The Orangerie Museum of Paris
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What to expectAs you step into the Orangerie Museum, a hushed atmosphere welcomes you to immerse yourself in the Sistine Chapel of Impressionism, showcasing vast panoramic frescoes of Water Lilies. The Orangerie Museum draws crowds primarily for the admiration of Claude Monet's works. However, it would be a mistake not to explore further. The Orangerie Museum serves as the gateway to the 20th century that Paris was missing. It's not by chance that it's affiliated with the Musée d'Orsay, which is entirely dedicated to the 19th century. Here, you'll encounter the post-impressionist collections of Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume, featuring paintings by Matisse, Renoir, and Picasso. These temporary exhibitions also contribute to the museum's reputation.
Musée de l’Orangerie Opening Times
Every day except Tuesdays : from 9 a.m to 6 p.m
Closed : May 1st, July 14th morning, December 25th
Please note: Last entry is 45 minutes before closing. The evacuation of the galleries must begin from 5:45 p.m.
Access: please show your ticket on your mobile in the queue for ‘visitors with tickets’. Passing the security check is compulsory.
Free entry for:
- Under 18s (with family and excluding school groups)
- 18-25 year olds (European Union residents and non-European residents living in France)
- Everyone on the first Sunday of each month
Exhibitions 2024-2025 at the Musée de l'Orangerie
From March 01 to May 29, 2023: Matisse. Cahiers d’art, the turn of the 1930s
From September 20, 2023 to January 15, 2024: Amedeo Modigliani. A painter and his dealer
Consult the other current exhibitions in Paris.
History of the Water Lilies by Claude Monet
In the late 19th century, Claude Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and began landscaping the garden. Having reached maturity in both his life and his art, he desired to have the beauty of nature permanently before him to inspire his palette. He designed the garden to have colour everywhere, at various heights and reflected in the waters of his lily ponds. Monet the Gardener inspired Monet the Painter and vice versa.
The lily ponds became a visual point of departure for 250 masterpieces over thirty years. He never grew tired of his garden’s play of light, continuing to capture his impressions on canvas. In common with other Impressionists, Monet admired Japanese art, from which he borrowed the small flower-framed bridges he painted in all seasons. The genius of Giverny expressed his affection for the willows dangling their shimmering, weeping branches over the water lilies, which in turn inspired the large scale paintings that would one day grace the Musée de l'Orangerie. With a series of brilliantly deft touches he covered these colossal canvases as though inviting us to dive into the water. He wished the spectator to be as immersed in the painting as those who strolled in the garden of Giverny were immersed in nature. It was this dream he expressed when he said, “I have no other wish than to mingle myself more intimately with nature”.
More about the history of the Musée de l'Orangerie.
Making a reservation for the D'Orsay was easy and transparent, and the e-reservation came through immediately. Thus I was able to print it before I left home.
However, the Louvre e-reservation took about 24 hours to be delivered, which meant that I was already in Paris by that point and unable to print it out. I had my iPad, so I could show the reservation on the screen, but for someone without a smart device it may have been a problem.
Moreover, it wasn't clear why the reservation was initially flagged as "in preparation" - only when I had the small print elsewhere in the Louvre booking pages did I discover that e-tickets can take up to 48 hours to be processed and delivered. It would be helpful to make this more transparent, I think.
On the whole, the site is very convenient and useful, and I would recommend it. I shall certainly use it again - but 48 hours before I leave home!