In case you were wondering about the way to get the best impression of Paris, the answer lies in places like Musée d’Orsay, Marmottan-Monet Museum, or Giverny. And why? Because these are places where you can get closer to impressionism, a 19th-century art movement originating in the City of Lights. Thus, even a short stay in Paris will be enough to make your trip both entertaining and educational.
Even if you’re not passionate about art in general, you might be well-familiar with the characteristic brush strokes and the abundance of light, so typical of impressionist style. The movement concentrated usually on ordinary matters and the effects of the passage of time, emphasizing the ‘here and now’, capturing individual impressions with true attention to detail – hence the name. Follow our list of impressionism-themed museum and grant yourself an inspiring lesson of history, as well as remarkable aesthetic impressions.
Musée d’Orsay (1 Rue de la Legion d’Honneur)
This place is a definition of impressionism. A home to the largest collection of sculptures, paintings and other works of art from the period of 1848-1914, it is one the most often visited museums in the world! Among its permanent collections you will find some astonishing masterpieces by Monet, Edgar Degas, Gaugin, Delacroix, Renoir, Manet, as well as e.g. Van Gogh. Thanks to the clever layout you will be able to trace the evolution of art according to chronological order.
Musee Marmottan-Monet (2 rue Louis-Boilly)
Nested in the western part of Paris, in an old mansion, this small-yet-impressive museum focuses on the theme of no-one else than Claude Monet, and features a range of his most notable paintings. A visit to this magical place will surely deepen your understanding of the artist’s ways and effort put into the process of artistic creation. If you agree that Monet’s masterpieces printed on calendars and mugs don’t do him justice, then you’ll find a visit to this museum most valuable.
Petit Palais (Avenue Winston Churchill)
Although quite often overlooked by visitors to Paris, this place boasts a truly unique collection of significant impressionist works by Cezanne, Monet, Pissarro, Ingres and Delacroix. But that’s not everything, as the museum features works of art from other periods as well, ranging from antiquity to the early 20th century. While this collection may not overwhelm you by its size, its quality is bound to win your heart. And on top of that, it is one of the city’s free-of-charge museums, which only adds to its other qualities; important note – the free entry applies to permanent exhibitions only.
Impressionism Museum and Monet’s Gardens in Giverny (99, rue Claude Monet 27620 Giverny)
Now this is something for only those willing to leave Paris in exchange for an amazing time spent in a marvelous impressionist setting – and we’re talking about a trip to the house of Claude Monet in Giverny. Today, this place is not only a home to an important impressionist museum (and, of course, to the ‘workshop’ of Monet himself), but also to a lovely garden which is said to have served as a vital inspiration for the artist. Due to recent renovation and maintenance works, the museum will be reopened on 27 March 2014, but spring is actually the best time to go there. All you need to do is go to Vernon from the Gare Saint-Lazare station, and then take a shuttle bus directly to Giverny. Learn more about getting there here.