Musée d’Orsay Paintings

By Abhishek Kumar

The Musée d’Orsay paintings in Paris are some of the world’s most beloved paintings. 

With works from renowned artists such as Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh, the museum is an absolute must-see for art enthusiasts. 

From rich portraits to stunning landscapes, the museum’s collection of paintings offers something to admire for all visitors. 

Whether you are an experienced art lover or just beginning to explore the art world, the Musée d’Orsay paintings captivate your imagination.

Paintings by Van Gogh 

While there are a lot of Musée d’Orsay paintings you must see, but one thing you cannot miss out on? The Van Goghs.

Van Gogh is one of the most beloved and celebrated artists. 

His vivid and passionate paintings have captivated audiences for centuries. 

His works, which range from landscapes to still lifes to portraits, have been praised for their vibrant colors and bold imagery. 

Van Gogh’s use of brushstrokes and vibrant hues are unlike any other artist before him. 

His works have become icons of modern art and an inspiration to many.

Some of Van Gogh’s most famous works include:

Self-portrait

Vincent Van Gogh is considered one of the most influential painters of the Post-Impressionism movement. 

His self-portrait is a representation of his inner turmoil and his artistic genius. 

Painted in 1889, this self-portrait is a stunning expression of his unique style and vision. 

The painting is composed with a strong sense of color, with warm oranges and yellows dominating the canvas. 

Van Gogh’s characteristic brushstrokes are evident in the painting, giving it an almost abstract feel. He captures his likeness through the intense gaze of his eyes. 

The heavy, dark eyebrows and beard enhance his expression conveying a sense of loneliness and introspection.

The painting also reflects Van Gogh’s mental state at the time. 

He was struggling with depression and feelings of isolation and this self-portrait captures these emotions perfectly. 

He expressed his inner thoughts and feelings through the painting, creating a powerful piece of art.

The Starry Night 

The Starry Night is one of the Musée d’Orsay paintings done by the infamous articles Van Gogh.

The painting is full of dynamic energy and motion. 

Van Gogh used thick, swirling brushstrokes to depict the night sky and created a sense of depth by showing the stars and village in the foreground. 

The bright blues, yellows and greens that fill the canvas create a vibrant atmosphere. 

Many people have interpreted the painting as a symbol of human creativity.

Some see it as a representation of nature’s beauty, while others see it as an expression of inner turmoil.

Roses and Anemones

One of the Van Gogh paintings in Musée d’Orsay is called Roses and Anemones.

The painting is unique in its use of vibrant colors and its inclusion of various flowers. 

A warm, inviting feeling radiates from the painting and celebrates life and beauty.

The variety of colors gives the painting a sense of depth and movement.

Van Gogh was a master of color and his use in this painting is a testament to that.

In the Garden of Doctor Paul Gachet 

Vincent Van Gogh’s painting “In the Garden of Doctor Paul Gachet” is a masterful, intimate portrait of the doctor who treated Van Gogh for his mental illness.

The painting is a remarkable example of Van Gogh’s vibrant post-Impressionist style and is widely considered one of his greatest works. 

Van Gogh created the painting in 1890, during the final weeks of his life. 

He depicted the garden of Dr. Gachet’s home in the center of the picture, with the doctor sitting in it.

His expression is pensive and melancholy and the bright yellow flowers in the foreground of the painting suggest the fragility of life. 

The Meridian 

Another one of the Van Gogh paintings in Musée d’Orsay is called The Meridian.

Van Gogh copied Millet’s drawing for Four Moments in the Day for his painting of a siesta while in a mental asylum. 

He created a unique interpretation of rural France in the 1860s by using contrasting complementary colors.

Cows in a meadow

Vincent Van Gogh’s painting Cows in a Meadow is a pastoral landscape depicting a herd of grazing cows in a lush meadow beneath a stunning sky. 

It is a reminder of the countryside’s peaceful tranquility and the natural world’s beauty.

Other best paintings in Musée d’Orsay 

In addition to the iconic works of art by renowned artists such as Monet and Van Gogh, the Musée d’Orsay also features masterpieces by other artists.

Some of these Musée d’Orsay paintings have been a historic addition to the museum and attract millions of visitors every year.

Some of the best paintings in Musée d’Orsay have been listed below. 

Dinner at the Ball 

Dinner at the Ball
Image: Wikipedia.org

Dinner at the Ball (1876) by Edgar Degas is a painting that captures the elegance and sophistication of a 19th-century French ballroom. 

Set amidst a grand banquet, the painting features a lively crowd of people dressed in extravagant gowns and suits, all gathered around an elegant dinner table.

This work exemplifies Degas’ skillful use of color and light to create a striking and dynamic image.

Olympia 

Olympia
Image: Wikipedia.org

The Olympia painting is an iconic oil painting by French artist Édouard Manet, housed at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. 

It depicts a nude woman, identified as the courtesan Olympia, lying on a bed and being attended by a maid. 

The painting was a radical departure from the academic art of the time and sparked controversy for its subject matter and departure from traditional painting styles.

Poppy field

Poppy Field is an oil painting by French Impressionist Claude Monet, painted in 1873. 

It is a landscape of a field of red poppies with a church in the background. 

Many people consider Monet’s “Water Lilies” one of his most iconic works and regard it as one of the most potent and beautiful Impressionist paintings.

Bazille’s Studio 

Bazille’s Studio
Image: Wikipedia.org

Frederic Bazille, a French artist, painted this depiction of his studio in Montmartre.

The picture is an example of Impressionism and shows Bazille at work surrounded by his paintings, sketches and easel. 

The painting is now part of the permanent collection of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

The Cardplayers

The Cardplayers
Image: Wikipedia.org

Paul Cézanne’s The Cardplayers series, created between 1890 and 1895, consists of five Post-Impressionist paintings. 

These works depict rural inhabitants in Provence playing cards in an unpretentious atmosphere, with the figures exemplifying Cézanne’s signature geometric planes. 

Art historians recognize the series as a crucial contribution to the artist’s oeuvre and a reminder of his rural French origins.

L’Angelus 

L’Angelus
Image: Wikipedia.org

Another one of the Musée d’Orsay paintings is L’Angelus.

L’Angélus (1859) by Jean-François Millet is an iconic painting of a peasant couple bowing in prayer with their backs to a golden sunset. 

It is housed in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France and is a beloved symbol of French Realism. Its themes of faith, family and hard work are still relevant today.

Blue water lilies

Blue water lilies
Image: Wikipedia.org

The Blue Water Lilies painting by French master Claude Monet is an iconic work of art. 

It is part of Monet’s series of 250 oil paintings of the water lilies in his pond at Giverny and is renowned for its captivating use of color and light. 

The painting captures the beauty of nature in its most vibrant form and is a must-see for any art enthusiast visiting Paris.

The Absinthe drinker 

The Absinthe Drinker, painted by Edgar Degas in 1876, is a hauntingly beautiful masterpiece. 

The painting depicts a solitary figure, lost in thought, drinking absinthe in a cafe. 

With its muted colors, subtle brushstrokes and deep symbolism, this painting is a masterful representation of the Impressionist movement. 

It has become a symbol of the Belle Époque and the changing social and cultural attitudes of the time.

Orpheus 

The painting dates back to 1898 and is an example of Moreau’s exploration of the Greek myth of Orpheus.

With the ominous presence of Hades and Eurydice represented in the background. 

It features a lone figure of Orpheus in the middle, with a lyre in hand, surrounded by a halo of golden light. 

The painting’s intense colors and the figure’s heroic stance create a powerful visual that captures Moreau’s interpretation of the myth.

The Damsel in Distress

The painting depicts a woman in a white dress standing in the middle of a room with a door open in the background. 

The painting represents the classic damsel in distress trope and is considered a classic example of the Post-Impressionist style.

The Circus

The work exemplifies Seurat’s pointillism style and is considered one of his most important works. 

The painting depicts a crowd of people enjoying a circus performance, with the bright colors and dynamic brush strokes creating an energetic and joyous atmosphere. 

The Circus is one of Seurat’s most celebrated works and an iconic example of Impressionism.

Young Girl at the Piano 

Painted by Renoir, this painting was initially refined into a series of five canvases before the final artwork. 

Renoir portrays two young girls in a wealthy home, one seated playing the piano in a white dress with a blue sash and the other in a pink dress standing.

Young Girl at the Piano portrays an intimate and engaging scene of bourgeois domestic life.


While touring Musée d’Orsay, here are some things to see around:


Musée d’Orsay Paintings – FAQs

1. What famous paintings are in the Musée d’Orsay?

Famous Musée d’Orsay paintings include 
– The Van Gogh self-portrait
– Starry Night 
– Bazille’s Studio 
– The Cardplayers
– Orpheus

2. What paintings are in the Musée d’Orsay?

There are a number of Musée d’Orsay paintings that one can experience while visiting the museum, including
– Roses and Anemones, by Van Gogh 
– The Meridian, by Van Gogh
– Poppy Field, by Claude Monet
– Olympia, by Édouard Manet
– Blue water Lillies, by Claude Monet

3. How many paintings are in the Musée d’Orsay?

While the exact number of paintings in the museum’s collection is hard to pinpoint-  it is known to house thousands of artworks.

4. What are Van Gogh’s paintings in the Musée d’Orsay?

Here are a few of the most famous Van Gogh paintings in Musée d’Orsay:
– Self-portrait
– The Starry Night 
– Roses and Anemones 
– In the Garden of Doctor Paul Gachet 
– The Meridian
– Cows in a meadow

5. What Claude Monet paintings are in the Musée d’Orsay?

Here are a few of the most famous Claude Monet paintings in Musée d’Orsay:
– Poppy Field, by Claude Monet
– Blue water lillies, by Claude Monet


For all visitors planning to visit Musée d’Orsay, here is a list of tickets you can choose from. 

Dedicated entry ticket: This ticket offers dedicated entry to the museum with access to permanent and temporary collections. 
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Guided tour ticket: Enjoy a 1 hour 45 minutes guided tour and skip the line access to Musee d’Orsay.
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Musee d’Orsay and Seine River Cruise: Visitors can tour the Musee d’Orsay and then experience a cruise over the Seine. 
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Musee d’Orsay and Louvre Museum: This combination ticket offers entry to both Musee d’Orsay and Louvre Museum.
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Paris City Museum Pass: Visit the best museums in Paris with just one pass.
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Featured Image: Nytimes.com

Harshita
About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore