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Discover the Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France 1024 794 Simon 79designltd

Discover the Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France

The Musee d’Orsay is one of the most famous Paris art museums, and contains the world’s largest collection of Impressionist oil paintings. The magnificent building housing the Musee d’Orsay was formerly a train station;  the Gare d’Orsay, which is situated on the left bank of the river Seine and was built in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition which had over 50 million visitors.  It was closed for a number of years but re-opened in 1986 after a period of re-modeling.

Gaetana Aulenti – Architect

The interior was designed by Italian Architect Gaetana Aulenti.  It was through President Giscard d’Estang’s support that the Musee d’Orsay is today one of the largest museums in Europe which had in excess of 3.6 million visitors during 2019. gives you FIVE great reasons to visit the museum which holds over 2000 paintings, 1500 sculptures and many other works of art.   The Musee d’Orsay offers wonderful views of Paris; the view from the rear of the Great Clock overlooks the Seine whilst the from the Terrace over the Face des Hautuers provides views of the historical monuments on the right bank including the Louvre Museum and the bridges of the Seine.

Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings

The Musee d’Orsay houses over 480 of the world’s most famous impressionist paintings and around 1100 post-impressionist paintings, by some of the world’s greatest artists.

There are 24 famous Vincent van Gogh paintings.  Van Gogh Starry Night over the Rhone is an oil painting on canvas completed in 1888 of Arles at night.  The location of the scene is just a short walk away from  Van Gogh’s rented house, The Yellow House on the Place Lamartine.

starry night over the Rhone

Olympia 1863

The collection includes 34 Edouard Manet oil paintings which includes Olympia.  The subject matter of Olympia 1863 caused great controversy when it was exhibited at the Paris Salon and was condemned as outrageous and offensive with his depiction of a nude being presented with flowers by a servant.  The painting was temporarily re-titled Laure by the Musee d’Orsay for its Exhibition Black models: from Géricault to Matisse in 2019.

edouard manet olympiaThe Musee d’Orsay holds the largest collection of Claude Monet famous paintings.  One of our favourite Claude Monet impressionist paintings is Houses of Parliament, 1904.

claude monet houses of parliament fogPierre-Auguste Renoir’s painting Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette is one of his most important impressionist paintings and is at the center of the Musee d’Orsay collection of French impressionist art.

renoir le moulin de la galette 1876600 Artworks donated to Musee d’Orsay

In 2016, the Musee d’Orsay received the largest art collection donation in the history of the museum. American art collectors Marlene and Spencer Hays donated their collection of more than 600 artworks.

Masterpieces by Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Amedeo Modigliani and Henri Matisse were included in the gift.

Orsay Wide Open

More recently it has been reported that an anonymous donation of over $22 million will lead the way for further expansion; this will include an international research center.   The project will be known as “Orsay Wide Open” and aims to provide visitors to the Musee d’Orsay and its sister, Musee de l‘Orangerie, with a complete experience.  It is estimated that the project will be completed in two phases with a final completion date of 2026.

Every year the Musee d’Orsay welcomes millions of visitors from around the world who flock to see some of greatest impressionist and post-impressionist paintings from Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro, just to mention a few.

From 24th March to 19th July 1920 the Museum is featuring the paintings of Jacques Joseph Tissot, this exhibition previously having previously been hosted by the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

Musee d’Orsay Opening Times and Tickets

Musee d’Orsay is open daily from 9:30am until 18.00 with a late closing on Thursday when it remains open until 21:45.  Adult Ticket prices are €14.

Van Gogh Starry Night
Painting Techniques 718 576 Simon 79designltd

Painting Techniques

In this blog we discuss just a few of popular painting techniques and some of the most famous artists who used them.

Using Oil Paints

Oil Painting on canvas is the preferred medium we use for all of our art reproductions.    Our preferred brand of choice is Winsor and Newton oil paint, which is known for both its longevity and vibrancy.  Of the many different mediums artists use, oil paints are the most versatile.  Oil paints can be mixed with various oils and solvents so that the artist can generally change the characteristics of the paint.   Even watercolors can be emulated using oil paints, if mixed correctly.

The history of oil painting on canvas has evolved considerably since the late 15th century when it was first used.   Oil paint in tubes first came about in the mid-19th century and they transformed the way impressionist art movement artists worked, enabling en plein air painting and the application of thicker paint across the canvas.


Claude Monet’s Water Lilies 1916-1919

Claude Monet is one of the most famous impressionist artists and his en plein air, large oil paintings on canvas, Waterlilies 1916-1919, was only possible with the development of oil paints in tubes.

Action Painting

Action paintings fall under the Abstract Expressionist Movement.  It requires using random and spontaneous brushstrokes and the dripping, splashing or pouring of paint onto a canvas.   Jackson Pollock action painting is one of the most popular art techniques.    We offer oil paintings reproductions, inspired by Jackson Pollock artwork.   The most popular painting is Magenta Landscape, which is created by laying the canvas flat on the ground and one of our professional artists creates an action painting by dripping and pouring the paint onto the canvas.


Impasto Art

Impasto technique is defined by the application of thick paint which creates a textured surface with visible brushstrokes.  Derived from the Italian word “paste”, impasto oil painting is used to create drama and it can be applied with either brush or palette knife.   The impasto technique was first used by 17th century Baroque artists such as Rembrandt and Diego Velazquez.

Van Gogh Starry Night

Van Gogh Starry Night

However, many of you will be more familiar with the Post Impressionist  artist, Vincent van Gogh and his use of thick impasto brushstrokes.  Vincent van Gogh The Starry Night 1889  is an impasto oil painting.

Chiaroscuro Art

Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa

Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa

Chiaroscuro painting is a technique which is used by artists to portray the contrast of light and dark.  Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci is said to have first used Chiaroscuro, as illustrated in the Mona Lisa oil painting.  However it was Rembrandt, one of the Old Master Artists whose prodigious use of the Chiaroscuro technique is particularly well known.   In the most famous Rembrandt paintings , The Night Watch 1642 and Self-Portrait 1669 Chiaroscuro lighting is beautifully demonstrated.


Derived from the French word craquelé, Craquelure and Craquelure varnish refers to the dense form of cracking which appears on the surface of oil paintings.  This can be as a result of natural aging, as with the Jan Vermeer Girl with the Pearl Earring painting which gives an excellent example of craquelure in old paintings.    However, replica paintings can also be applied with products such as Autentico  Craquelure to induce and artificially age art reproductions.

vermeer pearl earring craquelureNocturne Painting

This technique was defined by the eccentric painter, James Abbot McNeill Whistler and represents night scenes and  paintings which are painted at dusk without direct light.  Whistler’s oil painting Nocturne in Black and Gold 1874 and Frederick Remington’s  famous old west paintings such the Stampede  are both examples of Nocturne Painting techniques.

For other information on how to “paint like a pro”, visit this website called Happy DIY Home – How to Paint like a Pro.

Incorporating Oil Painting Reproductions into your Modern Living Space 1024 631 Simon 79designltd

Incorporating Oil Painting Reproductions into your Modern Living Space

Incorporating traditional paintings into a modern and contemporary living space can be a challenge, particularly when we have been conditioned to believe that a modern home should have contemporary art on its walls.

But is this really the case with modern living?

It’s always challenging to find an interesting and unique way of incorporating traditional painting styles into our homes; it is not always necessary for a contemporary home to feature modern oil paintings.

Large and oversized Oil Painting Reproductions

Oil painting reproductions can be created in very large size options and oversized oil paintings can make a great focal point in any modern home interior design.   We recently had a customer who wanted to achieve a statement piece with a traditional oil painting on canvas, and rather than choosing large modern wall art, she opted for a one of our famous angel paintings.

With a size of 59 x 92” and at nearly 6’ tall and 7’6” wide, Raphael’s Putti (Cherubs) a detail from the Sistine Madonna Chapel succeeded in achieving her goal.

Raphael’s Putti Cherubs

Sandro Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus is a monumental oversized painting being 68 x 110 inches (172 x 278cm) and many of Monet’s Water Lily paintings in original size are extremely large landscape orientation oil paintings, which render them perfect for behind sofas or over king-sized beds.

Claude Monet

Claude Monet’s Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond Center Panel is the perfect sample of a traditional oil painting, which with its gentle purple and blue hues makes for relaxing wall art.

Multi-Panels paintings

Multi panel paintings present a fabulous opportunity to create a theme by selecting  art from some famous oil painting artists.   Below we have selected two 19th century paintings; the first is a An Auburn Beauty 1895, by John William Godward the second painting is Portrait of a Girl by Frederick Leighton.

Both portrait art reproductions have been framed in contemporary style walnut decorative frames and although these portraits are by different artists, both are on a black background and feature titian haired women; they work so well together!

art reproduction in walnut frame

Choosing a theme, by perhaps selecting paintings from your favorite artist, your décor achieves cohesion and demonstrates the thought and care which has gone into your choice of interior design wall art.

Seascape Oil Reproduction Paintings

A series of seascape oil paintings, by famous american seascape painters such as Fitz Hugh Lane  and Childe Hassam are great choices for inspirational office art.

Finally, we recommend going for a vibrant splash of color and for  this suggestion we are reverting to English artist Frederick Leighton and his eternally famous painting Flaming June  which depicts a woman in repose with a bright orange flowing and diaphanous dress. The original size of this painting is 47” x 47” (120 x 120cm) but it upscales very easily and can be purchased in many large size options from our online art catalog.

Selecting interior design wall art can be difficult but our team of art specialists are available to assist you with your choice of oil paintings reproductions.  We are available by email or via our Live Help Chat service.