Musee de L'Orangerie

If a good friend asked me "If you could only give me one piece of advice about planning a trip to Paris, what would it be?', I would easily reply,  "Make sure you visit Musee de L'Orangerie in the Jardin des Tuileries."  As its name suggests, the Orangerie Museum is housed in a former orangery to shelter the orange trees of the Tuileries Gardens.

   In 1918 Claude Monet decided he would like to donate eight of his famous Water Lilies to France to celebrate peace at the end of WWI, but on condition that a suitable place could be found in which to display his work.

The French government selected the 'Orangerie des Tuileries' in Paris and hired architect Camille Lefevre to renovate the building according to Monet's specifications. Lefevre designed two large oval galleries flooded with diffused natural light. Monet was adamant that his colourful paintings be viewed while flooded with natural light so that the viewer would internalize their 'peace' and discover their full luminous intensity.

Why, you might ask, would you select the L'Orangerie over the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay? The Monet paintings will simply take your breath away, especially when viewed in this light filled, serene museum, unlike any other museum I have ever visited. In addition, the L'Orangerie limits the number of people in the museum at any given time, and you are allowed to stay as long as you would like. {You never feel like you are on a moving sidewalk in an aquarium} The best part, my Paris Museum Pass, allowed us to skip to the front of the line which stretched around the building. {PS ~ Don't leave home without it!}

{Pablo Picasso}

In addition to the eight Monet masterpieces, the Musée de L'Orangerie has an incredible collection of old world master paintings from many of my favorite artists from the late 18th to early 20th century including Monet, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, Renoir, Gauguin, Sisley and many more that I was less familiar with but non-the-less impressed.

{"Odalisque with the gray pants", Henri Matisse, 1927}

{"Femmes au Canape" ou "Le Divan", Henri Matisse, 1921}

{"Arbres et maisons", Paul Cezanne, 1885}
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