Orsay Museum

The biggest collection of Impressionist paintings in the world only 2 minutes from the Hôtel d'Orsay.

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At the very heart of Paris, on the banks of the Seine and facing the Tuileries Garden, the Orsay Museum brings together a wide range of works from 1848 to 1914. It has the biggest collection of Impressionist paintings in the world. Our hotel is opposite the Orsay Museum.

History of the Musée d’Orsay

The museum was originally a train station, the Gare d'Orsay, serving lines towards the south-west of France. It was designed in 1898 by the architect Victor Laloux and inaugurated during the Universal Exhibition of 1900. The decision to transform the station into a national museum was taken in 1977, at the suggestion of the President of France, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. The architectural project was given to the French firm, ACT architecture, with the architects Renaud Baldon, Pierre Colboc and Jean-Paul Philippon. Their project, which was chosen out of six competiting bids in 1979, had to respect the existing architecture of Victor Laloux's station while reinterpreting it to create a new museum. In particular, the project had to give full value to the large nave, using it as the main axis for the museum visit. In 1986, the Orsay Museum was inaugurated by François Mitterrand, the French President of the time. Works coming mainly from the Louvre, the Jeu de Paume Museum and the Pompidou Centre were brought together here.

A cross-disciplinary museum

The museum's originality resides above all in its cross-disciplinary nature. Painting, graphic arts, sculpture, but also decorative arts, photography, architectural creation and, during temporary exhibitions, literature, music, cinema and publishing are all represented. The Orsay Museum has around 6 000 works, over half of which are on permanent display, on three levels, according to a range of classifications: chronological, thematic or by original collections. The Impressionist movement has a major place in the museum collection. Among the major works in the museum, we might mention La Naissance de Vénus by Alexandre CabanelLes joueurs de cartes by Paul Cézanne and Le déjeuner sur l’herbe by Edouard Manet.

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