Located at the West of Paris, right next to the charming Bois de Boulogne and its lakes, the Marmottan Monet museum is one of those Parisian museums that too few visitors have heard of. Nevertheless, it is a true goldmine for impressionnist painting enthousiasts, and it offers very rich yet intimate exhibition. It would be a shame to miss it. Here is what you will be able to admire there...
Paul Marmottan's collection
The museum was born thanks to Paul Marmottan (1856-1932). When he died, the intellectual and collector gave his art collection as well as his private hotel to the Academy of Arts of Paris, who turned it into the Marmottan Museum. Passionate about the arts of Haute-Époque, this man accumulated a tremendous collection of pieces from the First Empire, of every possible form : paintings, drawings, prints, miniatures, medals, sculptures, furniture, bronzes, porcelains, etc. In this collection, visible at the museum, you will find names such as Fabre, Boilly, Gauffier, Carmontelle, Bertin, and many others.
Impressionnist painting : Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, and others
Thanks to several generous legacies over time, the Marmottan Monet Museum has made its name among museums that broadcast the richest collections of impressionnist painting. The story began in 1957, when Madame Donop de Monchy donated her incredible collection of paintings (approximately twenty) to the museum. Among them are artists as famous as Monet, Morisot, Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro or Daumier. What makes this particular collection unique is that it has the single most famous painting of the impressionnist movement : Impression soleil levant (by Claude Monet). This piece is considered the foundation of impressionnism, and it even gave it its title.
When his father Claude Monet died, Michel Monet also gave the Marmottan Monet Museum the right to present the pieces of the great artist to the public. But Monet's personal collection was not only composed of his own paintings, he also owned paintings by other artists, such as his friend and emblematic figure of the impressionnist movement Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
In 1966, thanks to legacies such as these, the museum became the one with the greatest collection of paintings by Monet in the world. But above that, the Marmottan Monet Museum also presents a very important collection of masterpieces by other impressionnist artists, such as Berthe Morisot (some 80 paintings!), Paul Gaughin, as well as the ones mentionned above, and many others. This makes the museum an unavoidable place for impressionnism enthousiasts !
A tremendous collection of illuminations
Furthermore, in a separate and newly refurbished room, the Marmottan Monet Museum also displays the immense illuminations collection gathered by Georges Wildenstein (1892-1963), that was donated by his son after he died. It is the single most important illuminations collection in the world (several hundred pieces!), and spans through the art of illumination from the Midle Ages to the Renaissance. Browsing through it, you will find French, Italian, English and Flemish illuminations, among which are some of the greatest masterpieces of the style, such as « The apostles' mission » by San Michele's master in Murano, « Saint Romuald's dream. Initial O. » by Attavante, or « Judas' kiss » by Jean Bourdichon.
Musée Marmottan Monet
2, rue Louis-Boilly
Closest metro station : La Muette (line 9)
Closest bus stop : Porte de la Muette (line 63)
Opening hours :
From Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m to 6 p.m
(Last entry : 5.30 p.m)
The museum opens late on Thursdays : from 10 a.m to 9 p.m
(Last entry : 8.30 p.m)
Full fare : 11€
Reduced fare : 6,50€ (children between 7 and 18, students below 25...)
Free for children below 7, journalists, people with handicap...
Audioguides are available in French and English (3€)
Image : « Impression, soleil levant » by Claude Monet (1872, Marmottan Monet Museum, Paris)