The Musée de l'Orangerie is an art gallery of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings located in the west corner of the Tuileries Gardens next to the Place De La Concorde in Paris. Though most famous for being the permanent home for eight Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet, the museum also contains works by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Rousseau, Alfred Sisley, Chaim Soutine, and Maurice Utrillo, among others.
According to the museum's website, the Orangerie was originally built in 1852 by the architect Firmin Bourgeois and completed by his successor, Ludovico Visconti, to shelter the Orange trees of the garden of the Tuileries. Used by the Third Republic in the nineteenth century as deposit for goods, an examination room, and place of lodging for mobilized soldiers, it also served to house sporting, musical, and patriotic events. Additionally, it was a place to display exhibitions of industry, animals, plants, as well as rare displays of painting.
Monet's Water Lilies:
A cycle of Monet's water-lily paintings, known as the Nymphéas, was arranged on the ground floor of the Orangerie in 1927. They are available under direct diffused light as was originally intended by Monet. The eight paintings are displayed in two oval rooms all along the walls.
The museum was closed to the public from the end of August 1999 until May 2006. For several months before it was closed there was a special exhibit of Monet's Nymphéas that were gathered from museums throughout the World. More than 60 of the 250 paintings he made of the water lilies in his garden were included. The walls were repainted in shades of purples and violet for this special exhibit. The Orangerie was renovated in order to move the paintings to the upper floor of the gallery.