Monet's Impression, sol levant (Impression, sunrise)A detail from Monet's Impression, sol levant (Impression, sunrise)

One hundred Monets—and other Impressionist works—including the ur-Impressionist painting, Impression, sol levant

This small museum in a former ducal hunting lodge by the Bois de Boulogne houses the world's largest collection of paintings by Monet, more than 100 of them.

More Monets in Paris
• Musée d'Orsay
• Musée de L'Orangerie
• Musée du Petit Palais
Many of these were bequeathed by the painter's son Michel, along with Monet's notebooks, sketches, letters, photographs, palettes and other accumulated art historiana, including part of Monet's personal collection of works by his own friends and contemporaries such as Gauguin, Renoir, Sisley, and Degas.

Though the Monet collection covers the artist's entire career, lovers of art history make the trek here primarily for one early work: Monet's Impression, sol levant ("Impression, sunrise") the 1872 painting that inadvertantly gave the entire "Impressionist" movement its name. (» more on that story.)

Among the other Impressionist-era on display—Manet, Pissaro, Corot, Daumier, etc.—is a major collection of works by one of the group's few female members, Berthe Morisot (who ended up marrying the brother of Impressionist godfather Édouard Manet), along with First Empire furnishings and a collection of European illuminated manuscripts and miniatures from the 13th to 15th centuries.

Musée Marmottan tips

Planning your time

Figure on spending 45–60 minutes in here (add another 15 min. for the extra time to travel out here, as it's at the edge of town).

» Paris suggested itineraries

Take a tour of Musée Marmottan
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Great Monet quotes
  • One day Boudin said to me, 'Learn to draw well and appreciate the sea, the light, the blue sky.' I took his advice.
  • I would like to paint the way a bird sings.
  • I didn't become an impressionist. As long as I can remember I always have been one.
  • Since the appearance of impressionism, the official salons, which used to be brown, have become blue, green and red.
  • I would advise young artists... to paint as they can, as long as they can, without being afraid of painting badly.
  • Take clear water with grass waving at the bottom. It's wonderful to look at, but to try to paint it is enough to make one insane.
  • For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at any moment.
  • I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.
  • Lots of people will protest that it's quite unreal and that I'm out of my mind, but that's just too bad.
  • Paint what you really see, not what you think you ought to see; not the object isolated as in a test tube, but the object enveloped in sunlight and atmosphere, with the blue dome of Heaven reflected in the shadows. 
  • The effect of sincerity is to give one's work the character of a protest. The painter being concerned only with conveying his impression, simply seeks to be himself and no one else.
  • Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
  • It really is appallingly difficult to do something which is complete in every respect, and I think most people are content with mere approximations. Well, my dear friend, I intend to battle on, scrape off and start again...
  • People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it's simply necessary to love.
  • I've done what I could as a painter and that seems to me to be sufficient. I don't want to be compared to the great masters of the past, and my painting is open to criticism; that's enough.

 

 

 

 



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Berthe Morisot by Edouard Manet
A portrait of Berthe Morisot by Édouard Manet, at the Marmottan Museum, Paris.