Paris is the world capital of fine arts and home to numerous fantastic museums. It’s pretty hard to choose the best one among all of them. However, the one that’s closest to my heart is Musée Marmottan – Monet. Located in a historical city palace and home to one of the world’s best collections of Claude Monet’s paintings, it’s a place that shouldn’t be missed in Paris. After visiting it numerous times, here is a short Culture Tourist’s guide about what to see in Musée Marmottan – Monet in Paris.
What to see in Musée Marmottan – Monet in Paris
Musée Marmottan – Monet in Paris is undoubtedly one of the best museums in the French capital. The museum is well known for its fantastic collection of Claude Monet’s paintings, including the one that gave the name to the whole style of Impressionism – ‘Impression, Sunrise’. However, it also has an excellent collection of artworks made by another Impressionist – Berthe Morisot. And on top of that, it’s still quite a hidden gem among the museums in the French capital.
⤷ Read more: Beginners’ art & culture guide to Paris
Musée Marmottan – Monet’s History
Jules Marmottan was a lawyer who worked for several French energy and transportation companies. He bought the property on which the museum stands today in 1882. Jules was an art lover who started making his own collection of paintings and unique artworks.
His son Paul was an expert in art and history of the beginning of the 19th century, especially the Empire style. He admired the Empire furniture, and his collection can still be seen at the Marmottan – Monet Museum today. Paul extended and modified a part of the house in which the museum is located so that he could display his father’s collection.
He decorated the Empire-style salons in the house with the furniture he acquired. The most significant is the bed that once belonged to Napoleon I. Most of the furniture and the style of the house from that time could be seen on the museum’s ground floor and some rooms of the first floor. It’s something quite special about this museum. In some parts of it, you don’t feel as if you are in a museum. But instead, as you travel back in time and are visiting a wealthy home of 19th century Paris.
After Paul Marmottan’s death, he left the house to Académie des Beaux-Arts to transform it into a cultural institution. Musée Marmottan was opened to the public on June 21st 1934. With additional donations, the museum’s collection significantly grew in later years.
Musée Marmottan – Monet’s Impressionist collection
One of the donations to the museum during the 1940s’ marked its beginning as one of the top Paris museums for Impressionist art. The donation of paintings made by Monet, Morisot, Renoir, Sisley and others labelled the start of one of the most fascinating Impressionist collections in Paris’ museums.
⤷ Read more: Impressionists in Paris
Claude Monet Collection at Musée Marmottan – Monet
However, a donation from Claude Monet’s younger son Michael made the Musée Marmottan get the word Monet in its title. Michael Monet left more than a hundred paintings made by his father to this museum after his death in 1966. That donation made the Musée Marmottan – Monet home to the most extensive collection of artworks created by Claude Monet in the world.
Most of the collection consists of artworks from his Waterlilies series. These are the paintings he worked on in his garden in Giverny during the last thirty years of his life. However, the museum is also where you can see Monet’s painting that gave the name to the whole Impressionist art movement – ‘Impression, Sunrise’. It’s definitely one of the highlights of this museum’s fantastic art collection.
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Berthe Morisot Collection at Musée Marmottan – Monet
Another later donation made the museum home to one of the most significant collections of the best-known female Impressionist painter, Berthe Morisot. Two rooms of the museum are entirely dedicated to the work of this fascinating artist. She was exceptionally talented in painting with watercolours, a technique that’s considered one of the most challenging painting techniques in art.
With around one hundred art pieces made by the artist and some interesting memorabilia like her palette, Musée Marmottan – Monet is one of the best places to learn more about that fascinating artist.
⤷ Read more: Art history lesson – Berthe Morisot
How to get to the Musée Marmottan – Monet
Musée Marmottan – Monet is located a bit outside the city centre of Paris. However, you can easily reach it by public transport. The Musée Marmottan – Monet is located at the address 2, rue Louis-Boilly, 75016 Paris.
The easiest way to reach it by public transport is by using RER C (stop Boulainvilliers) or metro line number 9 (stop La Muette or Ranelagh). It will only take a short ten-minute walk to get to the museum from there.
Useful tips for visiting Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris
⤷ Opening hours: Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. However, be aware that the last admission is at 5 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays.
⤷ How much time do you need to visit the museum: Musée Marmottan – Monet is relatively small, and you won’t need more than two hours to see everything in it. The artworks layout changes from time to time (each time I was there, it was a bit different). However, if you are on a tight schedule, some of the highlights you shouldn’t miss are the Berthe Morisot collection and Monet’s ‘Impression, Sunrise’. The museum often has temporary exhibitions with different themes, which were absolutely amazing each time. So, check what’s on before your visit.
⤷ Online tickets: You can get your online museum ticket on a link here.
⤷ Guided tour: If you want to get the most out of your museum visit, I recommend joining a guided tour. It makes such a huge difference to have someone familiar with those artworks telling you more about the details, meaning and symbolism. Here is a link to the nice small group guided tour to Musée Marmottan Monet.
⤷ Museum shop: Musée Marmottan – Monet has a great small museum shop containing a lovely collection of art books, postcards and other cute souvenirs with reproductions of the museum’s artworks on them.
Located in a beautiful historical townhouse with a lovely curated collection of artworks, Musée Marmottan – Monet is one of the best museums in Paris. However, still being a hidden gem in the City of Light, now is a great time to visit it.
Have you been to the Musée Marmottan – Monet? Let me know in the comments below.