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Musée d'Orsay
Private Tour

Musée d'Orsay private guided tour

The Musée d'Orsay holds the largest collection of Impressionist paintings in the world. Detail of the Bal du Moulin de la Galette by Renoir.

......a colorful journey strolling with Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin during a Musée d'Orsay private tour.

Impressionism was born in Paris in 1874, and the musée d'Orsay is home to the world's biggest Impressionist art collection. For the 150th anniversary of the birth of Impressionism, discover why scenes where people daydream on Sunday afternoons received so much scorn and loathing.

Private Tour Of The Paris 1874 Birth of Impressionism Musée d'Orsay exhibition

Private Tour Of The 'Paris 1874 Inventing Impressionism' Musée d'Orsay exhibition

Caricatures of the Impressionist exhibitions. For the 150th anniversary of the birth of Impressionism, discover why people laughed or got angry at the Impressionists.

The invention of photography and the paint tube in the 1840s ​called for a response from painters. But thirty years later the French Academy of the Arts still fought tooth and nail against depictions of the modern world... Organizing the official Salon exhibition, the sole venue for painters to display their work, the Academy alone decided what art was.

In 1874, after years of futile attempts to get their paintings accepted at the Salon, young artists decided to fund their own show in a photographer's studio. A journalist visited and called it 'the Impressionist exhibition'. Not as a compliment, as he described Impressionism as an affront to artistic decency, and that wallpaper was better painted.

Others followed and called Impressionist paintings daubs splattered by monkeys playing with colors or as a war against beauty... The artists hoped to sell their works, but the exhibition ended up being a financial disaster. Trying to sell at auction also failed, when police had to be called to calm the public who argued and laughed during the sale.

It is hard, 150 years later, to understand why idyllic scenes of leisure provoked so much anger and contempt. With a private guided tour of the 1874 Impressionism exhibition at the Musée d'Orsay, you will discover how Monet, Renoir, and their friends quietly brought about an artistic revolution.

A colorful journey with Van Gogh and Gauguin

Van Gogh Musée d'Orsay Impressionism private tour

"Even though I'm often in a mess, inside me there's still a calm, pure harmony and music". Detail of Van Gogh's self-portrait.

Van Gogh and Gauguin's daring use of color was also met with incomprehension and ridicule. The myth that Van Gogh's art resulted from madness and that he never exhibited will be debunked, resulting in a renewed admiration for Vincent's ambition and talent. ​An art journey private tour of the musée d'Orsay will not only help you understand how revolutionary Impressionism was, but learn to recognize each artist's individual style.

This colorful journey would be a conversation, where we will hear Monet telling us “everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love”. Renoir “the only way to understand painting is to go and look at it”. Van Gogh “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day”. Gauguin “Color! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams”.

And be stunned at Cézanne with “the sun is so terrific here that is seems to me as if the objects were silhouetted not only in black and white, but in blue, red, brown and violet”.

Musée d'Orsay Impressionism private tour

A private guided visit of the Musée d'Orsay, led by an officially licensed art historian guide.

1 to 2 people - 380 €

3 people - 450 €

4 people - 600 €

5 people - 650 €

Family (two adults, up to 3 children) - 380 €

The fee includes Musée d'Orsay entrance tickets with a time slot reservation.
For an additional 40 euros, it is possible to get a Skip the line reservation.

To inquire about a private guided tour of the Musée d'Orsay and the Paris 1874 Inventing impressionism exhibition with an officially certified guide, do not hesitate to contact us for availability.


To inquire about a private tour of the d'Orsay museum, please mention the date of the visit as well as the number of participants, using the form below, thank you.

Practical Information About An Impressionism Private Visit At The Musée d'Orsay

From Manet to Monet and Renoir; Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh and Gauguin, the Musée d'Orsay holds the world's largest collection of Impressionist masterpieces. The Musée d'Orsay opens every day except Mondays, from 9.30 am to 6 pm, and opens at night on Thursdays, till 9.30 pm.

If you want to walk in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh, do not hesitate to ask about visiting Auvers-sur-Oise, the village where Van Gogh spent the last two months of his life.
To wonder at Monet, we can discover both Giverny gardens, and the Orangerie water lilies rooms by Monet to a Musée d'Orsay private tour. A visit of the d'Orsay museum can be combined with a visit of the nearby Musée Rodin.
Both the Musée d'Orsay and the nearby Louvre can be enjoyed during an evening private visit, so with an after hours private evening tour of the Louvre, we can travel five millennia, from Antiquity until Impressionism.

Impressionism at d'Orsay museum private visit

The Musée d'Orsay. Photo © Art Journey Paris.

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