A Day at d’Orsay
Musee d’Orsay deserves a post of its own, not only for the beautiful architecture of the old train station turned gallery (it’s the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built 1898-1900), but also for the incredible contents within.
There’s a reason d’Orsay plays host to over 3,500,000 visitors a year!
Musee d’Orsay is known for its outstanding impressionist and post-impressionist collection, including paintings by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas,
Monet, Manet, Morisot,
Lautrec, Renoir, and Cezanne…
and many, many more.
They also have an incredible sculpture collection…
and other treasures like furniture, photography, jewelry, and the glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
It warms my heart to see so many people enjoying the beauty of art, standing transfixed, mesmerized by the creativity of artists long gone.
They also offer special exhibits. When I was there, they featured a Bonnard exhibit, and he’s one of my favorite artists. To see his work in person, instead of just reproductions in books, where up close you can see the rainbow of colors, and every brush stroke, is amazing!
If you grow hungry for food after feasting on the visual delights, head to one of two great restaurants, a more formal dining room with chandeliers, or a contemporary version near one of the clocks…
And don’t forget to go outside for outstanding views of the Siene and the city.
Many people don’t know that in 1970, permission was given to demolish the station, but the Minister for Cultural Affairs ruled against the plans to build a hotel there. In 1978 a competition was opened to turn the old station into a museum. Musee d’Orsay finally opened in 1986, luckily for all of us!!! It truly is a treasure.
People of all walks of life, from all over the world, come to Musee d’Orsay to enjoy the art and architecture, which also makes it a great place to people watch…
…and a great place to get in out of the rain!
I spent 5 hours there, and could easily have spent more, but had other places to go see. Allow plenty of time to just gaze at a single painting here and there, not just race through to say you saw everything. Take time out for lunch to give your eyes a break (I had a lovely Caesar salad), get there early if possible to avoid long lines, and enjoy the creative efforts of countless artists over the years.