Musée d’Orsay

Musée d’Orsay is an art museum in Paris, located in a beautiful Beaux-Arts building, with collections of art (primarily) from 1848-1914, including paintings, photographs, and sculptures.

Gare d’Orsay, the museum building, one of the most notable structures near Seine river, was constructed from 1898-1900, just in time for the 1900 Paris World Exposition.

The museum collections are best known for having many masterworks from French artists, especially for the period 1848-1914, including impressionism and post-impressionism masterpieces.

In fact, the Orsay museum’s impressionism and post-impressionism collections are the world’s largest.

Musee d'Orsay Paris France

PHOTO: Gare d’Orsay’s Beaux-Arts style facade. The name of the building, “Gare d’Orsay“, comes from the building’s use as a train station, the terminus for trains from Southern France, in fact, until 1939.

Orsay Museum entrance Paris France

PHOTO: View to the Orsay art museum’s main entrance. Of the artworks near the entrance area, the famous rhino statue was originally located within the Ancien Palais du Trocadéro (which was built for the 1867 Paris World Exposition). When that palace was demolished (in 1937), the rhino statue was kept in storage…until 1986 (for the opening of the Orsay museum), when it found a new home next to the Orsay museum main entrance (together with an elephant statue, also from the Ancien Palais du Trocadéro).

VIDEO: An official tour to the sights and sounds at the Orsay art museum.

The Orsay art museum collections include masterworks from many famous painters, including…

  • Monet,
  • Manet,
  • Degas,
  • Renoir,
  • Cezanne,
  • Seurat,
  • Gauguin, and
  • Van Gogh.

Before the museum building, Gare d’Orsay, was used to house art exhibitions, it was:

  • first a railway station, then
  • a hotel (for a short period), and
  • finally left empty.

The building was nationalized in 1977, and before it was re-opened as the Orsay art museum (in 1986), the premises were completely rebuilt and expanded by 20 000 m2 (215,000 sq.ft)…

….so that the building, as of today, has a total exhibition space of 57,400 m2 (617,800 sq.ft) — within 4 floors — with over 4,000 artworks on display at any one time.

Musée d’Orsay

Address: 62, rue de Lille, 75343 Paris, France
Official website:

Around 3.2 million people visit Musee d’Orsay every year, which makes it one of the top tourist attractions in France, not just in Paris.

To plan your own visit here, one of the best sources of information is the official website, at