Housed in the former hunting lodge of the Duke of Valmy, a lavish 19th-century mansion in Paris’ 16th arrondissement, the Musée Marmottan, or the Marmottan Monet museum, is as impressive from the outside as it is inside. Founded around the vast Napoleonic era art collection bequeathed to the Academy of Fine Arts by Jules Marmottan, the museum opened its doors back in 1934 and has since amassed an incredible compilation of works by some of the world’s finest artists.
The museum’s permanent galleries feature paintings by Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet, alongside celebrated works by Camille Pissarro, Paul Gauguin and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and a host of other renowned names. Most unique are a collection of illuminated medieval manuscripts and a showcase of Flemish primitive paintings. Even the décor is a work of art, with plush furnishings and precious antiques dotted throughout the elegant salons and stunning views over the neighboring Jardin de Ranelagh, or Ranelagh Gardens.
The museum is most acclaimed for housing the world’s largest collection of works by iconic French impressionist, Claude Monet. Donated by the legendary artist’s son, Michel Monet, after his death in 1966, the Monet collection is displayed in a specially designed basement gallery, elaborately decorated in homage to the Orangerie des Tuileries gallery. Key pieces include the 1892-96 ‘Cathédrale de Rouen’ series, a striking depiction of the London Houses of Parliament and ‘Impression, Soleil Levant’ (Impression, Sunrise), credited for giving name to the Impressionist movement.