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A Parisian Secret: Musee de l'Orangeries

RachelWortmann's picture
on Wed, 07/13/2016 - 13:52
Paris Untour arts

When most people travel to Paris they have a top-10 list including the usual suspects: Musee D'Orsay, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and maybe even Versailles. On my most recent trip to Paris I thought, I've been there, done that, what else can I go see?! After some online searching I came across a darling museum, the Musee de l'Orangerie, a small art gallery featuring impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. Located near the Tuileries Gardens, it was central, and seemed to have a great collection of pieces, so I decided to check it out one afternoon.

Walking into the Orangerie, which was built in 1852 to protect the orange trees of the Tuileries, it was clear I had found a Parisian secret. Despite a busy autumn afternoon in Paris, the museum wasn't crowded and offered some welcome quiet from the bustling outside. My mother and I bought the audio guide and listened to the history behind much of the work downstairs, featuring many impressionist pieces.

Upstairs though was the main event, the real reason I had wanted to come to the Orangerie. After World War I Claude Monet wanted to donate painted panels to the French government to mark the end of the war, when it was suggested to him to paint for the Orangerie. While renovating the Orangerie, the French government adjusted and tweaked plans to fit Monet's large panels, and maximize daylight. And let me tell you, it certainly was worth it. Walking into the infinity rooms (which house these long, beautiful panels of waterlilies) I was awestruck by the massive panels, each detailed and complimentary while being strong and gorgeous on their own. 

If you're looking to escape Paris's crazy streets, my suggestion is enjoying an hour or more in this modest museum which, in my opinion, boasts some of the best pieces of art in the country. Check out my panorama photos below of the museum (which obviously are quite warped due to the sheer length of the art) and book your Paris Untour here to see it yourself!

Hey that's me! In front of one of Monet's panels. Can't wait to get back to beautiful Paris.



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