Musée de l'Orangerie

Musée de l'Orangerie (21)

The Musée de l’Orangerie is located ina privileged area of Paris. Close to the Louvre, next to the Place de la Concorde, the Orangerie exhibits masterpieces of painting.

This museum and the Jeu de Paume gallery is all that remains of the old Tuileries Palace, razed to the ground during the period of the Paris Commune. As a curiosity, we can tell you that this latter gallery was built in 1851 to be a tennis court for Napoleon III, later the Nazis used it to guard works of art, and today it is the headquarters of the National Centre of Photography.

The Musée de l’Orangerie owes its name to its original function, since this space was built in 1852 as the winter shelter of the orange trees from the Tuileries Gardens. It was not until the early 20th century that it began to put on temporary exhibitions and, at the end of the 20th century, the Walter-Guillaume collection. 

After a long revision and restoration, the museum reopened to the public in 2006, with works that range from Impressionism through to approximately 1930.

On the one hand, it is enhanced by the Walter-Guillaume collection, from which we would highlight “Mill wheel in the park of the Château Noir” by Cézanne and “Girls playing the piano” by Renoir, as well as some canvases by Matisse, Modigliani or Picasso.

Nevertheless, the work that has made this museum world famous is the “Water lilies” series by Claude Monet. There are 8 large-scale compositions that occupied the last years of his life and, although Monet was losing his sight, capture with extreme delicacy the light, colour and slight movement of the water lilies in his garden in Giverny.

In fact, rooms 1 and 2 of this museum were specially designed in an oval shape to exhibit these works, presented to the world in 1927. Thus contemplating the water lilies is an endless experience to take pleasure in the sparkling of the water, the movement of the leaves, the reflections of the plants and in other details that you will surely be able to appreciate.

Due to these works, it is no surprise that this museum is popularly known as “the Sistine Chapel of Impressionism”.

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