Results 1-10of 46 Reviews
CA1 1LA, England, United Kingdom
January 5, 2011
From journal The most beautiful city in the world
by wasa girl
September 26, 2010
From journal Five Days In Paris
Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
August 2, 2007
From journal Exploring Paris
July 3, 2000
From journal My 2 brief trips to Paris
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
November 17, 2004
Designed by Victor Lalour for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, the former Gare d’Orsay stands on the site of two former state buildings, which, in the early 19th century, were left in ruins due to the Paris Commune fires of 1870 to 1871. The Orléans Railway Company bought over the plot of land in 1897, with a view to make it a railway station for trains serving Nantes, Bordeaux, and Toulouse. Construction was completed within 2 years, just in time for the exhibition. Scheduled to be torn down in 1970, it was saved by the skin of its teeth, and in 1986, 47 years after it had closed as a mainline train station, the superb building was reopened as one of the foremost impressionist museums. A visit to this museum is a must even if you are not an art buff. And for art lovers (like myself), it can be a spiritual experience.
The long-distance terminus ceased operation in 1939, and the station, an immense hall with an arched vault 128 feet high, and running alongside it, a narrower hall topped by a series of seven cupolas, was then used for various purposes, including as an auction house and theater. The ceiling work illustrates the close partnership between construction workers and architects, and is characterised by a highly skilled system of roof timbers with no tie beams and monumental ornamentation, consisting of large caissons of molded plaster bound with vegetable fibres. Much of the original architecture was retained during the conversion from a railway station to a museum of note.
The facade that overlooks Rue de Bellechasse was the logical choice as the main entrance because of its peacefulness versus the windy quay that faces north. A canopy, the old entrance hall, and a café provide visitors with a warm welcome.
The new museum was set up to present each of the arts of the period from 1848 to 1914 in the context of the contemporary society and all the various forms of creative activity happening at the time. The museum sought to capture the full diversity of this unusually dense and prolific period by focusing not only on painting, sculpture, decorative, and graphic arts, but also on other visual arts, such as architecture, town planning, movies, posters, and press and illustrated books.
The vast collection is housed on three levels. The ground floor displays works from the mid- to late 19th century. The middle level features Art Nouveau decorative art and a range of paintings and sculptures from the second half of the 19th to 20th century. The upper level has an outstanding collection of art from the Impressionist and neo-Impressionist movement. A tour of the museum is chronological.
From journal Paris, for All Seasons, All the Year Through
by Lisa MacDonald
Cambridge, United Kingdom
January 6, 2002
The first thing you may notice when you visit the Musee d'Orsay is the incredibly long queue leading to its entrance. While we didn't have to wait an unreasonable amount of time to get in (in Parisian terms), it's wise to bring warm clothing and an umbrella during winter months - this is not a wait you'd want to endure in the pouring rain.
The Musee d'Orsay picks up where the Louvre stops - at the Impressionist and post-Impressionist period. It consists of several levels of long corridors lined with paintings and sculptures.
The museum is housed in an old train station, which becomes apparent when you view it from the second floor. After the train station's demise, it was used for theatrical plays and film sets. It was eventually turned into an art museum, which I think works quite well. The openness and light in the corridors helps relieve the claustrophobic, dark, and cluttered atmosphere that can sometimes be found in other museums. Similarly, the Musee d'Orsay doesn't feel extremely crowded which is a welcome relief from the usual mobs you'll encounter when sightseeing in Paris.
A frosted glass wall covers one end of the museum where you can see the blurred silhouettes of people walking behind. If you have the Rough Guide to Paris, this is the clock on the front cover of the book.
The museum has a large (and somewhat overpriced) gift shop that is only accessible once you’ve bought your ticket. We invested in a "carte musees et monuments" (a Paris museum pass) that allows you unlimited visits to over 70 museums and monuments in Paris and the Paris region. We got a 3-day card and calculated that we’d get our money’s worth if we went to 5 museums and/or monuments. Considering most sites will cost at least 40-45 F, the 200 F that we spent on this card was well worth it.
From journal A New Year's Holiday in Paris
February 17, 2002
It's hard to believe that the main gallery once served a completely different purpose (rail passengers once embarked and disembarked here), because this is simply a beautiful space. Early 19th century art is now displayed on the main floor. The real action (impressionist and post-impressionist paintings) is on the upper level, but that's not to say there isn't anything worthwhile at ground level. I enjoyed finding works by Courbet, Millet (who was a great influence on Vincent van Gogh), and Delacroix here.
The top floor is where you'll find the impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, and the largest crowds. The d'Orsay possesses as fine a collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works as you will find anywhere. There are several rooms filled with canvases by Manet, Monet, Cezanne, Pissarro, Renior (including Dance at the Moulin de la Galette), and Degas. You'll also find several pieces by Alfred Sisley and Berthe Morisot, and a few by pointillist master Georges Seurat. And the van Gogh room is simply stunning. Besides Bedroom at Arles and two self-portraits, the room includes Thatched Cottages at Cordeville, Portrait of Dr. Gachet, and The Church at Auvers, which hang side by side. These are some of his most famous canvases. To see them all in one room is incredible.
Further down at the end of the pavillion you'll find a room filled with several beautiful pieces by Paul Gauguin, and next to him, the Pont-Aven school, including works by Emile Bernard. In the back corner is a room comprised of pastels and paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec.
I suppose I'm biased since I'm a huge fan of the impressionists and post-impressionists, but if you're sightseeing in Paris, the Musee d'Orsay deserves to be near the top of your list.
Photography without a flash is permitted. Check the Musée d'Orsay web site for admission fees, hours of operation, and other info.
Metro: Solférino (M12); Musée d'Orsay (RER-C)
From journal Offseason Paris
November 25, 2000
From the masterpieces of Monet to Renoir, Manet to Degas, this amazing body of art requires more than a day to take in. But since people are often pressed for time to 'see it all' in Paris, make sure to allot at least one full afternoon to this treasure, even if it means skipping the Louvre.
From journal France: Paris
June 6, 2007
From journal Vive La Paris
by Mandan Lynn
Smithwick, South Dakota
February 13, 2007
From journal My Own Little Paris