Paris Travel Planner   Orangerie—Walter-Guillaume, Paris
Don't miss the lower level of the Orangerie, which houses the wonderful Walter-Guillaume collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings.

 Orangerie, Paris
Above, Woman with a White Hat, by Pablo Picasso.



Note: The section of the Orangerie housing the Walter-Guillaume Collection is undergoing renovations from September 4, 2019 through March 31, 2020. While the Nymphéas and other specific areas will be open, the Walter-Guillaume Collection will be closed during this period.

Although most people go to the Orangerie in Paris to see the Water Lilies, or Nymphéas, the Walter-Guillaume Collection on the lower level of the museum is a wonderful bonus.

The collection includes works by Renoir, Picasso, Modigliani, Marie Laurencin, Maurice Utrillo, Paul Cezanne, Matisse, Rousseau, and other Impressionists and post-Impressionists up to about 1930. It's relatively small, which allows you to linger over your favorite paintings.

Orangerie, Paris
La Maison Bernot, by Maurice Utrillo, Walter-Guillaume collection.

The story of the collection is equally fascinating. Paul Guillaume was a young man of modest means working in an auto garage when he found some African sculptures in a delivery of rubber. His display of them brought him to the attention of the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who in turn introduced him to many of the artists of the day—Pablo Picasso, Marie Laurencin and others.

  Orangerie, Paris
  Portrait of Mme Paul Guillaume, by Marie Laurencin, Orangerie, Paris.

Paul Guillaume was an important patron of the arts in Paris, and the museum includes fascinating miniature diaramas of his study and collection. At his death he asked that his collection be made public. In doing so, his widow Domenica, by then remarried to wealthy businessman and architect Jean Walter, insisted on including the names of both her husbands.

Domenica was a colorful character who after Paul's death adopted a son and was later accused of his murder. Some speculate that the murder charge was dropped in exchange for her donating the collection to the state.

Whatever the drama, the public today benefits from the collection and the wise investments of Paul Guillaume. Don't miss this when you visit the Orangerie.

Métro: Concorde
Bus: 24, 42, 52, 72, 73, 84, 94

Paris Museum Pass accepted. Closed Tuesday.

Musée de l'Orangerie
Jardin des Tuileries
75001 Paris, France
Tel +33 1 44 77 80 07

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Orangerie, Paris

Above, Young Girls at the Piano, by Renoir. Another version of this painting can be seen at the Musée d'Orsay.

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