Orangerie Museum | Learn all about the finest art museum in Paris

Located on the west corner of Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, Musee de L’Orangerie was built in 1852 to shelter the acidic citrus fruits during the chilly winters. Today, it houses some of the most famous Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, i...

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Founded On


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Camille Lefèvre, Claude Monet, Napoleon III

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2 hours





Did you know?

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a dear friend of Monet, gifted one of his paintings, "Bathers with a Crab," to the French state on the condition that it be displayed at Musée de l'Orangerie. The painting is now part of the museum's collection.

The Water Lilies series at Musée de l'Orangerie was a lifelong project for Monet, and he worked on it for over 30 years until he died in 1926.

Before becoming a museum, the Orangerie hosted the Salon des Tuileries, an annual art exhibition that showcased contemporary French art. Only at the beginning of the 20th century was the Orangerie turned into an art gallery museum.

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What to see at the Orangerie Museum?



The Orangerie Museum is famous for its exceptional collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, prominently featuring Claude Monet's Water Lilies series. These monumental works, displayed in specially designed oval rooms, mesmerize everyone with their ethereal depiction of light and nature. Additionally, the museum houses works by artists such as Cézanne, Picasso, and Matisse, offering a comprehensive journey through the evolution of modern art.



While primarily celebrated for its exquisite collection of paintings, the museum also houses a notable selection of sculptures. You can admire works by Auguste Rodin, such as "The Kiss" and "The Thinker," alongside statues by other renowned artists of the period. These sculptures complement the museum's impressive array of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, offering a multifaceted exploration of artistic expression.

Decorative Arts

Decorative Arts

The Orangerie Museum in Paris features a captivating display of decorative arts, notably renowned for its exquisite porcelain works. You can marvel at intricately crafted pieces from various periods and regions, ranging from intricate vases to meticulously crafted tableware, showcasing the mastery of porcelain craftsmanship. These pieces give a unique insight into past eras' cultural and artistic heritage, enriching the museum's diverse collection.

Highlights at Orangerie Museum

The Water Lilies

The Water Lilies

The museum's crown jewel, Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" series, is displayed in specially designed oval rooms, immersing the spectators in an enchanting world of color, light, and reflection. Monet's masterful depiction of his beloved Giverny pond remains an enduring testament to the artist's genius and the essence of Impressionism.

orangerie museum - Boudoir painting


Henri Matisse's "Boudoir" exemplifies the expressionist genre of painting. This captivating scene depicts a woman in a boudoir, showcasing Matisse's exploration of light and form in his later period. Bold colors and simplified forms define this artwork, revealing the artist's profound mastery of the human form and spatial dynamics.

Orangerie Museum

Portrait de Paul Guillaume

André Derain's "Portrait de Paul Guillaume" masterfully captures the essence of the French art dealer. Cool tones lend a sense of detachment, while the three-quarter pose exudes refinement and grace. This compelling portrayal showcases Derain's talent in human form, marking a poignant work from his later period.

Orangerie Museum

Woman with Tambourine

Pablo Picasso's "Woman with Tambourine," an etching and aquatint piece from 1939, presents a striking depiction of a nude woman holding a tambourine. Bold colors underscore Picasso's adeptness in Cubist light and form. This artwork, inspired by his muse Dora Maar, is a significant addition to Picasso's late 1930s, capturing the essence of his artistic growth.

Orangerie Museum

Great Cathedral

Maurice Utrillo's "Great Cathedral" presents a nuanced portrayal of the 13th-century Sainte-Croix Cathedral of Orléans. The artist's innovative technique blends glue, plaster, and cement, creating an unusual white texture with hints of gray and brown. This unfinished masterpiece showcases Utrillo's meticulous approach, revealing the preparatory layer and his precise use of rulers and compasses.

Orangerie Museum

Bather with Long Hair

"Bather with Long Hair" by Auguste Renoir depicts a graceful figure emerging from water, her bust adorned with a delicate white drape. The flowing golden hair mirrors the gentle movement of background foliage, imbuing the scene with timeless vibrancy. Renoir's mastery of soft, rounded features harmoniously captures a portrait of captivating, undulating beauty.

History of the Orangerie Museum

  • 1852: Construction of Orangerie Museum, designed by architect Firmin Bourgeois, begins in Tuileries gardens.
  • Early 1920s: Orangerie ceases use as greenhouse, slated for transformation into art gallery by French government.
  • 1922: Decision made to convert Orangerie into gallery for living artists; renovation initiated by architect Camille Lefevre.
  • 1927, May 17: Orangerie reopens as Musee Claude Monet, featuring Monet's Water Lilies; renamed Musee National de l’Orangerie des Tuileries.
  • Post-World War II: Museum undergoes renovation, focusing on French modern art from late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Who built the Orangerie Museum?

about Orangerie Museum

The Orangerie Museum is a neoclassical-style building that was originally built in 1852 by architect Firmin Bourgeois and decorated by artist Louis Visconti. It was originally built as a winter shelter for the orange trees for the Tuileries Gardens. Eventually, the space was used as a venue for banquets, exhibitions, concerts, and shows.

Architecture of the Orangerie Museum

Built by the famous architect Firmin Bourgeois, Orangerie Museum was built out of the glass on the south of the Seine in order to allow light to fall to the trees. The other side of the structure has no windows either to protect the citrus trees during winters.

Louis Visconti, who is known for his renovations of the Louvre, decorated the main entrance on the west and east side of the building. On keen observation, you can observe the columns at the door are triangular pediments that were sculpted by Charles Gallois Poignant. The top of the columns displays cornucopias, plants, and ears of corn that lay emphasis on the building’s agricultural function.

Frequently asked questions about the Orangerie Museum

What is the Orangerie Museum?

Orangerie Museum is a famous art gallery of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in Paris.

Where is Orangerie Museum?

Orangerie Museum is situated in the west corner of the Tuileries Gardens right next to the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

What is the Orangerie Museum famous for?

The Orangerie Museum is a famous art museum in Paris. It is well-known for its collection of late 19th and early 20th century paintings, a highlight being the monumental Water Lilies cycle by Claude Monet.

How much is a ticket to visit the Orangerie Museum?

Your Orangerie Museum tickets start from €12.50.

Who built the Orangerie Museum?

Architect Firmin Bourgeois built the Orangerie Museum. In 1852, Napoleon III built the Orangerie to store the citrus trees of the Tuileries Gardens from the cold.

When did the Orangerie Museum open?

The Orangerie Museum was established in the year 1852.

What’s inside the Orangerie Museum?

On your visit to Orangerie Museum, you can see the famous Water Lilies by Claude Monet, access permanent and temporary exhibitions, check out Tutelary figures, and more.

What are the Orangerie Museum opening hours?

The Orangerie Museum is open every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM. It is closed on Tuesdays, 1 May, 25 December, and the morning of 14 July.

What famous artworks are inside the Orangerie Museum?

There are about 156 paintings on permanent display that have been conceived between the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century, like the Water Lilies by Claude Monet and the collection of Domenica Walter.

Why is the Orangerie Museum important?

The Orangerie Museum is important as it houses the eight large Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet and also portrays works by Paul Cezanne, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, and more.