In 1922 Monet donated his panoramic cycle of paintings, the Water Lillies, to France. He chose the Orangerie, a stone and glass building originally conceived as a hothouse to protect potted orange trees in winter, as his choice for housing the paintings. It is found in the Tuleries Garden. It wasn’t until 1926 that the paintings were finally put in place there, after Monet’s death. The Orangerie was closed in 2000 for refurbishment and not reopened until 2006. There was a delay because they found portions of an ancient wall which once surrounded what was then Paris. It had to be preserved.

I was interested to finally visit the museum and hoping that there might be some sort of visit to the wall that had been uncovered but, if there was, I missed it. What I didn’t miss were the splendid paintings of Monet, eight panels of water lillies, set into curving walls. I think they did a spectacular job of displaying them. It is a joy to sit in the middle of each of the two ovals and look at how Monet saw the flowers floating in his own pond in different light.


A view of half of the curving room


A little closer


A closeup of those famous water lillies


What they might have looked like had Monet done them in water color.

12 thoughts to “l’Orangerie”

  1. You\’ve just reminded me that I need to get to the Orangerie. I tried to go last summer when my mother came to visit, but we made the mistake of showing up with no reservations on a Sunday a few weeks after it had opened. The line went practically halfway around the jardin. I wonder if I should still make reservations or perhaps it\’s calmed down a bit now. Those water lilies are so beautiful. That wall sounds interesting too, it would be great if there was a way to have a look at it

  2. The l’Orangerie is in the Tuileries, not the Luxembourg. I was able to see these gorgeous beauties this past summer and they are lovely! Your pictures certainly turned out better than mine! Thanks for posting them.

  3. Just beautiful…I have to see that one day for myself. Until then, thank you for taking me on your wonderful journey…just beautiful!

  4. oh my gosh …absolutely beauuuuuuutiful… love your pictures… and love Monet. i am green with envy.

  5. Ah, that explains why we never visited there – it was being refurbished while we lived in Paris!

    There are also Monet (and all other impressionists) works at the Musée d’Orsay.

    Great photos!

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