The Musée Gustave Moreau in Paris

We’d heard a little about this museum, but it was the spectacular photos of its stairs (!) that finally spurred us into visiting. We were not disappointed…
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all photos : jasonw

Gustav Moreau was a prolific 19th Century French symbolist painter, sometimes considered to be one of the precursors of surrealist painting. As a professor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts one of his notable students was Matisse, and long before his death in 1892 he had already decided that a museum of his own work should be created.

Thus, he extended and converted the house that had belonged to his parents, creating giant workshops and display rooms. Even with the immense size of the rooms, there is not enough space to show all the accumulated works; Moreau left 4,800 drawings and 450 watercolours. As our guide said, many are rolled up an in storage…

On the first floor of the Museum we discover the artist’s apartment and office, full of his personal effects, giving you the impression of sneaking a peak of what his daily life was like.
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Hotel Paris

However, it is when you go upstairs again that this incredible place reveals itself.

You arrive in a huge room, filled to the brim with Moreau’s work…
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However the most impressive thing in the room is surely the monumental staircase leading up to yet another floor above. Its majestic curves are a wonder for the eyes, and the sheer surprise of seeing it there gives the place a stately, slightly surreal charm…
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Hotel Paris
Of course we couldn’t resist going up…
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The top floor is just as large and is packed solid with even more paintings. A lot of drawings are behind curtains and have to slid out in order to be viewed. The old heating is still present, and you can imagine Moreau sitting there painting…
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Hotel Paris

All in all, we had the impression of visiting a miniature stately home. The size of the display rooms, intimacy of the private apartments and cluttered display of paintings give the place a wonderful charm. The Museum is also situated in a part of Paris called Nouvelle Athènes, an area that was developed in the early 19th Century and became popular with artists and actors. Walk around and you will see many beautiful buildings. Great for a cheap architectural visit!

Check out our lovely Flick gallery to see all the other photos of this extraordinary place!
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Here’s all the essential information for the Musée Gustave Moreau

Where: Musée Gustave Moreau, 14 rue de La Rochefoucauld, Paris 9th arrondissement. Métro Saint-Georges (line 12). Bus n°s 67, 68, 74, 32, 43 & 49
Opening hours: Every day except Tuesdays, 10am-12.45pm and 2-5.15pm
Entrance fee: adults 5 euros, concession 3 euros. Free for under 18s and free for everyone on the first Sunday of each month
Official site: here


Bigger map here