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    Orsay Museum Guided Tour
    with Private Licensed Guide Lecturer

    Book an Orsay Museum Guided Tour to explore art evolution from academism, romanticism or realism to impressionism. Figure out how and why the impressionist art revolution happened in Paris in the second half of the 19th century. Discover main master pieces of Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Berthe Morisot or Mary Cassatt. Understand impressionism key factors of success in Paris and the USA. Identify posterior art transformation with Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Vincent Van Gogh, or Paul Gauguin. Orsay is big, so your licensed guide lecturer will help you to make the most of your visit in the Musée d’Orsay, the most beloved one in Paris.

    Photo of the main hall of the Orsay Museum, to illustrate a Musée d'Orsay Guided Tour in Paris, France.
    Orsay Museum Guided tour by licensed guide.  View of the main hall of the Orsay Museum. This large open space illuminated by the natural light from the huge barrel vault glass roof is dedicated to sculptures meanwhile paintings are installed in lateral rooms where they protect from direct bright light.  

    Affordable private VIP Orsay Museum guided tour 

    Musée d’Orsay Guided Tour Essentials

    • Licensed guide lecturer
    • Tour centered around Impressionism
    • Tickets included
    • Skype-the-line-access
    • Tour lasts around 2 hours
    • Special family offer
    • A group of maximum 6 people exclusively yours

    Why Visit the Orsay Museum ?

    The  Musée d’Orsay is one of the most famous in Paris. It opened in 1986 to house modern art from 1848 to 1914, a great period for French Art. Orsay collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces is the largest in the world! The museum is also famous for its impressive collection of sculptures by artists as famous as Rodin, Claudel, Bourdelle, Bartholdi, Daumier, Degas, etc. 

    Photo of an oil Painting by Claude Monet "Coquelicots" to illustrate an Orsay Museum Guided Tour in Paris, France.
    « Coquelicot, la promenade » (Poppies) by Claude Monet. This painting was presented like Impression, Sunrise in French « Impression, soleil levant«  at  the first impressionist exhibit organized in 1874 in the photographer Nadar former studio. The canvas brings together impressionist principles: outdoor painting, luminous juxtaposition of short brushstrokes of unmixed colors and sketched details.

    Why a Guided Tour of the Orsay Museum ?

    Firstly, as your guide holds of the Guide-Conférencier card (highest level France guiding certification), he can use a specific entrance to avoid the long waiting of the normal queue ; you will be able to do so too, as we provide you skip-the-line-tickets.

    Secondly, Orsay is big and though you will find it smaller than Le Louvre, It is one of the largest museums in Europe. Your tour guide will be there to optimize your stroll in this vast museum which presents its collection across numerous floors.

    Taking an Orsay Museum guided tour with us is definitely the right solution to make the most of your visit there.

    Orsay Museum Guided Tour Content

    In terms of content our Orsay tour is designed to give you a solid understanding and overview of the French painting of the 1848-1914 period. Nevertheless this is before all an impressionism guided tour, organized chronologically around the core theme in three parts:

    Before Impressionism

    Starting by the begining with the « Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture » heirs, « les Salons », with Jean-Auguste Domique Ingres Neoclassism, Alexandre Cabanel or Jean-Léon Gérôme Academism.

    And then continuing with impressionism precursors as the romantismled by Eugène Delacroix, the Realism of Gustave Courbet, the Barbizon school ( Jean-François Millet, etc.), Eugène Boudin, Johan Barthold Jongkind, early Édouard Manet.


    Claude Monet,Frédéric Bazille, strong>Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissaro, Édgard Degas, Gustave Caillebotte, etc.

    Neo-Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

    Georges SeuratPaul Signac, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Odilon Redon, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, etc.

    More About the Orsay Guided Tour ?

    Things are not so simple in arts !

    A simple three parts classification makes things more understandable, but artists often do not conform with it. Neoclassical Ingres, for instance is also a precursor of modern artswith his naked figures expressive distortions. Or Gustave Caillebotte: impressionists patron, impressionist himself whommost famous painting « Les raboteurs de parquet » (The Floor Scrapers) is outstandingly realistic.

    Our Orsay tour enlighten this  kind of questions and try to answer simple interesting maters as: were Degas or Manet impressionist?

    The key role of an Impressionism patrons 

    we will also see that forward-thinking art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel had a major influence on the Impressionist Art development as he established impressionism popularity in the USA and bought 1500 Renoir, more than 1000 Monet, 800 Pissarro, etc. during is career.

    Numerous Influences

    Changes bringed by Industralisation with its technical inovation and its human misery had a great influence on the impressionist movement.
    Japonism, the Influence of Japanese arts, is noticeable on the works of many artists, as for example Vincent Van Gogh in « Bedroom in Arles ».
    Socially, all these painters were linked together, sometimes surprisingly as avant-garde Édouard Manet and academic Ernest Meissonier or Thomas Couture. World of  literacy was also linked with this art revolution via novelist Emile Zola or poet Charles Baudelaire.


    You will also discover that some iconic painters of the period were women as Rosa Bonheur with her artistic Realism or Berthe Morisot and the American Mary Cassat, both actively participated in the impressionist revolution.

    Understand the evolution in the use of colors

    During late 17th century Pousinists and Rubinist at the French Royal Academy of  Painting and Sculpture were discusing what was more important between drawing and color. In the 19th century the debate toke a new dimension with « the Theory of Colors » (Goethe, 1810) and « The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors » ( Chevreul 1839). Till Jean-Auguste Domique Ingres was a drawing defender, Eugène Delacroix was aware of these color discoveries later deeply used by Impressionists and Post-Impressionists like in: 

    • Poppies by Claude Monet: contrast of complementary colors
    • The Circus by Georges Seurat: Divisionism and Pointilism
    • The Talisman by Paul Sérusier under Paul Gauguin close supervision: Cloisonism and the triumph of color.  
    Photo of the Musée d'Orsay facade along the river Seine to illustrate an Orsay Museum Guided Tour in Paris, France.
    Twilight view of the Orsay Museum along the Seine River. The « musée d’Orsay » is a former train station built for the « Paris, Exposition universelle de 1900″. It was built by architect Victor Laloux in the typical iron framing of the time to maximize interior spaces and fenestration . Nevertheless the façade is made of stone and the names of the cities served by the trains like Orléans, Limoges or Toulouse are still engraved on it.

    Some Masterpieces of our Orsay Guided Tour

    Olympia by Manet or his no less famous Luncheon on the Grass,  in French « Déjeuner sur l’herbe » as the one by Monet are masterpieces planned in the tour.
    The Orsay Museum owns a collection of nearly 80 Claude Monet paintings so we will show you more than one with :

    • The Saint-Lazare Station, depicting the modern life.
    • Rouen cathedral series, light study.
    • Blue Water Lilies, on the way to abstract arts. 

    Our Orsay tour route will also cross the Card Players by Cézanne, an adapted motif from Le Nain brothers  17th-century genre painting. The Orsay version is the most famous one in a series of five, one of then have been sold around $250 million in 2011.

    The hanged Man’s House, Auvers-sur Oise, is an early impressionist painting presented in the 1874, first impressionist exhibit which already shows the importance of volume for Cézanne. An aspect of  his work which inspired Picasso and Braque in the early 20th century in a new art evolution called cubism.

    Auvers-sur-Oise is also famous as Van Gogh last place of residence where he painted 78 works in 70 days. The Church in Auvers-sur Oise differs from the impressionist canvases, it does not give the impression of a church but Van Gogh expression of a church. An anticipation of expressionism and fauvism

    Photo of the oil painting la nuit étoilée 1888 by Vincent Van Gogh, to illustrated an Orsay Museum Guided Tour in Paris, France.
    If the famous Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh is in the collection of New York Museum of Modern Art, « Nuit étoilée sur le Rhône « or in English Starry Night Over the Rhône, Painted in Arles in 1890, is in the Orsay Museum. The canvas depicts the reflections of the gas lighting, an expression of 19th-century innovation, across the dark blue water of the river. 

    Orsay Tour Historical Context

    • Second French Empire (Napoléon III)
    • Franco-Prussian War (July 1870-January 1871) 
    • French Third Republic (Belle Époque)
    • Industrial Revolution
    • European Imperialism

    Painting Styles Broached in the Tour

    • Academism (the art of following rules and conventions)
    • Romanticism (medievalism, imagination and emotion)
    • Orientalism (inspired by Egypt and Algeria expeditions) 
    • Realism (an expression of 19th-century society)
    • Impressionism (our Orsay guided tour central subject!) 
    • Neo-Impressism (pointillism, chromoluminarism, etc.)

    Know More About the Orsay Museum

    The Musée d’Orsay is located along the River Seine, in a fabulous looking 19th-century building, the former Paris-Orléans railway company train station.

    Transformed  by Italian architect Gae Aulenty, the building was inaugurated as Musée d’Orsay by French President François Mitterrand in December 1986.  

    Orsay is close to the Louvre, on the other bank of the Seine River and can easily be reached from the Tuillerie Gardens,using a walking bridge arriving just in front of the Orsay Museum entry.

    Last, if you like the Napoleonic period the Musée de la Légion d’honneur is just in front of the Orsay entrance parvis.

    Photo of an inside view of Musée d'Orsay Great Clock to illustrate an Orsay Museum Guided tour, Paris, France.
    View of the Seine River from Orsay Museum eastern big clock at « Pavillon Amont » 5th floor. From there, just before the impressionists gallery you will enjoy a great view of Paris with Le Louvre or the Sacré-Coeur Basilica on the top of Montmartre.  Montmartre, the place of  famous canvas « le Moulin de la Galette » by Renoir. The other clock is right after the impressionnist rooms at Café Campana. 

    Orsay Guided Tour booking INFORMATION 

    Your private licensed guide in Paris

    • State-graduate licensed guide lecturer.
    • Bachelor with honors in Heritage Developpement & Preservation from the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers
    • Postgraduate from Paris-Dauphine University.  

    Orsay-Tour Highlights

    • Really private 2-hour tour, we don’t add people to your group.
    • Get an overview of the French painting from 1850 to 1914
    • Understand the impressionist revolution in art
    • Go straight to the main and most relevant works of art 
    • Discover Masterpieces by Manet, Courbet, Monet, Van Gogh, etc.
    • The opportunity to ask your dedicated guide any related questions

    Meeting point

    In front of the Orsay Museum at the rhino statue, rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris. 

    Access: Métro Line 12 station SolférinoRER C station Musée d’Orsay.

    On foot: A pleasant stroll crossing the Seine River from Tuillerie Garden and Le Louvre.

    Orsay-Tour Attention Points

    • Tour is on foot.
    • Prices do not include transportation, food, drinks or any other extra services.
    • Tour duration and content are indicative. Visit may vary due to  contingencies.
    • Private tour means we don’t add people to your group, not that Orsay is privatized.
    • Skip-the-line access means access to a privileged entry, a line (normally shorter) can also exist there, security controls remain mandatory.
    • Cloakroom: no privilege, so do not bring big bags to avoid  to queue there. 
    • Ideal tour time: thursday evening as Orsay less crowded remains open until 9:45 p.m.
    Choose below your tour You will then be  asked : -> choose number of people, date & hour of visit -> after our validation-> pay on line.

    Choose below your tour

    You will then be  asked : 

    • choose number of people, date & hour of visit
    • after our validation
    • pay on line

    Any questions? Write at

    Photo of a room in which are presented sculptures in the Musée d'Orsay to illustrate an Orsay Museum Guided Tour in Paris, France.

    Orsay Museum Guided Tour by licensed guide lecturer. Sculptures at Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France

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    • Open public  walking tour
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    • Large group (till 25) tour
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    • Professionals, corporates, B2B 

    You like art? French fine arts museum are not only in Paris! Visit the Orléans Museum of Fine Arts,

    one of the most important outside of Paris ! A must in Orléans the entrance door of the Loire Valley at only +/- one hour by train from Paris!
    We offer very affordable private tours of the Orléans Museum of Fine Arts!

    Logo of FNGIC : French National Federation of Guide Interpreters and Speakers to ilustrate the quality of the Orsay Museum Guided Tour

    Your licensed guide in Paris is the holder of card n° CG 17-45-05, he is a member of FNGIC which is a member of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations.