Musée D'Orsay: A History


The Musée D'Orsay: From Station to Impressionism

The Musée D'Orsay is one of the best art museums in Paris, and Paris has a lot of them. It has a collection to drive an art historian wild and to inspire non-artsy people like me. It is a museum that you can go to in your childhood and still remember to this day thanks to its collection, its grand clock, and the beauty of the building. So here is a little history on one of the best museums of Paris.

It was a railway station

At the end of the 19th century, two stations were built in Paris, the Gare de Lyon and the Gare d'Orsay. The station was built in the "beaux-arts" style of the time and it used more steal in it than the Eiffel Tower. By the 1930s, the Gare d'Orsay was no longer usable because the platforms were too short.

It has some great views

The building displays two beautiful clocks that face the river Seine. One of the features is that you can climb into the clocks and see them from inside, rather than just checking them out from the outside. Other than all the beautiful art, this is one of the most attention grabbing features of the building.

One Clock of the Musee D'Orsay

It was used for many things before becoming a museum

After the 1930s, the fate of the Gare d'Orsay was undecided. It was used for many things such as storage, a parking lot, and it even held prisoners of war. Eventually it was commissioned by François Mitterrand to become a museum.

It is a fairly new museum

The museum opened in 1986 after years of restoration. It was intended to bridge the gap between the Louvre and the Mitterrand Museum of Modern Art. The Louvre has art that is centuries old while the modern art museum is completely different. The Musée D'Orsay has many works of impressionists, showing the gradual change of art over time.

It has a lot of works from famous artists

You would think that since the museum is fairly new that it would not have been able to accumulate such masterpieces. But that is not the case. Many of the works were originally housed in the Jeu de Pomme until being placed in the Musée D'Orsay. It holds many works for Matisse, Rodin, Claudel, Monet, Manet, and it even holds Van Gogh's Starry Night Over the River Rhone.

This museum has long lines at all times of the year, so prepare yourself in advance. Entree is free if you are a European Union citizen under 25 years old. Discounts are made for people under 25 that are not European, which makes it one of the few that does that.

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