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Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

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Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

My husband and I will be traveling to to Paris in April. We are fairly ignorant about art, but it seems like such a waste to visit Paris without visiting some of the many musems. I would like to focus on viewing some well known pieces, such as the Mona Lisa. and the Venus de Milo.

Please share your favorites and where I might find them. I'm also open to any websites you might care to share that would help me in this venture. Thank you in advance.

Bolton, United...
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1. Re: Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

Dear Chirpy.....We visited Paris at least five or six times before we even went near an art gallery,...... and then it was probably another couple of years before we got round to the Louvre.

Such an overwhelming place... The first time we visited we followed the signs to the Mona Lisa and walked through what seemed miles of corridors with Italian Rennaisance paintings. By the time we found the Mona Lisa we had had enough and left. Such a waste of time and money!

However, to see the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo , winged victory etc and the important well known works of art, I would recommend you take the pariswalks tour, Highlights of the Louvre. I found it the best way to see these things.


It costs 12 euros plus the entrance feen so you have to pre book. They buy the ticket for you so no queuing for tickets. They usually go at a quiet time and know their way around so you can see all the "must sees" and have the guide explain them to you.

The tour lasts two hours and you can stay longer if you wish. Usually two hours in an art gallery or museum is enough for my brain to take!

. I keep saying that there is so much more to Paris than art galleries and museums if this is not your priority. I appreciate that these are very interesting to some people, each to their own.....We may visit one museum/art gallery per visit if we have time, we still manage to enjoy Paris and don't feel we have missed out......So do not feel that you HAVE to see these famous pieces of art to enjoy your trip.

Personally the Musee d'art Modern de la Ville and the Carnavalet are my favourites and would be" must sees" to me..... and they are free and uncrowded.


love from England

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

If your guidebook doesn't mention the location of works like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, you need to find a new guidebook. (They're both in the Louvre). Something like the DK Eyewitness guide (there's one for France, one for Paris, and a Top 10 Paris) would be a great first stop.

visit www.louvre.fr (click on "English") for details and virtual visits to the collections.

3. Re: Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

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London, United...
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4. Re: Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

L'Orangerie showcases Monet's Water Lilies as well as a small but interesting collection in the basement. I would recommend this for someone dipping into art for the first time.

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5. Re: Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

Rather than focusing on (and trying to locate the exact hanging spot) of particular works of art, you might instead sample a few styles or periods of art by visiting 2-4 smaller museums. For instance:

Musee Marmottan, 16th arr.

- houses a number of Monets, Degas, Renoir and much more

- Impressionist and post-Impressionist period


Musee Rodin, 7th arr.

- setting is a lovely mansion with a nice garden front and extensive one in back

- primarily sculptures by Rodin, with large works installed around the back gardens - and you will certainly recognize 'the Thinker' pondering the roses


more extensive but 'doable' in a couple of hours:

Centre Pompidou

- the building itself is an architectural icon of Paris, with its 'insides out' style (and a nice overview of Paris from the upper floors)

- modern/contemporary artworks over 3 (I think) floors, spanning 1905-present

- temporary exhibits that will blow your mind (bizarre alert)


Of course there is the Louvre, and a guided tour is probably a great idea because you will be amazed at the size and scope of this museum *overload alert* . If you go on your own, you can focus on a few chosen works (locate them in the above website for the Louvre), and add the Napoleon apartments to round out your choices.

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6. Re: Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

There are numerous museums in Paris dedicated to the arts and specific artists, such a Rodin and Picasso, as well as the national "treasure houses", such as the Louvre.

Unless you know what you want to see, the Louvre can be overwhelming and you will just spend your time contending for a quick glimpse of the famous works everyone else has heard of too. Of course, any one dedicated museum may not be to your taste, either.

I would suggest a good museum to start with is the Musee D'Orsay. It now houses some of the famous paintings than were once in the Louvre, but in a smaller, more accessible space.

I like the relevance of the collection of impressionist painters to my visits to Paris. They were both influenced by, and in turn influenced, the culture, fashion and lifestyle you still see in Paris today.

Whistler's Mother is one of those iconic pieces known to every American - it's here. So is Vincent van Gogh's "Starry [Starry] Night".

Renoir's - "Dance at the Moulin de la Galette" and the infamous painting by Manet - "Dejeuner sur l'Herbe".

Have a look at the on-line collections of the Paris museums and find a story about a painting that interest you - then go and see it.

Perth, Western...
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7. Re: Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

Just note that some of the famous impressionist and post-impressionist paintings from the Musée d'Orsay collection (including "Starry Night") are currently in Australia at the National Gallery in Canberra, during rennovations at the Musée d'Orsay. They will then be going to San Francisco and Japan.


I think the impressionists are a good place to start. There's still plenty to see at the Orsay musee-orsay.fr/en/visits/visiter-le-musee-au…

And the Marmottan's collection is something most people would like.

I work in an art museum and we often have people coming in asking to see the "real art". :-) What they're looking for is classic portraits, landscapes etc. You'll find both ans more at both the above museums.

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8. Re: Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

Thank you kiwi-di for the update on Starry Night. I thought I had checked all my suggestions with the museum floor plan, which is updated every night, but must have missed that one in my haste.

New Jersey
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9. Re: Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

Don't forget that scupture is also art. If the weather is nice you can wander around the grounds of the Rodin Museum and probably spot the Thinker.


Something else not to miss is the giant statue of Charlemagne next to Notre Dame


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10. Re: Suggested, specific, artwork in Paris

I highly recommend L'Orangerie and Monet's Waterlilies. It is an art museum, of course, but seeing those paintings was so much more than just an art experience, there is nothing else like them in all the world, and the building is just perfect for them. You can stroll through Tuilerie Gardens before or after.

There is a smallish gallery of impressionists, which is a good place to get your feet wet. D'Orsay ended up being my favorite museum, the lobby alone is worth going into, being from California, I had little experience with sculpture, and sculptures in groups are amazing. After the Lobby, take the escalators to the top floor to be blown away by such things as entering a room with more Van Gogh's than you could possibly see elsewhere (even without Starry Night).

The Musée Carnavalet, which is dedicated to the history of Paris, also has a fair amount of art work, but also really great exhibits such as reconstructions of rooms of famous people, memorabilia from Marie Antoinette and family, and signage from Old Paris. It's not far from the Picasso Museum or the Pompidoux.

The Louvre is huge and intimidating, so I see why people take tours. The throne of Napoleon is interesting to see there, along with all the period furnishings in that wing, the Louvre used to be a palace and it is grand to see how it was once furnished. The Marly court, with its sculptures, is not to be missed.

The thing about Parisian art museums is that most of them are in the most amazing buildings. The Musée Cluny, for example, contains the old Roman Baths, one of the oldest sites in Paris. The Rodin Museum is in his house, which is an amazing house.

It is easy to get art overload, especially at the Louvre.

I highly recommend starting somewhere like L'Orangerie or D'Orsay. The D'Orsay is set up to teach us all about how impressionism grew and is so well curated to provide an introduction to art even for we who come from places not so rich in art.