“One day, one of us was missing black painting, he used blue instead: Impressionism was born“, once said Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). An almost childish description by one of the most renowned name of Impressionism; a picture that reflects perfectly the Orsay museum.
Located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris along the Seine, the worldwide famous Musée d’Orsay was formerly a train station. It was built in only 2 years (1898-1900) for the universal exhibition of Paris in 1900 in order to receive the visitors from the South-West of France. Since 1939, it has become obsolete, electrifying of the railways made the platforms too smalls for the new trains.
The museum was inaugurated in 1986, after the renovation of the old train station.
The “Temple of Impressionism” as we could call it has the largest collection of impressionist art works in the world. Indeed, it displays 440 impressionist paintings and more than 900 of the postimpressionist period. The museum counts various famous paintings such as “The Lunche on the grass” of Manet, “The Artist’s studio” of Courbet or the famous self-portrait of Van Gogh, and those are only samples of the rich collection of the museum. It also shows art works of famous artists such as Renoir or Monet. But the Orsay museum is not only the pantheon of all the major Impressionists’ paintings, it is also a collection of occidental art works of all kinds between 1848 and 1914. In 2010, the museum of the Orangerie, located in the Tuileries’ garden was attached to the Orsay public establishment. After some long renovation works, the museum re-opened its entire space to the public at the end of 2011.
At the moment, the exhibition of the French painter Henri Rousseau is not to be missed. Named the “father of modernity” by some avant-gardist artists, the ‘Douanier Rousseau’ was despised by the critics because of its naïve paintings but was also inspiring for the artists of his time for the same reason. Through the Orsay’s exhibition you will discover its paintings and some other art works of majors artists such as Picasso, Kandinsky or Seurat related to the Douanier Rousseau.
So, why don’t you take the opportunity of a stroll on the Seine’s embankment and enter this old train station to dive into an Impressionist world ?