Paris has many gems in respect to art, and these perfectly justify the large number of museums in the city. The collections at popular museums in the City of Lights such as the Louvre and the Orsay, have always drawn millions of tourists and art enthusiasts to Paris. In fact, you can find all sorts of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artworks in the French capital, be they sculptures, paintings, drawings, or fine arts. Below is a quick look at the must-see works of art and paintings at the Orsay museum, which is one place you should definitely include in your private Paris tours.
Masterpieces by Gustave Courbet
Gustave Courbet was a celebrated leader of the Realist movement in Paris. His paintings housed at Musée d’Orsay are amongst the most popular as well as most reproduced in the entire world. Courbet has always inspired young minds and drawn them towards different forms of art.
- A Burial at Ornans: This monumental painting by Courbet was created during the 1850’s, when the artist tried to turn over the era’s common practices in respect to historical paintings. He painted a simple, daily scene in his work rather than going for any historical or mythological event. The different characters in this painting have different destinies, but it shows how everyone has the same fate in the end.
- The Painter’s Studio: This oil painting is around 6 meters in width, and features the master himself painting a model in his studio. Experts say that the simple and commonplace scene in this painting is Courbet’s way of symbolizing the Final Judgement, where the artist is painting all of society with equal standards and no bias among the low and high class.
- The Origin of the World: This is said to be one of the best-known paintings this master artist ever created, and focuses on the genitals of a woman lying on a bed, and her abdomenal area. This painting deeply shocked the iconoclastic society of the 19th Century, and was not allowed to be exhibited before the public until the start of the 20th Century.
Masterpieces by Claude Monet
Monet is one of the most recognized names in the art genre, and even has a museum in Giverny dedicated entirely to his works. Yet again, you can find some of the most beautiful paintings by the master at Musée d’Orsay as well, which are reasons enough to schedule a visit to this place during your private Paris tours to admire the works of Claude Monet.
- Le Pont d’Argenteuil: The bridge of Argenteuil can be seen in many paintings by Monet, in seven different works to be precise. The master was kind of attached to how this bridge played with the flow of the Seine upstream, and how the reflection of the structure and its piles appeared on the water. Apparently, this particular artwork is focused on the architectured elements of the bridge.
- La Rue Montorgueil: This painting was created by the artist for a national holiday during the end of the World Exposition in Paris. Incidentally, this work by Monet was inspired by how differently colored flags float in the wind. Although this is not as popular as the other paintings by the master, its bright colors and composition wholly testify to the enticing creativity of Monet.
- Gare Saint-Lazare: Claude Monet depicted this 19th Century railroad in twelve of his paintings, which stood for the idea of technological development and freedom. The train made it easier for painters and sculptors to travel from one place to another and explore different ideas. This inspired Monet greatly, which can be seen in his work displayed at the Orsay museum.
Masterpieces by Auguste Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir is renowned for the expansion and reach of his Impressionist style artworks. He mainly focused on the beauty and sensuality of women, and was even called “the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau”. Many of his celebrated works are at display at the Orsay museum, which you can explore during your private Paris tours.
- The Bathers: This painting is said to have been created right after the end of World War I, and features Renoir’s favorite theme – outdoor nudes. Experts say that the artist was deeply inspired by the works of art by Rubens and Titian, which moved him towards this particular theme.
- Bal du Moulin de la Galette: This painting by the artist features a daily life scene, depicting a large number of people gathered at the Moulin de la Galette in Montmartre. The afternoon commonplace scene was created in 1876, which later went on to become one of the most expensive paintings in the world to be sold at auction.
- Girls at the Piano: This iconic painting is tagged as one of the most beautiful paintings to be ever created by the artist. In fact, this “pearly” period artwork is what brought Auguste Renoir to the limelight. The oil-on-canvas painting was originally meant for the Musée du Luxembourg, but is now at display at Musée d’Orsay.