Destination Museum: Musee d’Orsay

Musee D'Orsay and Seine River at Dawn, Paris France

Dedicated to over sixty years of art originating in the Western world from an eclectic choice of artistic movements, the Musee d’Orsay in Paris is the ideal place to indulge the connoisseur in you, to spark a passion for creativity in children and perhaps even to add to your bucket list of artistic pursuits. It is one of the largest art museums in all of Europe.

Founded rather recently in 1986, it is located inside a former railway station on the left bank of the Seine River in Paris, France. The museum is open from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. but open late till 9.45 p.m. on Thursdays and shut every Monday, on Christmas Day and on Labor Day (1st May).

The full entrance fee is 12 Euros (approximately $13) and 9 Euros (approximately $10) for concession-eligible individuals. Keep your ticket stub because it will give you discounted entry at the Gustave Moreau National Museum and the Paris National Opera for up to a week after your visit. The museum is particularly busy in the summer months and is best avoided in the peak daily times after 3 p.m. An early morning dose of art will work best.

The museum itself was built to celebrate paintings and sculpture from the period 1848 to 1914 across over 20,000 sq. m of floor space. Its original collection was constituted from works obtained from various French national art museums, including the Louvre and has expanded today to include photography, architecture and decorative arts for a multidisciplinary buffet of artistic diversity.

The Musee d’Orsay’s prestigious collection now numbers over three thousand individual works created by some of the most eminent and recognizable names in art, including Monet, Renoir, Rodin, van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas and Millet. Its forte is French art in the Impressionist and post-Impressionist styles.

Aside from these, the museum also regularly hosts guest collections and holds features on particular influential artists. It also offers regular free lectures on art but these are only available in French. In its pursuit of development of all art forms, the Musee d’Orsay organizes musical concerts and operas featuring the talents of local, European and international classical artistes.

Some of the museum’s exhibitions are historically themed and a wonderful way to discover the history of France through not only paintings but the opulent jewelry and furniture that punctuated the different eras from monarchy to democracy.

The Musee d’Orsay is the ideal place to both begin a discovery of fine art or to continue your journey of appreciation.