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Coordinates: 48°51′36″N 2°19′37″E / 48.860°N 2.327°E / 48.860; 2.327

Musée d'Orsay

Location of the Musée d'Orsay
Musée d'Orsay is located in Paris
Shown within France Paris
Established 1986
Location Rue de Lille''75343 Paris, France
Type Art museum, Design/Textile Museum, Historic site[1]
Visitor figures About 2.5 million[2]
Director Serge Lemoine
Public transit access Solférino Metro-M.svgParis m 12 jms.svg
Musée d'Orsay RER.svg Paris rer C jms.svg

The Musée d'Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, on the left bank of the Seine, housed in the former railway station, the Gare d'Orsay, an impressive Beaux-Arts edifice built between 1898 and 1900. It holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography, and is probably best known for its extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces (the largest in the world) by such painters such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum's opening in 1986.



The museum building was originally a railway station, Gare d'Orsay, constructed for the Chemin de Fer de Paris à Orléans and finished in time for the 1900 Exposition Universelle to the design of three architects: Lucien Magne, Émile Bénard and Victor Laloux. It was the terminus for the railways of southwestern France until 1939.

By 1939 the station's short platforms had become unsuitable for the longer trains that had come to be used for mainline services. After 1939 it was used for suburban services and part of it became a mailing center during World War II. It was then used as a set for several films, such as Kafka's The Trial adapted by Orson Welles, and as a haven for the Renaud-Barrault Theatre Company and for auctioneers, while the Hôtel Drouot was being rebuilt. The station's hotel closed on 1 January 1973.

Museum conversion

D'Orsay Museum, seen from the right bank of the Seine river

In 1977 the French Government decided to convert the station to a museum. ACT Architecture (Renaud Bardon, Pierre Colboc and Jean-Paul Philippon) were the designers and the construction work was carried by Bouygues.[3] The Italian architect Gae Aulenti oversaw the design of the conversion from 1980 to 1986.

The interior of the museum.

The work involved creating 20,000 sq. m. of new floorspace on four floors. The new museum was opened by President François Mitterrand on 1 December 1986.

The square of the museum displays six bronze allegorical sculptural groups in a row, originally produced for the Exposition Universelle (1878):


The Directors have been:

  • Françoise Cachin: 1986–1994
  • Henri Loyrette: 1994–2001
  • Serge Lemoine: 2001–2008
  • Guy Cogeval: March 2008-present


Paintings : Major painters and works represented

Sculptures : Major sculptors

François Rude, Jules Cavelier, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Auguste Rodin, Paul Gauguin, Camille Claudel and Honoré Daumier.

Other works

It also holds collections of:

  • architecture and decorative arts
  • photography

See also


External links

Simple English

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