The Musée de l'Orangerie is a gallery of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. The larger-than-life Water Lilies by Monet are definitely the main event, but they're far from the only reason to visit. Located in an old orangerie in the heart of Paris, this museum is notable for having an impressive amount of Monets in a decadently light and airy setting.
In fact, Monet himself donated the paintings to the French state as World War I was coming to a close, as his way of contributing to the country's victory. His only condition was that his paintings be housed in a suitable venue. The then-underused orangerie in the Tuileries Garden was just the spot.
Bask in the full glory of the Water Lilies series in two oval rooms that display eight massive (2x6 meter) canvases that were purpose-built to the artist's specifications. Pore over the painstaking detail of each canvas, lovingly painted by a cataract-ridden Monet. He was adamant that the canvases be drenched in natural light to reflect the en-plein-air nature of his work. You may recognize one of these rooms as setting for a key scene in Woody Allen's 2011 movie, Midnight in Paris.
While the museum also usually displays works by Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, and Rousseau, among others, these galleries will be closed until April 1, 2020, while the museum undergoes renovations. In the meantime, visitors can peruse the temporary exhibition which features modern art by Seurat and Matisse, as well as other contemplative contemporary art.
Visitors are invited to experience the Musée de l'Orangerie meditative art spaces that flow into each other and pay homage to some of the finest art of the 20th century.
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Musée de l'Orangerie
Musée de l'Orangerie, jardin des Tuileries, 75001, Paris