You will wonder at the gorgeous light effects the first time you enter the main level of the beautiful Musee d’Orsay in Paris, light made possible by the arched-glass barrel ceiling and roof that let in a ton of sun. You have stowed your bulky belongings in the museum’s storage (after all, you don’t want to knock over some old masterpiece with your clunky backpach), & now you are ready to have a look around the place.
The magnificent Musee d’Orsay began life as a turn-of-the-century (20th) railway station, but found itself obsolete when the modern rail cars became too long for the station platforms to accommodate. The structure was slated to be demolished but, thank goodness for us, it wasn’t, because it makes a marvelous setting in which to house artwork (painting, sculpture, furniture, photography and more) ranging from 1848-1914. It makes such a great setting, in fact, several films have been shot there, including Franz Kafka’s The Trial. The Musee d’Orsay sits regally on the arty Left Bank across the Seine from the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries (a place you might want to take in while you’re in the neighborhood).
There are masterpieces by such impressionist artists as Monet, Degas, Renoir & Cezanne, just to name four, & the galleries explode with color. Some drawings are displayed in dim light, to preserve them, & that’s a bit disappointing, but never, never let that deter you from visiting.
Because the Louvre can be so overwhelming due to its huge size, if I had only enough time to visit the Louvre or the Orsay, I think I might choose the Orsay.