The Musée de l’Orangerie is an art museum located on the Jardin des Tuileries and is home to some of the most significant impressionist paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Musée de l’Orangerie hasn’t always been the magnificent impressionism/post-impressionism art museum it is today. As its name insinuates, the museum first housed orange trees found on the garden of Tuileries. The orangery was built in 1852 by Firmin Bourgeois and completed by Ludovico Visconti. The museum didn’t open as an art museum until 1927, when it first displayed Claude Monet’s infamous Nymphéas paintings of water lilies. Now, the Musée de l’Orangerie houses eight of Monet’s Nymphéas paintings as well as paintings from artists such as Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Chaim Soutine, Henri Rousseau, and Alfred Sisley in the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume collections.
For a more complete history, check out the Musée de l’Orangerie Wikipedia page.
What To See
The Musée de l’Orangerie is home to some of the most wonderful paintings by Henri Matisse and Chaim Soutine, but the must-see pieces are Claude Monet’s eight paintings from Nymphéas. It’s likely that you will see these paintings first since they are located on the first floor of the museum. As you walk into the all-white, oval room, you will be taken aback by the impressiveness and grandeur of the first four paintings. Blues and violets curve with the walls, almost as if Monet painted his water lilies right in that room. Moving closer to get a more detailed view, the image no longer looks like water lilies in a pond, but rather looks like a mélange of thick violet paint strokes. Stepping back, you see how perfectly Monet has depicted natural light within his work. It is impressionism at its finest.
Walking downstairs brings you to the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume Collections. Here, you will find beautiful paintings from Matisse, Cezanne, Soutine, Rousseau, Picasso and others. These paintings are organized more traditionally, each work within a frame hung on the wall. Thanks to a fair selection of paintings from each artist, you will see how their styles and subjects changed over time (or, for some artists, how these things remained the same). The Musée de l’Orangerie houses some truly great works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Planning Your Visit
Tickets and Prices
The Musée de l’Orangerie offers tickets for Independent Tours, Guided Tours, and Group Tours. The museum is free to visitors under 18 years old.
Full rate: €9 (visitors older than 25 years)
Reduced rate: €6.50 (visitors ages 18 – 25)
Full rate: €6
Reduced rate: €4.50
Guided Tours are available in English and French at different times throughout the day. A timetable is available on the Musée de l’Orangerie website.
To set up a Group Tour at the Musée de l’Orangerie you must contact the museum directly via telephone or email. Contact information can be at the bottom of this page.
Check out our Culture and Arts ticket package to begin planning your visit to some of the best art museums in Paris, including the Musée de l’Orangerie.
The Musée de l’Orangerie is located on the Jardin des Tuileries on the bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement near Place de la Concorde.
To get there, you can take the metro Line 1 to the stop Concorde and then walk across the Jardin des Tuileries to the museum. Or, take either Bus 94 or Bus 72 to the stop Concorde and walk to the Musée de l’Orangerie from there. To plan a route via public transportation, use the RATP website for help.
The museum is accessible by car, as well. There are three car parking lots located near l’Orangerie: Jardin des Tuileries et Carrousel, Rue du Mont-Thabor, and Rue des Pyramides.
The Musée de l’Orangerie is truly a must-see attraction in Paris.
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