There are two departments in this museum on paintings of the 19-20th c:
On the ground floor, in two oval rooms, are on display the eight panels of Monet's "Nympheas". The painter, when living in Giverny, had an aquatic garden whose plants where the theme of several of his paintings. Here, as in other paintings, are reflected the passing hours of the day on one subject.
The effect of the "Nymphéas" in the circular space is enchanting; the visitor is surrounded and feels being inside the water garden.
The first oval room shows 4 paintings: Matin, Les Nuages, Reflets verts, Soleil couchant. In the second oval room are on display: Reflets d’arbres, Le Matin clair aux saules, Le Matin aux saules, Les Deux saules.
All these paintings are 2 m high and are composed of several panels so that their total length reaches for some of them 25 m !
Connoisseurs say that it was a step towards abstract art.
Photos are no more allowed in the "Salle des Nymphéas".
On the lower floor is an exhibit of 144 Impressionist paintings.
On the lower floor of the Musée de l'Orangerie is an exhibit of 144 paintings of the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume collection. It is an interesting complement of the impressionist collection of the Musée d'Orsay, on the other side of the river Seine, with a fair number of works from Renoir with masterpieces like the "Jeunes filles au piano" and Cézanne. The other works are from the period between the two wars with works from Le Douanier Rousseau, Modigliani, Picasso, André Derain with "Arlequin et Pierrot", Matisse and Utrillo. I was especially pleased to find here paintings of Maurice Utrillo, born at Montmartre in 1883, who painted mainly townscapes of Paris.
As this museum is "new", having reopened in May 2007, I set up a travelogue with some of the masterpieces of the Guillaume collection.
The Orangerie, tucked into my favorite garden in Paris, was closed for renovation for several years. When it reopened, for various reasons, we just never quite got there. On this last trip we decided to see what they had done when they rebuilt the inside so we visited the Orangerie on one of our walks through the Tuileries Gardens.
The first thing we noticed was a line. We'd not run into that before but perhaps it was the time of year. We got our tickets and entered. You are herded into the ground floor room featuring Monet's famous "Water Lilies" and the new lighting is lovely. No photos are allowed so you don't have people holding cameras in front of your face . . . and you can't take pictures. Part of the reason for the renovation was to give natural light to the huge paintings and they succeeded.
The rest of the museum is on level one, essentially up stairs. I much preferred the old Orangerie but it's gone. The new one is your basic cement utility construction and certainly does not detract from the art . . . nor does it enhance the art. You are led through seven rooms featuring Cezanne, Renoir, Rousseau, Modigliani, Matisse, Picasso, Derain, Soutine and Utrillo among others. It is an excellent collection and well worth spending an afternoon viewing. Photos are allowed in all the rooms except the "Water Lily" room so snap away to your heart's content.
Closed on Tuesdays
Musee de l'Orangerie is a lovely building once used to shelter potted citrus trees during the winter and now houses a wonderful collection of Monet's Water Lilies (Nymphéas) as well as paintings and sculpture by Rodin, Cézanne, Matisse, Renoir and others. In fact, the gallery showcasing these very large and universally beloved lilies was designed to the artist's specifications while he was still alive. It doesn't take a lot of time to see but the quality of the collection makes it well worth visits of an hour or so. Combine this with a stroll in the Tuileries; it is located in the southwest corner of the park near Place de la Concorde.
Entrance is included in the Paris Museum Pass, or see the website for ticket prices, hours and other info about the collection. The museum is handicap accessible, and photography without flash is OK.
See this link for some background on the building not included in the museum website:
As the name implies, the Orangerie was originally built (in 1852) as a greenhouse for growing orange trees. The building is located in one corner of the Tuileries garden next to the Place de la Concorde, near the Concorde Bridge.
Since 1927 the Orangerie has been used as an art museum featuring eight very large oil paintings, more like murals covering entire walls, by the impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
Monet spent the last thirty years of his life painting mainly the Nymphéas (water lilies) that grew in his garden in Giverny. He made more than 250 of these oil paintings, which are on display at museums all over the world. But in his will he left the eight biggest paintings to the French state for permanent display at the Orangerie.
I remember the Orangerie from the last century as being a rather dark and neglected place, but from 2000 to 2006 the building was completely re-designed and renovated, so that now the Nymphéas can again be seen under indirect natural light, as Monet intended.
In the basement there is an impressive collection of paintings from the collection started by Paul Guillaume (1891-1934), an art dealer who was personally acquainted with the leading artists of his day such as Cézanne, Sisley, Monet, Renoir, Gauguin, Picasso, Utrillo and Matisse. On my recent visit I was particularly struck by the many paintings of André Derain (1880-1954), whose work I have somehow overlooked up to now. (Unfortunately I can't show any examples because photography is not allowed in the Orangerie.)
Outside the Orangerie is one of the many castings of the sculpture The Kiss (third photo), one of the best-known works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917).
Next review from June 2012: The old Samaritaine
Set in the delightful Jardin des Tuileries is the Musée de l'Orangerie which houses Claude Monet's famous waterlily series "Nymphéas" . The Monet works are clearly the main draw but downstairs there is a lot more to see including a number of masterpieces that should be familiar to most people. The collection includes works by Renoir, Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Cézanne and Matisse.
Entry is €7.50 or there is a combined ticket with the Musée d'Orsay for €14 which is valid for 4 days for 1 entry to each museum's permanent collection. Entry is free on the first Sunday of each month or is included in the Paris Museum Pass.
The Orangerie is open 9am to 6pm Wednesdays to Mondays, closed on Tuesdays.
Sadly, you can't take photos of the Monets.
My wife loves Monet and this is her favorite Museum in which to view his work. I have to say the canvases are quite impressive. The works are displayed in start white rooms which only makes the colors of the paint more vivid to the eye. I was also surprised at the sheer scale of the art. I never thought they were that big in reality until I stood next to them myself.
This is definitely a must see for a Monet fan or a fan of Impressionism.
It was a bit of a surprise, there was not a queue this visit. I was surprised how small the museum was; but it was full of interesting pieces of art work. The main focus of the visitors was the lower ground floor rooms with Monet's waterlilies.
I suggest you buy the double ticket and gain admission to the Orangerie and the Musee d'Orsay.
They have a good shop.
You can take photographs, as long a you do not use a flash.
From Place de la Concorde we wheeled about and strutted to the Musée de l'Orangerie which has one of the finest collections of Monet's Nymphéas. The walls are curved and Monet painted directly onto the walls.
I'd never seen this group during my first 5 trips to Paris. Either the museum was shut down or Paris' transit system was on strike and I couldn't get to them. So this was a must-see for this trip (thankfully, Ian agreed).
I took a bunch of photos inside the museum but have culled only the best for your viewing pleasure. :)
The first is one of my favorites. I love how the young ladies' attire reflects the colors in the painting.
The second shows the crowds musing over the Monets. I think the energy of the visitors is felt in this shot.
The 3rd through the 5th photos highlights details of the Nymphéas.
Please peruse my travelogues to see more fabulous photos of Monet's divine work:
Photos: April 2010
The newly renovated Musée de l'Orangerie, located in a pavilion in the corner of the Tuileries gardens, was reopened in May 2006 after being closed to the public for more than six years. The museum houses masterpieces by Cézanne, Renoir, Utrillo, Rousseau, Modigliani, Picasso, Derain and Soutine from the Jean Walther and Paul Guillaume Collection, and Monet's Nymphéas murals. These eight hugh paintings of waterlilies cover the walls of two oval rooms in the museum.
The museum is open every day (except Tuesdays) from 12h30 to 19h00 (to 21h00 on Fridays).
Entrance fee: 6,50 Euros
Originally built as a hothouse during the Napoleonic Era. Since 1920, The Orangerie has housed eight Claude Monet's painting of the water-lilies where the colours were captured on the pond of his Japanese Garden at Giverny. There are also other works by other Impressionists such as Cezanne, Renoir, Picasso and Rousseau also housed there and temporary exhibitions are also held.
Museum entry fee: 7,50 Euro (November 2010)
“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.” — Claude Monet (1840-1926)
LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED We made Musée de l’Orangerie our must-see art destination in July of 2008. It had been undergoing renovations on our previous three trips to Paris. We had to see Monet’s ethereal nymphéas (water lilies). We were not disappointed with this virtual return to Giverny.
Built in 1852 to house an orange grove, the Orangerie was used to billet soldiers on leave from the trenches during the First World War. After the war’s end, the French prime minister Georges Clemenceau invited his friend Claude Monet to display his large-format nymphéas there. A pair of oval rooms was built within the orangerie as a permanent home for eight of Monet’s water lily paintings. The exhibit opened to the public on 16.May.1927, a few months after Monet’s death.
The canvases appear to be attached directly to the wall — rather than mounted on stretchers — with gold frames edging the paintings. These paintings are mesmerizing. There is an oval-shaped bench fixed at the center of each oval-shaped room. Take some time to sit and become lost in the colors and patterns of these works.
Capturing the beauty of his flower garden at Giverny was the main focus of Monet’s artistic production during the last thirty years of his life. In total, he produced 250 oils of the vegetation in and around the pond at his home in the Normandy countryside. They can be found in major museums around the world. Yet the Orangerie series is unique, not least because of its size: each painting is six and a half feet tall. If placed end-to-end, the works would measure 298.5 feet long.
Among the canvases on display are “Soleil couchant” (“The Setting Sun,” photo #2); “Reflets verts” (“Green Reflections” photo #3); “Les Nuages” (“The Clouds,” photo #4); and “Le Matin clair aux saules” (“Clear Morning with Willows,” photo #5).