The Impressionists in Paris

Where to see Monet and the Impressionists in Paris museums

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Paris - city of the Impressionists 

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water liliesA trip to Paris is incomplete without a visit to the Louvre; and while the biggest draw in France's national gallery is undoubtedly Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, known in French as La Joconde, this iconic work of Renaissance art is closely followed in popularity by the works of Monet and the  French Impressionists. The Louvre is just one of the places in Paris where these can be viewed.

Monet - Impression sunriseIt was in Paris, in 1874, that the word "Impressionism" was first coined, and in Paris that the Impressionist painters came together. Since then their works have been dispersed to museums and private collections worldwide, yet a substantial number of major works of Impressionist painting remain to this day in the city in or near which they were painted. Paris is the best place in the world to discover the Impressionists, and their works can be seen in several locations across the city.

  Paris's Musée Marmottan Monet (address and opening times) contains the world's largest collection of Monets under a single roof;  the Musée  has a permanent display including a substantial collection of works not just by Monet, but by other major Impressionist painters, including  Degas, Manet, Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro, Gauguin, and Berthe Morisot. 

Sisley - Port Marly
Sisley - Floods at Port Marly - Musée d'Orsay
   Not far from the Eiffel tower, on the banks of the Seine, the Musée d'Orsay (address and opening times) is the Paris gallery with the greatest number of works by the Impressionists in general.  Housed in a former railway station, this museum, dedicated to the art of the 19th century,  now contains France's greatest collection of Impressionist and Post-impressionist art, with notable works by all the Impressionists, including Renoir, Manet, Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Sisley, Pissaro and others.

   In addition to these two locations, there is the Musée de l'Orangerie (address and opening times), in the gardens of the Tuileries, within walking distance of the Louvre. This, which is home to a fine and huge set of Monet water lilies, as well as works by Renoir, Cézanne, Rousseau, Matisse, Picasso, Utrillo and others.

   Finally, not to be forgotten is the free Musée des Beaux Arts de la ville de Paris, the Paris city fine art museum, located just off the Champs Elysées, in the Petit Palais just round the corner from the Grand Palais, which has a section devoted to 19th century art, including works by Monet, Sisley and Pissarro. And it's free.

Useful tip: the Louvre and other state galleries are free to under-26s from the European Union. Proof of identity required. They are free to all on the first Sunday of each month.

Locations, prices :

Musée Marmottan: 2 rue Boilly, Paris 16. Metro line 9, station La Muette.
Open 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Closed on Mondays. Entrance (2020)  12 €. Reduced rate: 8.50 €

Musée d'Orsay: rue de Lille, Paris 7. On the other bank of the Seine, almost opposite the Louvre. Metro solférino. Open 9.30 am to 6 pm Tuesday to Sunday. Late opening to 9.45 pm on Thursdays. Standard entrance (2018) : 14 €.  Youth up to 25 years: 11 €

Musée de l'Orangerie: Jardin des tuileries Place de la Concorde, Paris 1. Metro Concorde. Open 9 am - 6 pm except Tuesdays (closed). Entrance: € 9 : reduced rate 6.50 €

Combined ticket Orangerie / Orsay Museums: 18 € (Valid 3 months - 1 entry per museum)

Warning - long delays:
There are generally long queues to get into the main museums, for those who have to purchase a ticket at the entrance. Avoid the queues buy buying a pass in advance
SKIP THE LINES... Entrance to most Paris museums including the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay and the Orangerie, is included in the Paris City Pass, as recommended by About-France.com  Book now
The Pass includes the Louvre, the Orangerie and the Musée d'Orsay, plus some 60 other attractions, but does not include the Musée Marmottan - which is not included in any pass.

Petit Palais - Musée des Beaux Arts de la ville de Paris. Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris 8.  Metro Champs Elysées. Entrance free

Map of selected hotels in Paris near the main monuments
(This map only features hotels that are well recommended by user reviews)

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Photo top of page : Monet's famous Waterlilies in the Orangerie museum, beside the Place de la Concorde
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Madame Monet with parasolMadame Monet and Monet's son.
In this picture, Monet is playing with light and shadow.... Where exactly is the sun in this painting? It can't be behind Madame Monet, nor behind the parasol, otherwise the shadows would come straight at us....

photo by Edwin.11
Cézanne - Maison du Dr. Gachet -
Paris, Musée d'Orsay art gallery

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Works by Monet are in the public domain
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