Time to Leave Your Louvre? 10 Other Art Museums in Paris
The Louvre may be the most iconic French collection of art and culture, but there are plenty of other excellent art museums in Paris.
This French capital is known for its famous artists and rich history. So it makes sense that so many of its museums work hard to preserve both the history and culture of Paris. Even contemporary art has its place among these extraordinary collections.
1. Musée d’Orsay
The Musée d’Orsay is one of the most significant art museums in Paris and, ultimately, one of the largest in Europe. Located on the left bank of the Seine River, this museum is actually an old, converted train station.
You will find mainly French art here, from the impressionist and post-impressionist era of 1848 to 1914. You can enjoy masterpieces by great artists like Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat, and Vincent van Gogh.
Visitors can also expect to see sculptures, drawings, decorative art pieces, and more.
This museum is worth visiting for both the art contained within as well as the building’s unique and beautiful architecture. It is open every day except Monday, so plan your visit accordingly.
2. Centre Pompidou
The Centre Pompidou is another one of the best art museums in Paris. Admired for its unique high-tech architecture, it is also home to the National Museum of Modern Art. This is the largest modern art museum in all of Europe.
This massive building contains more than 65,000 pieces, including everything from Surrealist to Pop Art. Here, you will also find a 245-piece collection of Henri Matisse’s works.
Make sure to check the museum’s calendar, as it often hosts live shows where you can experience art on stage.
While you are there, be sure to check out the Public Information Library and the IRCAM, a center for music and acoustic research. You can find these in the Centre Pompidou as well.
Guests can visit the museum any day but Tuesday. While you’re there, take the time to travel to the sixth floor and enjoy a gorgeous panoramic view of Paris.
3. Musée de l’Orangerie
If you are craving more examples of impressionist and post-impressionist art museums in Paris, the Musée de l’Orangerie is the next logical choice.
Located in the west corner of Paris’ Tuileries Gardens, this art museum first served as a storehouse for the garden’s citrus trees in winter. Hence, how it received its name.
Now, this museum is most famous for housing Claude Monet’s world-famous “Water Lilies” murals in two oval rooms. These were designed specifically by Monet for exhibiting the “Water Lilies” pieces.
You will also find works by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and many more.
You may visit every day except Tuesday, when the museum is closed to the public. The Musée de l’Orangerie also offers guided tours on Monday and Saturday for those who are interested in a deeper dive into the Parisian art world.
4. Musée Rodin
The Musée Rodin is the home of Auguste Rodin’s entire collection of art, which he donated to the French people in 1908. The museum has a rich history, as it was once Rodin’s workshop, and he wished it to become a museum dedicated to his work.
Inside you will find more than 6,000 sculptures, 8,000 drawings, and 7,000 other works of art.
Expect to see Rodin’s famous works such as The Thinker, The Kiss, and The Gates of Hell. You will also see works by Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, many of which were part of Rodin’s personal collection.
There is also a room dedicated to the work of Camille Claudel, Rodin’s student, model, collaborator, and ultimately, his lover.
The Musée Rodin is open every day but Monday. Additionally, be sure to walk the beautiful rose gardens full of famous sculptures surrounding the museum.
5. Petit Palais
Located on the Champs-Élysées, the Petit Palais is a work of art in and of itself. This building is a beautiful blend of art and history. It boasts impressive architectural design, and the fine art and sculptures within make up one of the most beautiful collections in France.
The museum displays paintings and sculptures from artists like Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Paul Cézanne, Auguste Rodin, and dozens more.
In addition, those looking for classical pieces from ancient Greece and Rome will be delighted to see the Petit Palais’ small but impressive collection.
Visit this museum any day except Monday, when it is closed. For travelers on a budget, remember that you can enjoy free admission during your time at the Petit Palais.
6. Musée de Cluny
The Musée de Cluny is a museum displaying both the art and daily culture of the Middle Ages. The building is a 15th-century abbey, the perfect backdrop for viewing Medieval art and culture. You certainly won’t want to miss this collection while visiting the art museums of Paris.
Be sure to see “The Lady and the Unicorn,” a gorgeous 15th-century tapestry. This museum also boasts a collection of Coptic art, as well as an excellent selection of Byzantine work. Also, the Musée de Cluny contains remnants of Gallo-Roman baths from the third century.
This museum is open every day except Tuesday. Complete your full immersion into Medieval culture by strolling through the medicinal gardens on the museum grounds.
7. Musée du Quai Branly
Those visiting the art museums of Paris are often searching for Western-inspired art. However, you shouldn’t miss the wonderful collection of non-European art and culture at the Musée du Quai Branly.
This museum sits on the banks of the Seine and houses a vast collection of art from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. You can also see a variety of shows, festivals, and events embracing the non-European culture of both the past and present.
Though this museum is the newest of the major art museums in Paris, it is still awe-inspiring. At any given time, you can feast your eyes on 3,500 articles from their rotating collection of more than a million objects.
Enjoy everything from Ethiopian frescos to Vietnamese costumes to Aztec statues in this cultural treasure of a museum. Keep in mind, though, that the Musée du Quai Branly closes every Monday.
8. Musée Marmottan Monet
Of all the art museums in Paris, the Musée Marmottan Monet is truly a hidden gem of impressionist art. Thanks to the gift of Monet’s son, Michel, you can find the most extensive collection of Claude Monet’s works right here.
However, the Monet collection is only the beginning. Visit this converted hunting lodge to see Paul Marmottan’s extensive collection of Napoleonic-era art and furniture.
You can also view the work of Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Alfred Sisley, Paul Gauguin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and more.
The Musée Marmottan Monet is open Tuesday through Sunday each week. Take the metro to La Muette, and you certainly won’t be disappointed.
9. Musée D’Art Moderne
The exhibitions feature both European and international art of the 20th century, as well as trends from today’s art. The permanent collections in this museum include artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Pierre Joseph, Wang Du, and dozens of others.
Musee D’Art Moderne runs temporary exhibits every six weeks to showcase contemporary artists. Check out the archives of past exhibits to see what has passed through the museum’s doors recently.
Any day but Monday, you can visit the unique Palais de Tokyo and enjoy the remarkable view of the Eiffel Tower while checking out the Paris’ best in contemporary art.
10. Musée Jacquemart-André
As far as private art museums in Paris go, the Musée Jacquemart-André is hard to beat. The museum features a personal collection of art gathered by Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart during their lives.
Highlights of this collection include works by French painters such as Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Marc Nattier, and Élizabeth Vigée-Lebrun. Nélie Jacquemart also accumulated a vast selection of Italian works from artists such as Luca Signorelli, Pietro Perugino, and Sandro Botticelli.
The private home of Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart is itself a work of art. Take the time to tour the staterooms, informal salons, winter garden, and sculpture gallery to transport yourself back in time.
You can enjoy the decadence and glory of the Musée Jacquemart-André any day of the week.
Look Beyond the Louvre for Art Museums in Paris
Exploring art museums in Paris goes far beyond the beauty of the Louvre. Instead, see all that Paris has to offer in the world of fine art and culture and take your travel to another level with a tour of these 10 incredible museums.
No matter your interests in the world of art, the museums of Paris have something that everyone will enjoy. These collections embrace every facet of art, whether you want to explore impressionist art or take in all the best of the modern art world.
Taking a trip to Paris and hoping to visit one of these art museums soon? Have any extra collections in Paris you think deserve an honorable mention? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
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- Time to Leave Your Louvre? 10 Other Art Museums in Paris - September 18, 2019