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Published September 30th 2016
Marvel at Monet in Paris
Within the confines of Tuilleries Jardin is the Musée de l'Orangerie, which is a famous Impressionist and Post-impressionist gallery that sits at the West end of the Gardens, a short distance from Place del la Concorde. The gallery is most famous for housing the permanent collection of Monet's Nymphéas, or Waterlillies.
Having missed the museum on my two previous visits to the city, as it was being refurbished, I was thrilled to discover it was once again open for visitors. It had, in fact, been open since 2006, but it took me another 10 years to get there. What can I say? I have other places to explore.
The Orangerie is not the most impressive building in the world, especially given its location in the centre of Paris, but what it lacks on the outside, it more than makes up for internally.
Monet's Waterlilly board
There is a dedicated gallery for Monet's fabulous Waterlillies panels, which are not at ALL the dimensions I expected. Because of this, I walked around wondering whether they were actually real or not. Turns out, they were very real, but as I had assumed they were similar in size to other Monet works I've seen, it took me a trip around the lower gallery not spotting Waterlilles to realise, by process of elimination, that the massive panels upstairs were exactly what I spent so many years longing to see.
Unfortunately, my own incorrect assumptions rather spoiled the experience for me and I had to go back a second time to try and shake it off. It didn't work.
On the lower floor, there's an exhibition of the private haul of art collector, Paul Guilliame and his wife, Dominica. The walls of their apartment must have been stunning. The entire collection is just incredible and I imagine their home and contents insurance premium was MASSIVE. Imagine the panic they felt when they arrived at work of a morning and had that nagging doubt about whether they'd forgotten to lock their front door.
Anyway, If you love classic works by Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse, Rodin, and Derain, to name a few, you'll wander happily around the lower gallery, gazing in awe at the outstanding talent on display and wishing you could take a painting home to put on your fridge. There's also a single work by Claude Monet, which perfectly complements the Waterlilly panels on the top floor.
Even More Monet..
L'Orangerie is a bright and beautiful space, and the vibrant colours and artistic talent on show within its walls means that it's impossible not to dart from one painting to the other in a slightly manic fashion. I did, anyway. Do pick your jaw up off the floor, though. No one wants you slobbering on their favourite Impressionist piece.
L'Orangerie is open all year round and is around €9 for an adult ticket. You can find a discount voucher (for €1.5 off) at numerous locations across the city.