Musée d'Orsay

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Musée d'Orsay Clock, Victor Laloux, Main Hall

The Musée d'Orsay is an art museum in Paris. The building was built in 1900, and first used as a railway station. In 1986, it changed into the museum which is highly famous today.

The museum exhibits artworks of the 19th century including Impressionist paintings. The Impressionist paintings include works by Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Manet, and Van Gogh. That's why the Orsay is called the 'Impressionism museum'.

The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. Its extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces is the largest in the world. It features work by such painters such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, Van Gogh and many others.

Orsay Museum, seen from the right bank of the Seine river

History[change | edit source]

The building had been founded in 1804 as the supreme court but because of fire, it was rebuilt in 1900 as the station. Around 40 years later, working as the station had to be stopped because the length of the platforms was shorter than newly made trains for mainline services. So the station changed its role for suburban services and a mailing center during the second World War. In 1970, there was an argument related to the building. Some people insisted that removing the building would be better and got a permission from the Minister while the others asserted that it had to be maintained since they thought it was the Historic Monuments. The opponents of destroying the building suggested how about using it as the museum and it was accepted. After the construction for transforming it into the museum, in July 1986, it became the Musée d'Orsay which has had the 2000 or so paintings, 600 sculptures and other works.

Collection[change | edit source]

Paul Cézanne:
Apples and Oranges
circa 1899

Paintings: major painters and works represented[change | edit source]