Essential Architecture-  Paris

Musee d'Orsay


Gae Aulenti 


1 rue de Bellechasse, Rue de Lille, 75343 telephone (near Musée d'Orsay RER line C station)


1980 to 1987


Beaux-Arts Modern


masonry, vaulted glass and steel roof


Utility, Museum

The Musée d'Orsay is a museum in Paris on the left bank of the Seine near Musée d'Orsay RER line C station. It holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume up to 1986.

The museum building was originally a railway station, constructed for the Orleans Railway Company and finished in time for the Exposition Universelle (World Fair) of 1900 to the design of three architects: Lucien Magne, Emile 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. The station's hotel closed on 1 January 1973.

In 1977 the French Government decided to convert the station to a museum and it was opened by President François Mitterrand on 1 December 1986.

Françoise Cachin : 1986-1994 
Henri Loyrette : 1994-2001 
Serge Lemoine : since 2001 


Major painters
Gustave Courbet - The Artist's Studio, Young Man Sitting, L'Origine du monde 
Jean-François Millet - Spring, The Gleaners 
Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot - A Morning. The Dance of the Nymphs 
Alexandre Cabanel - The Birth of Venus, The Death of Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta 
Jean-Léon Gérôme - Portrait of the baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild, Reception of Condé in Versailles, La Comtesse de Keller 
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes - Young Girls by the Seaside, The Young Mother also known as Charity, View on the Château de Versailles and the Orangerie 
Eugène Boudin - Trouville Beach 
Camille Pissarro - White Frost 
Édouard Manet - Olympia, The Balcony, Berthe Morisot With a Bouquet of Violets, The Luncheon on the Grass 
Edgar Degas - The Parade, also known as Race Horses in front of the Tribunes, The Bellelli Family, The Tub, Portrait of Edouard Manet, Portraits, At the Stock Exchange 
Paul Cézanne - Apples and Oranges 
Claude Monet - The Saint-Lazare Station, The Rue Montorgueil in Paris. Celebration of June 30, 1878, Wind Effect, Series of The Poplars, Rouen Cathedral. Harmony in Blue 
Odilon Redon - Caliban 
Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre 
Jules Desbois - Destitution 
Ferdinand Hodler - Der Holzfäller (The Woodcutter) 
Gustave Caillebotte - The Floor Planers 
Edouard Detaille - The Dream 
Vincent Van Gogh - The Siesta, The Church at Auvers, View from the Chevet, The Italian Woman, Starry Night Over the Rhone, Portrait of Dr. Gachet 
Eugène Jansson - Proletarian Lodgings 
Paul Signac - Women at the Well 
Félix Vallotton - Misia at Her Dressing Table 
Georges-Pierre Seurat - The Circus 
Pierre Bonnard - The Chequered Blouse 
André Devambez - The Charge 
Paul Sérusier - The Talisman, the Aven River at the Bois d'Amour 
Maurice Denis - Portrait of the Artist Aged Eighteen, Princess Maleine's Minuet or Marthe Playing the Piano, The Green Trees or Beech Trees in Kerduel, October Night (panel for the decoration of a girl's room) 
André Derain - Charing Cross Bridge, also known as Westminster Bridge 

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