Paris Orsay museum opens new impressionist wing

The famous museum in Paris has opened up nine new rooms to house the popular works

The Musée d’Orsay in Paris has opened a new €900,000 wing dedicated to the works of impressionist and post-impressionist painters, including Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Paul Sérusier.

The museum has moved 136 works of art, including paintings, sculptures and various objects, to the nine newly-renovated rooms - spanning 760 m² - on the 5th floor.

The new space opened to the public yesterday (Tuesday September 10).

The move is intended to offer a more “coherent” and pleasant visit of these in-demand artists. The museum owns the second-largest collection of Van Gogh paintings in the world, as well as rare pieces by Gauguin, Sérusier, and Émile Bernard.

The rooms have been decorated in a mixture of light green colours, with a blond wooden floor; and windows that were previously closed off have been renovated and opened, to bring extra light to the space.

The new exhibition also explores the links between artists, and allows visitors to understand more about the era as a whole.

New acquisitions are also on show, including pieces by Gauguin, Bernard, Sérusier, and Meijer de Haan. Zinc silhouettes of the famous Cabaret du Chat Noir are also shown, as well as extracts of films by early 20th century figures James Williamson (A Big Swallow, 1901) and Alice Guy (Le Coq Dressé de Cook et Rilly, 1905).

Sylvie Patry, museum director of collections and conservation, said: “We had a weak point in the [public] visit before. There was a very high demand for Van Gogh and Gauguin, which were hanging in tiny rooms on another floor, and were overwhelmed. Here, we have a complete story of this golden age.”

Claire Bernardi, a post-impressionist conservation specialist, said: “This route is more coherent, more spacious, and allows the work to breathe.”

According to city newspaper Le Parisien, the reported €900,000 budget was mainly spent on renovating the rooms’ old windows, which had previously been condemned.

Temporary exhibitions - which used to be held on the 5th floor - will now be moved to the ground floor, with plans to expand this space set for spring 2020.

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