The Orsay, along with the Louvre, is one of the most famous museums of Paris. The museum is located at the old railway station of Gare d’Orsay, which was constructed in 1900 for the needs of the World Convention that was held in Paris. The station was functional for around 40 years, after which it was forgotten. In 1977, the government of Paris decided to renovate the old station and the museum was opened for the public in 1986. The Orsay is visited by around 4 million people annually. The art pieces displayed there are primarily from the 18th and 19th century, and were brought to the Orsay from three different museums: The Louvre, The Museum of Modern Arts, as well as from the Jeu de Paume.
Most of the artwork in the museum’s collection belongs to the Impressionist era, with the most important works being the ones by Van Gogh, Claude Monet, as well as Édouard Manet. The most famous painting by Van Gogh displayed in this museum is the 1889 painting The Bedroom in Arles. Monet’ 1919 painting, Blue Water Lilies, is also displayed at the museum. Paintings by Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin, Gustav Klimt and Edvard Munch are also displayed in the museum.
Édouard Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia also attract a lot of attention. Both of these paintings caused controversy when they were first unveiled. The former depicts a nude woman surrounded by fully-clothed men. The French public, as well as many artists, were disgusted by this painting because it the rules of painting of the time. The latter also depicts a nude woman, but details on the very image point to the woman being a prostitute. The very word “Olympia” was then connected to prostitutes.
The museum contains a rich collection of around 10 thousand photographs. There is also a cafeteria and restaurant within the museum for you to rest up. We recommend that you pay a visit to this truly unique museum
Ticket price for the Orsay Museum
Regular ticket price: 16 € - for permanent exhibition and all temporary exhibitions
Free admission: Every first week of the month, under the age of 18, young people aged 18 to 25 who are EU citizens or residents, people with disabilities and the unemployed.
Tickets can be purchased online on the museum's official website or directly at the ticket office within the museum.
Opening hours of the Orsay Museum
The museum is open daily from 9.30am to 6pm.
on Thursdays the museum is open until 9.45pm group visits, reserved in advance
from Tuesday to Saturday, from 9.30 am to 4.00 pm (Thursdays until 8 pm)
The museum is closed on Mondays, May 1 and December 25