New galleries open at the Musée d’Orsay

1. Decorative Arts’sRoom after 1871
In the center, Hercules Vase
Paris, musée d’Orsay
Photo : Sophie Boegly, Paris, musée d’Orsay

2/2/09 – Museum – Paris, Musée d’Orsay – As announced at a press conference last 4th September (see article), the Musée d’Orsay recently inaugurated several rooms in what was previously the lobby of the building (north-west corner). These new spaces, adjacent to the reception hall (salle des Fêtes), now welcome the collection of decorative arts after 1871, as well as the Philippe Meyer donation.

Most of the art objects on display (created under the Third Republic) were until now held in storage. Two rooms have been refurbished (ill. 1 and 2) to present ceramics, including the large Hercules Vase from the Manufacture de Sèvres (in the center of ill. 1), furniture (ill. 3) and silver pieces… Only a few works are of Art Nouveau style, as the extensive holdings, notably due to the Rispal donation, are exhibited in other parts of the museum.

2. Decorative Arts Rooms after 1871
Paris, Musée d’Orsay
Photo : D. Rykner

3. Charles Guillaume Diehl (1811-1885)
Jean Brandely (work between 1867 and 1873)
Emile Guillemin (1841-1907 ?)
Buffet, 1873
Ebonized pear, citron, cypress ; inlaid violetwood, cypress,
sycamore, walnut, pear, boxtree, avodiré and rosewood ;
oak and poplar structure ; gilt bronze and electro-gilt copper
153 x 190 x 57 cm
Paris, Musée d’Orsay
Photo : D. Rykner

4. Philippe Meyer’s donation rooms
Paris, musée d’Orsay
Photo : Sophie Boegly, Paris, musée d’Orsay

The Philippe Meyer donation had been made in 2000 as a “promised gift”. At the time, the donor had wished to remain anonymous. He since passed away in 2007. The few old paintings and the modern canvases joined the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence [1] (see article in Fench), whereas Orsay received works falling within the museum’s chronological field. On display in three small rooms (ill. 4), there are a total of twenty-four : two by Fantin-Latour, Flowers in a Crystal Vase by Manet, two pastels by Degas, three canvases by Cézanne including a Self-portrait with Pink Background (ill. 5), a Weeping Willow by Monet, three small oils on wood by Seurat, five works by Bonnard, five by Vuillard and two rare items for a French museum : a work by Vilhelm Hammershoi and a landscape between 1906 and 1907 by Piet Mondrian.

5. Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
Self-portrait with Pink Background c. 1875
Oil on canvas - 66 x 55 cm
Paris, musée d’Orsay
Photo : Musée d’Orsay / RMN

6. Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)
View of Cannet, 1927
Oil on canvas - 233.6 x 233.6 cm
Paris, musée d’Orsay, future dépôt au
musée Bonnard du Cannet
© ADAGP - Musée d’Orsay

The Philippe Meyer Foundation, which continues his work, has just donated a very large landscape by Pierre Bonnard, currently hanging with the rest of the collection. This View of Cannet from 1927 (thus a bit outside of the museum’s time field) was painted from the villa which the artist bought in 1926 (ill. 6). The work belonged to Bernard Reichenbach and hung in his Parisian residence built by the architect Jean-Charles Moreux, one of the most interesting examples of the 1930’s style in Paris [2]. This painting will be placed in deposit by Orsay at the future Musée Bonnard in Cannet, still under construction.

Version française

Didier Rykner, lundi 2 février 2009


[1] With a few exceptions : a painting (View Taken from the Jas de Bouffan) and a watercolour by Cézanne.

[2] The Hôtel Reichenback is currently in danger of being demolished. We will soon devote an article to this new scandal.

imprimer Print this article

Previous article in News Items : French art historians oppose the Tuileries reconstruction project

Next article in News Items : An update on inventory checks of art works on deposit in France