This wonderful museum, located in the old Orsay railway train station built in 1900, is dedicated to all forms of artistic expression: painting, sculpture and photography of the late XIXth to beginning of the 20th century period. The era of the impressionist painters is particularly well represented with the masterpieces of Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas... Admire the delicate brush strokes of Renoir, the serious self-portrait of Van Gogh, the radiance of a Monet's landscape amongst other artistic marvels.
Built by the architect Victor Laloux in 1900, the "Gare d'Orsay" was one of the Paris stations where trains departed to the south-west of France (Orléans and Bordeaux). The Orsay station was built in just two years, from 1898 to 1900. Became obsolete with the electrifications of trains and because the platforms were too short it was closed in the thirties. It has been spectacularly renovated from 1977 to 1986 to house the Orsay museum. The museum architecture has been praised as a major success in industrial building renovation.
The Orsay museum (Musée d'Orsay in french) is the 19th century French arts museum. It is known worldwide for its famous impressionist collections and is a must to arts lovers.
In the 1870's, "Impressionism" was a French "Avant-garde" painters group rejected by the official academy. The impressionists (among them Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Edgar Manet, Théo Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne) painted ordinary life and people on the spot and in the open air. They rejected historical and mythological subjects. They used light colors. Above all, they are famous for having departed from the tradition of painting "reality". Instead, they used color spots and strokes to suggest their "impression" of the reality that only reveals itself from the distance