In the center of Paris on the banks of the Seine, opposite the Tuileries Gardens, the museum was installed in the former Orsay railway station, which had been built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. So the building itself can be seen as the first \”work of art\” in the Musée d\’Orsay. Today, the museum is visited by nearly three million visitors each year.
The museum\’s specific exhibition spaces are distributed throughout the three levels. The ground floor galleries are distributed on either side of the central nave, which is overlooked by the terraces of the median level, these in turn open up into additional exhibition galleries. The top floor is installed above the lobby, which covers the length of the Quai.
In 2009, the Musée d\’Orsay renovated its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist galleries located on the upper floor, as well as the four levels of the Pavillon that lead to it. The renovation provided a better display of artworks, larger exhibition areas and greater comfort for visitors, ensuring better circulation and more security.
The Musée d\’Orsay displays the great diversity of artistic creation in the western world between 1848 and 1914. The collection was formed with works coming mainly from three establishments. The Louvre provided the works of artists born after 1820 or coming to the fore during the Second Republic. Impressionist works came from the Musée du Jeu de Paume. Lastly works of modern art of artists born before 1870 came from the National Museum of Modern Art.