The Musée d’Orsay in Paris is one of the most wonderful art museums I’ve ever visited in my life. Everybody knows that when you visit Paris, you should stop in and see the Louvre, but the Musée d’Orsay is often overlooked. That’s a shame, because it’s incredible. Located on the Left Bank of the Seine, it is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, which was a railway station around the late 1800’s. The building is absolutely gorgeous and worth a visit in and of itself, but the collection is spectacularly impressive as well.
The collection is largely French art from the late 1800’s through early 1900’s, which includes sculptures, paintings, furniture, and photography. It is one of the largest art museums in all of Europe. What excited me most, however, was their enormous collection of impressionist and post-impressionist pieces. It is the largest and most impressive collection in the world from this era. Masterpieces by artists such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh are all housed here and on display for the public.
During my visit, I spent the day marveling at one beautiful, famous impressionist painting after another. There were so many incredible paintings to see, there wasn’t really even time to see them all. They had to kick me out at closing time in order to get me to leave. It was as if my art history books had come alive in the most delightful way possible.
While you’re at the museum, make sure to stop into one of the awesome restaurants housed in the building. When I was there, I had the most amazing apple sorbet for dessert that came topped with three caramelized granny smith apple slices. It was light and rich all at the same time.
I really could spend an entire trip to Paris just exploring this place. That is, if the rest of the city weren’t just as amazing, of course.
Next time you’re in Paris, make sure to carve out a little bit of time to visit the Musée d’Orsay. You won’t regret it.