Musée d'Orsay, art in the Western world from 1848 to 1914
The Musée d’Orsay is renowned for being one of the most beautiful museums in the world and having one of the richest collections. Situated on the left bank of the Seine opposite the Tuileries Gardens, it has not always been a museum. Built by Victor Laloux for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, the building was initially a railway station before being transformed into a museum in 1986.
The permanent collections of this multidisciplinary museum are devoted to the art of the Western world – painting, sculpture, decorative arts, graphic arts, architecture, and photography – from 1848 to 1914; that is a total of 6,000 works of which only 3,000 are on show to the public at any one time.
Major works include: Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe by Edouard Manet, La classe de danse by Edgar Degas, Des glaneuses by Jean-François Millet, the Bal du moulin de la Galette by Auguste Renoir, the series of Cathédrales de Rouen by Claude Monet, the Cirque by Georges Seurat, Les joueurs de carte by Paul Cézanne, Les femmes de Tahiti by Paul Gauguin, Portrait de l'artiste by Vincent van Gogh ... The Museum has one of the largest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works in the world.
In addition to the permanent collections, numerous events are held throughout the year: temporary exhibitions, concerts, lectures, seminars, shows ...
‘Degas, Danse, Dessin’. A Tribute to Degas with Paul Valéry
The Musée d’Orsay is celebrating the artist Edgar Degas on the 100th anniversary of his death. The exhibition, based on texts by Paul Valéry (writer, poet and long-time friend of Degas), gives the visitor a fascinating insight into the work of this artist fond of painting dancers. Published in 1937, the essay Degas, Danse, Dessin by Paul Valery includes his personal memories of Degas and a collection of anecdotes gathered from people close to the artist. Paintings sculptures and graphic drawings resonate with the texts to offer a new approach to the two artists.
Edgar Degas was a major Impressionist figure, who differed from other painters of his time in that he preferred to depict subjects from contemporary and urban life rather than those from rural areas and natural light. He focussed his art on the world of entertainment, in particular the Paris Opera House, where he painted and sketched dancers in rehearsals and performance. During his career, the artist showed a close interest in bodies in movement. From a young age, he was passionate about the pace and agility of horses. Then women, ironers, ballerinas, or women getting washed or dressed, whose every daily gesture he illustrated with striking realism.
‘Degas, Danse, Dessin’. A Tribute to Degas with Paul Valéry is an exceptional opportunity to explore the rich artistic world of the painter through the poetry of Paul Valéry.