Top 3 art galleries in Paris

If you’re an art lover – which I know I am – staying in hotel accommodation in Paris is likely to be your idea of the perfect holiday. The French capital is home to some of the world’s most famous galleries, and you can visit them all during your stay.

Here’s my guide to the three most famous galleries in Paris.

The Louvre

There can’t be many people who have never heard of this gallery, which is housed within a former royal palace and is home to an estimated 35,000 paintings, sculptures and other artefacts. The whole building, which sits on the banks of the River Seine, measures more than 60,000 sq m in size, so to attempt to see everything in it would take quite some time – as long as two weeks if you were thorough.

As a result, most people stick to the Master’s Trail, which leads you around the most famous works. By taking this path, you will see the likes of the Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, The Coronation of the Emperor Napoleon, The Wedding Feast at Cana, Winged Victory of Samothrace and Odalisque.

The Venus de Milo is well known for missing her arms, but evidence suggests one would have wrapped around her torso while the other grasped an apple. Meanwhile, it is today widely agreed that the Mona Lisa is a portrait of Italian noblewoman Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo. You can entertain your friends and family with these facts as you walk round!

Musee d’Orsay

Visiting this gallery forms the perfect middle step between the older masterpieces on display at the Louvre and the more contemporary art that exists today. Housed within the former train station, the Gare d’Orsay, the museum boasts the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist works in the world.

Among the artists whose paintings you can see here are Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Degas, Seurat and Van Gogh. The Impressionists revolutionised the art world with their movement and their paintings, which were a riot of colour that evoked the emotion of what the artist was seeing, rather than being photo-realistic.

Unlike the smooth and seamless paintings of masters like Da Vinci, the Impressionists produced pieces with visible brushstrokes and often built up light and shade through separate spots of colour. Claude Monet’s Blue Water Lilies and Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Bal du Moulin de la Galette can be viewed here.

Pompidou Centre

This art gallery is almost as famous for its external appearance as the works hanging on its walls. It is a post-modern structure that is a riot of shape and colour thanks to the bright tubing and scaffolding on its walls, which gives it the look of being transparent with the viewer able to see the internal workings of the structure.

There is always something going on here or a new exhibition to see, so be certain to check what’s on during your holiday. Sometimes concerts and theatre performances are put on here, so you’re in luck if you love all forms of art.

What you can expect is to see the very best in cutting-edge painting and sculpture when you come here, which will contrast well with your experiences at the other two museums. These are three of the most famous art galleries in Paris, but what are some of your recommendations?