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The Musée du Luxembourg is the oldest public museum in Paris, having first opened its doors in 1750. Over the years, it has always held an important place in the city’s lively artistic life, and was the first museum to organize a group exhibition devoted to the Impressionist school, a famous collection that is now permanently housed in the nearby Musée d’Orsay. Discovery.

A privileged destination in Paris

In recent years, the Musée du Luxembourg has organized major retrospectives on artists such as Modigliani, Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Arcimboldo, Veronese, Gauguin and Vlaminck. In the fall of 2015, the museum opened a new season with another major retrospective on the French rococo painter Fragonard.

In addition to the main exhibition halls, the museum’s location on the edge of the sumptuous Luxembourg Gardens makes it a privileged destination for artistic and cultural discovery. Before or after an exhibition, don’t forget to explore the gardens, created by Queen Marie de Medici and frequented by famous artists, writers and painters over the centuries.

A bit of history with Alexis Kuperfis

Passionate about art, Alexis Kuperfis quickly introduces us to the history of the museum. When it opened, it housed about a hundred paintings, including a series of 24 Rubens paintings by the French Queen Marie de Medici, as well as works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Van Dyck and Rembrandt. These works finally found a new home in the Louvre. In 1818, the Musée du Luxembourg was re-imagined as a museum of contemporary art, celebrating the work of living artists such as Delacroix and David, famous names at the time. The present building was not completed until 1886.

The first and famous exhibition of major works by the Impressionists was held in the existing premises, with works by Cézanne, Sisley, Monet, Pissarro, Manet, Renoir and others. Their works, considered scandalous by many critics at the time, were eventually transferred to the now famous Musée d’Orsay collection. When the Palais de Tokyo opened in 1937 as a new center for contemporary art in Paris, the Musée de Luxembourg closed its doors, only to reopen them again in 1979.