Before I came to France, I only had the slightest idea of who Monet and Cezanne were. Probably an art connoisseur is cringing the moment he comes across this page but yes, for an average person it’s definitely not common knowledge. Looking at their paintings though makes you feel a bit nostalgic. For sure, you saw at least one of them printed in the leaves of your encyclopedia (except for youngsters of course who probably missed the joy or pain of having to rely on these heavy books for reference). Anyway, before I digress and give away my age, Musée de l’Orangerie is the place to be if you love impressionist art. Stunning collections from Monet, Cezanne, even Picasso and Renoir are concentrated in a tight space you will be suffocated with so much art, with a good kind of high. You know impressionist paintings play with light and subtle colors giving you an illusion of movement without being too abstract. That’s my attempt at being art-technical but all I want to say is that in short, the paintings show how you see the world 5 seconds before you pass out. But yes, it’s certainly exhilarating to breathe beside these art pieces. I don’t know, maybe I’m just crazy.
It used to be, you guessed it, an orangery converted to an art gallery. You still have the transparent greenhouse roofing. It’s meant to house the famous works of Claude Monet collectively called Nympheas which are impressionist renditions of his water lily pond in Giverny (also a museum you can visit not far from Paris). Two rooms with almost 360 degree views of his masterpiece put you in a state of trance. It’s a one of a kind experience. This is probably the selling point of this museum. But yes, it’s a small museum. Like really tiny by Parisian standards so normally the entrance is sold in tandem with the Orsay Museum or Giverny; however, you can opt to visit just this one. It’s nice if you could come during the first Sunday of the month from October to March like we did since it is totally free during these days. Otherwise, you have to shell out 9 euros. Not bad. If you have a knack for art, impressionist or post-impressionist, you probably know about this but for those who don’t, this could be a source of inspiration. Can’t wait to grab my paintbrush… if only I have the skill.