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Musée d’Orsay

Musée d’Orsay paris

33 (0)1-40-49-48-14

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The Musée d’Orsay is housed in a converted limestone railroad station on the banks of the Seine and showcases the best of Impressionism, including Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, several Monet canvases of the Rouen cathedral and many lovely Degas paintings of ballerinas. As is so often the case in France, the museum’s genesis was political: President Giscard d’Estaing conceived of the idea originally, but the museum was not completed before he left office, so his successor, François Mitterrand, decided to create a museum that celebrated the arts during a particular time period—1848 to 1914—to coincide with the rise of socialism in France. Italian architect Gae Aulenti’s transformation of the soaring main hall of the station has resulted in a setting that scrupulously respects the building’s history (it was built in 1900 to welcome the crowds arriving for the Universal Exposition), down to leaving train tracks in the floor, and provides a stunning backdrop to display sculpture. Upstairs, don’t miss the views of the Seine from behind the two huge clocks from the original station. Closed Monday. 

Indagare members can contact our Bookings Team to arrange visits with one of our preferred guides, including art historians who specialize in education and are specially trained to engage children.

Written by Sandy Flick

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