There’s no doubt that the Louvre is one of the greatest art museums in the world. It has a big drawback though, and that is the crowds. It’s not much fun elbowing your way through to see the Mona Lisa, only to find you can’t get that close to it anyway. If you want to see Art in Paris as an experience to tick off, then go to the Louvre. If you want to go to Paris to SEE art, then there are some great venues.
One of the best art galleries in Paris is the Pompidou Centre. Playing unfortunate second fiddle to the Louvre, the Pompidou is a world-class establishment in its own right with collections of Picasso, Matisse and plenty of surrealist works to browse and enjoy. There is also currently a special gallery for children that aims to teach them to appreciate art at a young age.
Just around the corner from the Pompidou is the much quieter but equally as artistically impressive Marian Goodman. Opened over 20 years ago, the small gallery is a branch of the New York gallery and represents artists like Gerard Richter, Richard Deacon and Tacita Dean. It’s a perfect gallery to visit if you want great art with fewer people to walk through.
An old converted train station, this museum provides a wonderful and memorable setting for a number of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces. There is also a downstairs area that is devoted to showcasing the very best in symbolist and realist art, so there really is something for everybody at Musée d’Orsay.
Not to be confused with the infamous Moulin Rouge, of course! This gallery was started by art collector Antoine de Galbert inside an old factory building in Bastille. It is now home to several different contemporary art shows and is also home to a restaurant that changes its décor once every four months!
The stunning mansion where Rodin saw out the last days of his life is now a gallery that art lovers can visit to experience a huge collection of the iconic sculptor’s work. You will find works scattered through the rooms and in the pristinely kept gardens. You can also find pieces by his pupil and lover Camille Claudel.
This is a wonderful fashion focused museum, a fitting institution seeing as Paris is the capital of haute couture! Located inside a 19th century palace and just a short stroll from the amazing boutiques of Avenue Montaigne, a visit to the Palais Galliera is just about as chic an experience as you can have!
Compared to some of the busier galleries, this one is a pure oasis of calm in a bustling city. A museum dedicated to sculptor Ossip Zadkine, the place holds a collection of nearly 300 sculptures by Zadkine and by other artists, and it’s a wonderful spot to lose yourself in great art for an hour or so.
A very recent gallery opening in Paris, since its opening last year the Fondation Louis Vuitton has proved to be a really popular destination for art loving tourists in the city. Along with displaying some of the prize possessions from the LVMH collection, the venue also showcases several high quality loan pieces from all over the world.
The Palais De Tokyo is immensely popular with both tourists and Parisian locals for its food, its stunning views and also the wonderful variety of contemporary art shows that you can enjoy inside the building. The vast space of the place makes it perfect for wondering around, you never feel suffocated.
My personal favorite Parisian art haven is Musée de l'Orangerie – a museum dedicated to the works of Claude Monet – especially his Water Lilies works.
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