Musée de l’Orangerie
Beyond Monet’s multipaneled and expansive Water Lilies ensemble, what makes this recently renovated space truly special is the regrouping of an exceptional collection of modern art. After being closed for six years, the skylit spaces are spare and monochromatic, allowing the works to shine. In one long, columned gallery, Cézanne and Renoir’s masterworks hang side by side in gilt frames; in another small salon, the primitive, angular portraits of Rousseau and Modigliani are combined. The exceptional collection was culled first by one of the great modern art dealers, Paul Guillaume, and then expanded by the wealthy industrialist Jean Walter, who married Guillaume’s widow. Works by Matisse, Picasso, Derain, Soutine, Laurencin, and Utrillo are also hidden here.
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