Monday, October 13, 2008

Le Musée D'Orsay

Actually, just the ceiling. This building originally served as a terminal station for the Orléans railway line. It was built on the site of the Orsay palace, which was destroyed by arson during the Commune in 1871. The first passenger service began in 1900.

The dramatic sky-lit ceiling of the Musée d'Orsay.

Soon after, electrification made longer trains possible, and the platforms in the station were too short to accommodate them. The station was relegated to suburban service only in 1939, and was shut down not long after that.

The 1970s saw a movement to save the historic structure and make it home to a museum of nineteenth century art, primarily that of the Impressionists. Work began in 1977 and the Musée d'Orsay was inaugurated in 1986.

I've only visited the museum twice, but was immediately struck by the building's interior and the beautiful glass and iron ceiling of the former train shed. The barrel vault style makes it unique among Paris' other major railway stations.

This slide was one of many I have of the entire space, but I decided to crop out the museum floor in favor of highlighting the pattern of the ceiling structure. As with other photos in this series, I was able to use Photoshop to correct some lighting problems.

This is part of a series of color slides that I took in Paris in the late 1980s. They are images that I didn't like much back then for one reason or another. I'm using Photoshop to try to give them a new life.


  1. This is my favourite museum in Paris! Lots of well thought out light and it houses the impressionists and Pastels!! LOL

  2. Long before it was a museum, it was indeed a train station. When I lived there, I would pass nearby on the pedestrian bridge (pont du pietons) from my apartment on the rue Solferino. The Gare d'Orsay, as it was known, was the setting for Kafka's Le Proces (The Trial). I believe it starred Anthony Perkins.

  3. lady jicky, yes, the light in there is terrific.

    gabby, I've never seen that! And I didn't remember that you lived on Solférino. Nice neighborhood!


Pour your heart out! I'm listening.