsay Paris building ceased functioning as a train station and the hotel fell into a long period of obsolescence. The forerunners of the city of Paris threatened to decimate the building, wanting the land for other uses. Instead, it officially became the Musee d'Orsay Paris in 1986, inducted under the leadership of Francois Mitterand. Upon entering the Musee d'Orsay in current day, visitors are reminded of the once-functioning railway station by the almost 500 foot main gallery occupying the ground floor.

Several masterpieces are found throughout the museum including the infamous Jean-François Millet piece, Glaneuses, as well as Gustave Courbet's Enterrement à Ornans. Throughout galleries 29-48, the most popular impressionist works hang. The predominant master of this genre include Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Camille Pissarro and Renoir. Fans of Van Gogh can find his brilliant paintings in Gallery 35 and one gallery ahead contains the work of Cezanne.

The Musee d Orsay gives visitors incredible insight into the inception of modern design, sculpture and painting as well as a number of modern photography specimens. Bridging between impressionism and expressionism, romanticism and neoclassicism as well as art nouveau, the art work spans an important time in art history. Situated beautifully along the famous Seine River in the Paris neighborhood of Saint-Germain des Pres, the Musee d'Orsay can be reached easily by several city bus lines. If you're heading over from the Jardin des Tuileries, the walk takes less than ten minutes. Opening hours between the end of June to the end of September are 9am-6pmTuesday, Wednesday, Friday-Sunday and 10am-6pm from the end of September through to June. The museum is closed on Mondays as well as January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.

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