Discover Impressionism — what started out as the most criticized school of art to become one of the most popular today — from its beginnings to its posterity, and its years of triumph in between.
The Musée d’Orsay, a former XIX century train station, a stunning construction of glass and iron, houses the most significant collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in the world.
The adventure begins with Honoré Daumier, the Barbizon school, and the Realism of Gustave Courbet (A Burial at Ornans, The Artist’s Studio, The Origin of the World), Jean-François Millet (The Gleaners, The Angelus), and Edourad Manet (Luncheon on the Grass, Berthe Morisot, Olympia, The Fifer, The Balcony), who paved the way for the Impressionist Revolution.
Then come the big names: Claude Monet (Poppy Field, The Magpie, Regattas at Argenteuil), Frédéric Bazille (Family Reunion), Auguste Renoir (Large Nude, The Bathers), Henri Fantin-Latour (By the Table), Paul Cézanne (Woman with a Coffeepot, Apples and Oranges), Gustave Caillebotte (The Floor Planers), Edgar Degas (Women Ironing, The Orchestra at the Opera, Dancers), Camille Pissarro, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec… Explore the post-impressionism with Vincent Van Gogh (including the famous Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles), Paul Gauguin, and other artists of the Post-Aven school, as well as Georges Seurat, Henri “Le Douanier” Rousseau, the Nabis and international schools of decorative arts.
Musée d’Orsay also features a wide array of magnificent sculptures, including August Clésinger’s teasingly ambiguous Woman Bitten by a Serpent, Hercules the Archer by Antoine Bourdelle, The Four Parts of the World by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Aristide Maillol’s Eve with the Apple, and Auguste Rodin’s masterpieces Balzac and The Age of Bronze.
We’ll slip into the privacy of the artists’ studios, follow them through their everyday lives, and get to the very heart of their works in order to understand what contributed to their resounding international fame and their impact on modern art. The social and economic turmoil of their era will serve as the backdrop for our exploration of artistic innovation.