Musee d'Orsay

One of the world's definitive collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, installed in the former Orsay train station.

TravelCurious Tip

View the paintings in chronological order to see the stylistic changes that took place during the Impressionist period.

Impressive Impressionism

You might only have a short time in Paris, have been to the Louvre and be wondering how whether a trip to another gallery is worthwhile - and it definitely is. No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Musée d’Orsay. 

The Orsay houses the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works of art in the world. In terms of history, it picks up where the Louvre leaves off at around 1848 - the Impressionist movement is just kicking off, and you can stroll from room to room taking in Pissarro, Manet, Degas, Cézanne, Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Gauguin and many others. It documents the Impressionist revolution completely. 

Gare d’Orsay

The original Gare d’Orsay’s short platforms became unsuitable for longer trains in around 1939, and the station declined in use until 1970 when French minister Jacques Duhamel saved it from demolition in favour of creating a gallery to celebrate the French artists who led the Impressionist movement. 

Don’t miss any of the three floors of art, which include Cézanne’s Apples and Oranges, Monet’s Water Lilies, Renoir’s Bal du Moulin de la Galette, which celebrates the bohemian district around Montmartre, and Édouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe. Glance up at the magnificent old Orsay Station clock, and in the Orsay Square outside take a look at the six bronze allegorical sculptures from the Exposition Universelle.

Nearby Attractions

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Van Gogh 'Starry Night Over the Rhone'
This painting is one of the highlights from the Musée d'Orsay’s Van Gogh collection.
Renoir ‘Bal du Moulin de la Galette’
This Renoir work is one of Impressionism's most celebrated masterpieces, depicting romantic bourgeois Paris in the 1870s.
Cézanne 'Card Players'
This peaceful Cézanne painting is one of the Post-Impressionist’s most enduring works.
Monet 'Houses of Parliament'
A superlative example of the Impressionist style developed by Claude Monet, depicting the world in a way that no camera ever could.
Rodin 'The Gates of Hell'
The plaster model in the Musée d'Orsay dates from 1917 and was inspired by the famous doors that Ghiberti had made for the baptistery in Florence.
Manet 'The Luncheon on the Grass'
Though a seemingly mundane scene, by placing an anonymous unclothed woman in an everyday setting, Manet re-contextualized the age-old subject and redefined what constitutes fine art, with a hint of irony.

Related Tours

The Musée d'Orsay Highlights: Private Half-Day Walking Tour

Escape the bustle and step into the Golden Age of art in the Musée D’Orsay to enjoy one of the world’s greatest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.

On your private tour of the Orsay Museum, you will:

  • Explore the highlights of the museum, focusing on the best work of the Impressionists;
  • See Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Degas’ Ballerina, Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass, and one of Monet’s Waterlily pieces;
  • Find yourself in front of an other-worldly clock, with stunning vistas over Paris;
  • See the model for the Opera Garnier, designed by Carpeaux;
  • Stand in front of Thomas Couture Les Romains de la Décadence – the museum’s largest painting.

The Louvre may be the most visited museum in Paris, but the Orsay is probably the most enjoyable. Housed in the Gare d’Orsay, and constructed by Victor Laloux for the 1900 World Fair, the Orsay Museum is one of Paris’ most beloved museums, devoted to a huge breadth of art between 1848 and 1914.

During the tour, your expert guide will help you navigate this huge collection to land you in front of the world-famous pieces housed in the museum. You will see numerous works by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin, and Van Gogh while learning how each generation of artists has influenced the next.

Explore the most iconic artworks in the world, including Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night over the Rhone, Renoir’s ‘Bal du Moulin de la Galette’, and Cézanne’s 'Card players', and learn from your knowledgeable guide, about the stories behind these artworks and their creators along the way.

After your guided tour, feel free to further explore the vast museum and its beautiful work at your own pace. 



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