L’Orangerie museum – proclaimed “the Sistine Chapel of Impressionism” by the writer Andre Masson

If you are a Monet fan, then this museum is a MUST when travelling to Paris. This museum showcases eight of Claude Monet’s famous paintings, the huge water lilies  (called the Nympheas). They are exhibited in two large ovals rooms designed in part by Monet himself to create perfect lighting and ambiance.

The effects of this exhibition are magical.

Oval room displaying Claude Monet Water Lilies - L'Orangerie Museum
Claude Monet’s Famous Paintings – The Water Lilies
Photo by FHKE on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This museum is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. I suggest that you arrive at opening on a weekday so that can have the place all to yourself. This makes your experience truly one of a kind.

L’Orangerie museum also houses works by Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir and others, but Monet’s water lily canvases are the main attraction!

Musee L'Orangerie Paris
Musee L’Orangerie Paris Photo by joe on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


French statesman Georges Clemenceau asked Monet to create an artwork that would lift the country out of the gloom of the Great War. At first, Monet declined feeling too old and unable, but eventually accepted the task.

Monet conceived the idea of painting a continuous sequence of waterscapes situated in an oval shaped room as a world within a world.

A new studio with a glass wall facing his garden in Giverny was built for this purpose. He continued to work on his water paintings right up until the end of his life.

“…Every day I discover even more beautiful things. It is intoxicating me, and I want to paint it all – my head is bursting…”  Claude Monet Quotes

The “Musée Claude Monet” was inaugurated on 17 May 1927, a few months after Monet’s death. It was transformed into an annex of the Musée du Luxembourg, and the building became the Musée National de l’Orangerie des Tuileries.

For more information see the Musee L’Orangerie Paris website


Claude Monet's Water Lilies in the orangerie museum, Paris
Claude Monet’s Famous Paintings – the huge Water Lilies
Photo by Kirk K on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Interested in a guided tour of the L’Orangerie Museum to help you navigate & hear expert explanations of the incredible artworks? Check out the links below.

(For the links below, I receive a small commission when you purchase. You don’t pay more when you buy through my site.)