As its name suggests, the Musee de l'Orangerie is housed in the former Orangery of the Tuileries Gardens, built in 1852. The building now houses one of French impressionist painter Claude Monet's most luminous achievements: Les Nymphéas, a series of eight murals which took four years to complete and represent a meditation on peace (the work was completed over the course of World War I, making it all the more poignant.)
L'Orangerie is also home to an exhibit of 19th and 20th-century art known as the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume collection, featuring noteworthy works from Cézanne, Matisse, Modigliani or Picasso.
Location and Contact Information
Jardin des Tuileries (west end, facing Place de la Concorde)
Tel : +33 (0)1 44 50 43 00
Open: The museum is open every day except Tuesdays, 9:00 am-6:00 pm. Closed Tuesday, May 1st and December 25th (Christmas Day).
Tickets: Last tickets are sold at 5:30 pm. See current rates here. Free every first Sunday of the month for all visitors.
The Paris Museum Pass includes admission to the Orangerie. (Buy Direct at Rail Europe)
Sights and Attractions Nearby
Highlights of the Permanent Collection
Claude Monet's monumental Les Nymphéas (1914-1918) is the Orangerie's prized work. Monet chose the space personally and painted a total of eight panels, each measuring around two meters/6.5ft high, stretching around the curved surfaces of the walls to give an illusion of being plunged in the peaceful setting of Monet's famed water gardens at Giverny.
Meditations on Peace, and Light
Working from the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Monet envisioned the works as a meditation on peace. The paintings subtly change under the influence of the daylight, so visiting them at different times in the day will provide a new sensory experience each time. The incredibly subtle and beautiful illusion of light in the murals has arguably never been replicated, and certainly cannot be fully appreciated by photographs or prints.
The Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume Collection
In addition to Monet's masterpiece, Important works from artists including Paul Cézanne, Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Rousseau, Henri Matisse, Derain, Modigliani, Soutine, Utrillo, and Laurencin grace this permanent collection at the Orangerie, which recently underwent significant renovations.