Art Market News

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.

Salvator Mundi Update 700 1005 Kathy

Salvator Mundi Update

My first blog was on the subject of the most expensive painting ever sold, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi”. It seemed like a good place to start, was very topical, and I promised to keep readers up to date with events surrounding this most famous of paintings.

I had thought at the time that my next blog on the subject would be much later in the year or in early 2019, when the various experts had given their opinions as to the authenticity of the painting, and specifically, how much of it had been painted by Leonardo himself, and how much by his pupils and assistants.

Or is it? This is the question setting art experts against each other asking how much of the painting did Leonardo actually paint himself?

However, events are moving on rapidly, and when I opened The Art Newspaper,, I find that the seller of the painting, the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, is suing auction house Sotheby’s for $380 million in a Manhattan federal court.

This is not in any way connected with the authenticity of the painting, but as part of a decade long relationship and dispute with Yves Bouvier, a Swiss art dealer, who Rybolovlev accuses of conducting the “largest art fraud in history”. Rybolovlev claims that of the 38 paintings that Bouvier sold him over a ten year period, for a total price of $2 billion, Sotheby’s was involved in the sale of 14 of these paintings, including Salvator Mundi, overcharging Rybolovlev by up to $1 billion.

Court papers reveal that Bouvier was the mastermind in this alleged fraud, buying the paintings at much lower prices than he then sold on at to Rybolovlev, and that Sotheby’s was complicit in this fraud, adding it weight and reputation to Bouvier to obtain high commissions and fees from the resulting sales.

Of course this latest law suit is part of a long line of suit and counter suit, Sotheby’s jointly with Bouvier suing Rybolovlev, with suits filed not only in New York but also in Monaco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bern and Geneva.

The list of works involved in this alleged fraud is indeed impressive. We have Wasserschlanger II (Water Serpents) by Gustav Klimt, bought by Bouvier for $112 million and sold to Rybolovlev for $187 million, in 2012;

there is Modigliani’s Nu Couche au Coussin Blue (Nude Reclining on a Blue Cushion), bought by Bouvier for $95 million and sold to Rybolovlev for $120 million, also in 2012.

Then there is Salvator Mundi. Bought for an estimated $84 million by Bouvier with Sotheby’s involved in the private purchase and later resale by Bouvier to Rybolovlev at a price of $129 million, in 2013.

The problem for Rybolovlev is this, though.

Salvator Mundi was sold on his behalf by Christie’s in November 2107, to the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, for $450 million, resulting in a profit of over $300 million for Rybolovlev.

Bit difficult to claim a fraud against you when you walk away with a $300 million profit!!