From train depot to 'Impressionist' museum

Uploaded 18 Jul 2019 — 6 favorites
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© Raje Esteban
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More of Raje Esteban’s Photos

  • Viewed from a distance
  • From train depot to 'Impressionist' museum
  • GREEN building
  • Promenade du Paillon (Nice, France)
Photo Info
UploadedJuly 18, 2019
TakenSeptember 13, 2014
MakeOlympus Imaging Corp.
Exposure1/125 sec at f/3.5
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length17 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Musee d’Orsay

This museum was originally built as a railway station. Previously called Gare d’Orsay, it was opened in time for the 1900 Paris Exposition, one of the largest world’s fair with 83,00 exhibitors and 50 million visitors. This international event was held to highlight the inventions that were transforming the world at the turn of the century. Orsay was the first electrified station designed for electrically powered trains. The building also included elevators, escalators, luggage ramps, and the electrified tracks.

However, Orsay was used as a train station for less than 40 years. The depot's short platforms had become unsuitable for the longer trains and it gradually stopped operating as a train station. By 1939 it faced an uncertain fate. Over the years it was used as a warehouse, as a film set, a mailing center during World War II, reception center for freed WWII prisoners. It was almost torn down but was saved by the Minister of Culture.

It re-opened in December 1986 as the Musée d'Orsay, an art museum. The idea was to have a museum that would bridge the gap between the Louvre (classical art) and the Georges Pompidou Center (modern art). It is pre-eminently the museum of Impressionism, bringing together artworks from a very short, but extremely productive period, specifically the years between 1848-1914. The museum included the artworks from Monet to Manet to Renoir to van Gogh. Painting, sculpture, architecture, decorative arts and photography were displayed side by side.

The building itself is often considered “the first ‘work of art’ in the Musee d’Orsay.” It is a stunning structure made of stone and 35,000 square meters of glass. The oversized ceiling windows creates a an engulfing impression of brightness.

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