The Musée d'Orsay is a national museum showing, in all its diversity, the artistic creation of the western world from 1848 to 1914.
The museum's collections originate from three main institutions: the Musée du Louvre, for works by artists born after 1820 or who emerged into the art world with the Second Republic (1848-1852); the Musée du Jeu de Paume, which had been dedicated since 1947 to Impressionism; and finally the Musée National d'Art Moderne, which, when it was installed in the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1976, had only conserved works by artists born after 1870.
The paintings are both organised chronologically and grouped according to aesthetic currents.
The ground floor is devoted to the period up until the beginning of the 1870's. The top floor opens on a series of paintings by Fantin-Latour, a singular artist and a friend of the impressionists whose refusal of official painting he shared. In Un atelier aux Batignolles, one of his great group portraits, Fantin-Latour represented in particular Manet, Monet, Renoir and Bazille. The middle level of the museum, on the Seine side, houses different aspects of the official art from the turn of the century, the decorations of public monuments, the great Salon successes (Bouguereau, Cormon, Besnard), the developement of Naturalism (Bastien-Lepage, Lhermitte, Cottet) and of international Symbolism (Ménard, Carrière, Delville, Masek).
The collection of foreign paintings, rich for this period in works acquired as early as 1890 as well as recently (Burne-Jones, Klimt, Hodler, Munch) is presented neighbouring the French works.
The 19th century saw the birth of photography in 1839. At the Musée d'Orsay - the first French national musem to present antique photography - the photography exhibitions and acquisitions focus on artistic creation. Today the museum is responsible for over 45,000 photographic works.
1, rue de la Légion d'Honneur
Open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9.30am to 6pm
Open on Thursdays from 9.30am to 9.45pm