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Musee d'Orsay - Resources for Art Lovers

Updated on January 30, 2015
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Katherine loves art history and visits art galleries and museums on a regular basis. She also writes exhibition reviews.

View of the ground floor of the Musee d'Orsay
View of the ground floor of the Musee d'Orsay | Source

Find out about the Musee d'Orsay

Pay a virtual visit to the Musée d'Orsay in Paris to see:

  • Famous french art produced between the years 1848 and 1914.
  • Famous paintings by the major Impressionist painters
  • Whole rooms devoted to the work on one artist - including Monet; Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Degas
  • How to fit a museum into a former railway station and create one of the very best museums in the world

In 2009, the Musée d'Orsay in Paris was the 3rd most popular museum in Paris and also ranked as the 8th most popular in the world.

If you cannot visit Paris, you can still see the art and feel as if you are in the museum by paying a virtual visit using some of the links listed on this site

The website of the Musee d'Orsay has been recently redesigned

How to get to the Musee d'Orsay?

The Musee d'Orsay is on the South Bank of the River Seine. It is housed in a converted nineteenth century Railway Station which lies opposite the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre.

Address: 1 rue de la Lgion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris

Metro: line 12, to Solfrino (or Rue du Bac); Line 4 to St-Germain-des-Pres; Line 1 to Tuileries and cross the riverRER: line C, to Muse d'Orsay

Bus: 24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, 94

Taxi: taxi stand and special vehicles quai Anatole-France

Musee d'Orsay, 1 rue de la Legion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris:
Orsay Museum, 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France

get directions

When can you visit the Muse d'Orsay?

In general the museum is open daily from 9.30am to 6pm EXCEPT MONDAY - with a late night on Thursdays until 9.45pm. You can find out more details about the opening hours here (in English).

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Paris
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Paris
Paperback: 440 pagesPublisher: DK Travel; Pap/Map Re edition (August 19, 2013)Language: English

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Paris

My guide book of choice for Paris - newly revised, updated, and redesigned for 2014. This is the one I take with me when I visit Paris.

RECOMMENDED: Rated an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars by 45 customer reviews

It has a really great "exploded view" section on the Musee d'Orsay - and also covers the other art galleries and museums well - plus all the usual information visitors need for a city which is new to them.

What's the best way of find out about the Musee d'Orsay?

There are two times when people want to find out about the museum - before they visit and while they are there. Options include books (see below), audio guides and apps.

Books are also good as a reminder of what you have visited!

Art & Architecture Musee d'Orsay

Art & Architecture: Musée D'Orsay
Art & Architecture: Musée D'Orsay
Paperback: 572 pages Publisher: hf ULLMANN (April 15, 2013) Language: English

Art & Architecture Muse d'Orsay

This book provides an overview of the museum and has excellent illustrations In my opinion it's a book for those who have visited or who plan to visit - but not one for travelling with. It has a compact format but is not a lightweight book.

Rated an average of 5.0 out of 5 stars based on 5 customer reviews

Every piece of art that is described has an image to accompany it which then enables visitors to more easily recognize the original when they visit. Insets on cultural-historical topics and illustrated glossaries, summaries, and timelines supplement the body text

This book provides an excellent overview of the work in the museum in two different ways:

  • chronological pages which group the artists with their peers
  • thematic pages which enable you to see how different artists treated the same subject matter eg portraits, how the Impressionists painted water

Muse d'Orsay - Events & Exhibitions

Typically you go to the Muse d'Orsay to see the collection rather than exhibitions.

However they do also have some amazing exhibitions from time to time. These are the current exhibitions

The Musee d'Orsay - Views and Reviews

This includes my blog posts about The Muse d'OrsayAlso included are linked to reputable websites which provide consumer reviews of visitor attractions. Read a few to get an excellent perspective on the place - and then come back to this site to find out more of what you need to know!

Plus if you'd like to see what it looks like (prior to the 2011 refurbishment) take a look at the videos of works by Van Gogh and Claude Monet (see below)

Video: Paintings by Claude Monet at the Musée d'Orsay

Video: Paintings by Vincent van Gogh at the Musée d'Orsay

HOW TO: Sketch, Draw or Paint in the Muse d'Orsay

Freehand pencil sketches, not exceeding 30 x 60 cm, are allowed in the museum.

This is the link to the RULES ABOUT COPYING works in the Musee d'Orsay

Visiting Groups need to ask permission when the booking is made.

Copying museum works of art, by professional or amateur copyists, or by art school students, requires an individual authorisation. This is issued to one named person, and for a single work. The request must be submitted at least one month before the required date of entry to the museum. The permission is valid for three months, and may not be extended.

The Nouvel Orsay

Musee d'Orsay has undergone a major refurbishment of its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist galleries (located on the upper floor), as well as the four levels of the "Pavillon amont" that lead to it.

At the end of 2009, the museum launched a renovation of its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist galleries (located on the upper floor), as well as the four levels of the "Pavillon amont" that lead to it.

The result is a better display of artworks, larger exhibition areas and greater comfort for visitors, plus better circulation and more security.

  • Impressionism (Manet, Degas, Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, Sisley...) on the 5th floor in a renovated gallery under the glass canopy,
  • Post-Impressionism (Van Gogh, Gauguin, the school of Pont-Aven, Cross, Seurat, the Douanier Rousseau) on the middle level,
  • the large Nabi decors and foreign schools of decorative arts in the "Pavillon amont".
  • Plus there is also a new Cafe de l'Horloge on the 5th floor.

Below are links to the museum's website which explains the changes.

Another major change is that photography is no longer allowed in the galleries.

Monet's version of Dejeuner sur l'Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass)

Monet's version of Dejeuner sur l'Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass)
Monet's version of Dejeuner sur l'Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass)

Detail from a self-portrait of Vicent Van Gogh

Detail from a self-portrait of Vicent Van Gogh
Detail from a self-portrait of Vicent Van Gogh

The Restaurant at the top of the Musee D'Orsay


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