Art,  Museums

A Unique & Fabulous Pilgrimage to the Marmottan in Paris

The world’s largest collection of paintings by Claude Monet rests comfortably today in the leafy hamlet of Passy (a neighborhood absorbed into the City of Paris in 1860) inside a townhouse with Empire-style salons. This property was purchased in 1882 by Jules Marmottan, a lawyer and mining-company director who collected pre-Renaissance art from Germany, Flanders and Italy.

Marmottan Water Lilies
Water Lilies, 1916-19 by Claude Monet
Marmottan stairs

Paul Marmottan, Jules’ only son, followed in his father’s footsteps and studied law. Paul became a well-known author, expanded the family’s property and redesigned the main house in the Empire style. He emulated his father by building his own collection of art and in 1932, when Paul died without an heir, the Academy of Beaux-Arts inherited the building and opened it to the public as a picture gallery as Paul Marmottan wished. The first Impressionist works of art, including Monet’s famous “Impression, Sunrise” as well as paintings by Pissarro, Morisot, Renoir, Sisley and Guillaumin, entered the collection of the Marmottan between 1940 and 1957 as a bequest from Victorine Donop de Monchy.

Marmottan, Field of Tulips in Holland
Field of Tulips in Holland, 1886
Marmottan, The Chateau at Dulceacqua
The Chateau at Dulceacqua, 1884
Marmottan Roses
Roses, 1925-26
Rouen Cathedral, Effects of Light, Marmottan
Rouen Cathedral, Effects of Light, 1892
Marmottan, The Tuileries
The Tuileries, 1876
Marmottan Monet
Marmottan, View of the Rose Garden from the House
View of the Rose Garden from the House, 1922-24

Upcoming Exhibitions

“ENGRAVING THE LIGHT: One Hundred Masterpieces from Dürer to Picasso”

July 5 — September 17, 2023

“The Musée Marmottan Monet will host a remarkable collection of engravings belonging to the Swiss Fondation William Cuendet & Atelier de Saint-Prex. With over one hundred masterpieces on display, the exhibition showcases an ensemble of works ranging from the 15th to the 21st century, including Dürer, Rembrandt, Piranesi, Goya, Corot, Manet, Degas, Bonnard, Vuillard… The works of the great masters will be displayed in a dialogue with creations by contemporary artists,” according to the museum’s website. Here is a sampling of the artists who delved into the process of engraving.

Jeune fille au bal, 1875 by Berthe Morisot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Berthe Morisot & the 18th century

October 18, 2023 — March 3, 2024

As a founding member of the Impressionists, Berthe Morisot (1841 — 1895) challenged and broke many of the norms of her day. This exhibition includes 30 of Morisot’s masterpieces from international collections, plus artwork by British and French masters such as Reynolds, Gainsborough and Fragonard. Drawing on new research by the Musée Marmottan Monet to trace the roots of her inspiration, the show reveals ways in which Morisot engaged with 18th-century culture and art while simultaneously defying artistic traditions through the originality of her own creative vision. 

Previous Exhibitions at the Marmottan


The exhibition entitled “NEO-ROMANTICS — A Forgotten Moment in Modern Art 1926 — 1972” featured over 100 works of art, and was on display from March 8 through June 18, 2023.

L’Ensemble {An Imaginary Academy}, 1938 by Francis Rose
Sketch for Rigoletto, 1951 by Eugene Berman
Sunset (Medusa), 1945 by Eugene Berman

Marmottan exterior

“Facing the Sun — The Sun in Art”

Perhaps the most famous painting housed inside the Marmottan Museum is “Impression, Sunrise” (below) painted by Claude Monet. Several mysteries surrounded this masterpiece, including the date on which it was created. In 2014, research by art historians at the Marmottan concluded that it was painted on November 13, 1872, a discovery which provided the inspiration for the Marmottan’s 2022 special exhibition entitled “Facing the Sun — The Sun in Art,” which closed on January 29, 2023. This painting is a depiction of the port of Le Havre (the hometown of Monet) and is credited with bestowing the name of the Impressionist movement.

Monet sunset Marmottan
Alexander Calder, 1941-53
Otto Dix, 1913
Joan Miró, 1940
Otto Freundlich, 1922
Sonia Delaunay, 1913
Edvard Munch, 1910-13
Franz von Stuck, 1906
Felix Vallotton, 1910
Maurice Denis, 1904
Felix Vallotton, 1911
Laurits Tuxen, 1909
Paul Signac Ships in Marmottan
Paul Signac, 1892
Andre Derain, 1906

This Show Celebrated the 150th Anniversary of “Impression, Sunrise”

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the creation of “Impression, Sunrise” by Claude Monet, the Marmottan Museum presented the exhibition FACE AU SOLEIL {“Facing the Sun” in English} to the public through January 2023. In addition to Post-Impressionist and modern art (shown above), this special temporary show brought together over 100 paintings that illustrated the changing representation of the sun in art from the 1300s to the present day.

Camille Pissarro, 1892
Gustave Courbet, 1875
Thomas Cole, 1845
Caspar Friedrich, 1828/1835
Claude Vernet, 1749
Henri de Favanne, 1715
Charles de la Fosse, 1672
Carlo Saraceni, 1606
Carlo Saraceni, 1606
Carlo Saraceni, 1606
Giovanni del Biando, late 14th century

“The Theatre of Emotions” was displayed from April 13 — August 21, 2022

The Marmottan explored the history of expressing emotions through painting by bringing together more than 75 paintings from the Middle Ages to the present day — including “The Supplicant” by Pablo Picasso (below) — for the exhibit “The Theatre of Emotions.”

Picasso in Marmottan
The Supplicant, 1937 by Pablo Picasso. Photo by Frans Vandewalle. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

An exhibition entitled “THE BLUE HOUR of Peder Severin Krøyer” was on view from January 28 — September 26, 2021

Krøyer was a Danish landscape painter and portraitist known for capturing on canvas the “blue hour” (a meteorological phenomenon preceding twilight, visible only from the northernmost seashores). One fine example of the effectiveness of his skill may be seen in “Bateau de Peche” (below) from 1884.

Paris Museum, Bateaux de Peche
Paris Museum, Roses (1893)

Paintings by Peder Severin Krøyer on view in 2021 included “Roses” (above) and “Summer Afternoon on the South Beach at Skagen” (below), both from 1893.

Paris Museum, Summer Afternoon on the South Beach at Skagen

Permanent Collection of the Marmottan Museum

Michel Monet, the younger son of Claude Monet, was his father’s sole descendant when Claude passed away in 1926. Michel Monet thus inherited the house in Giverny and all the paintings contained within it. Most of those paintings were late-period works of art created by his father as an ensemble, specifically large canvases depicting water lilies (nymphéas).

Claude Monet painted 125 large panels of water lilies between 1914 and 1926; however, when Michel Monet offered such late works for sale at auction not one was purchased by any of the French national museums. This was one reason why Michel (who was childless) decided against bequeathing his collection to the French State. When Michel died in 1966, over 100 works of art by Claude Monet entered the collection of the Marmottan Museum, Michel’s sole legatee. Three of these canvases (shown below), each one entitled Nymphéas, were painted in 1903 by Claude Monet.

Marmottan Water Lilies
Marmottan Water Lilies
Marmottan Water Lilies

If you are interested in learning about other Parisian museums and recent exhibitions, please visit these additional articles on our website:

“Paris – The 10 Best Art Museums”

“Previous Exhibitions at the Musée d’Orsay”

“Great Exhibitions from the Past at the Pompidou Centre”

“The Best Past Exhibits at the Grand Palais & Petit Palais”

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Dedication to Humberto O. Chávez

ArtLoversTravel would like to dedicate this article about the Marmottan Museum in Paris to one of our most faithful readers, Humberto Oscar Chávez. Mr. Chávez is a talented sculptor and painter who has also used the light emanating from the Sun and the special hues captured only during the Blue Hour to great effect throughout his impressive career!

One Comment


    Dear Art Lovers Travel supportors,

    Great thanks for the dedication, I was so touched by your thoughtfullness . No one ever touched me so deeply about my art talents . Thank you to all,

    Humberto O Chavez, 10/2/2022

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