Aux Sources des Nymphéas, the exhibition at the Musée de l’Orangerie

Published by Cécile D. · Photos by Cécile D. · Published on 15 January 2022 at 11h28
Their goal was to add beautiful in the daily life: impressionist artists have used their talents in a surprising way to make it. With the “Aux Sources des Nymphéas: le décor impressionniste” (At the roots of the Water Lilies: the impressionist decor) exhibition, discover how painting can light up a house. Running from March 2, to July 11, 2022, at the Musée de l’Orangerie.

It has been the dream of my life to paint walls”, Edgar Degas admitted. More famous for his dancers than his murals, the painter shared an ambition common to many impressionist artists: they wished to use their art to decorate places around them, adding something beautiful to the daily lives of inhabitants.

The musée de l'Orangerie shines a light on this little-known trend, through the “Aux sources des nymphéas : le décor impressionniste” (At the roots of the Water Lilies: the impressionist decor) exhibition. The display runs from March 2 to July 11, 2022.

Today, one can admire impressionism in museums. Many exhibitions are devoted to this movement, so you can discover paintings by the greatest masters, or you can seat across Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, given pride of place at the Orangerie. And yet, impressionist artists did not hesitate to experiment and paint on all supports available: fans, ceramics, objects, bas-reliefs, walls…

These painters enjoyed creating for the simple pleasure of the senses. Depicting a landscape to immortalize its beauty, without hiding some meaning behind flowers. Decorating daily life items to bring a bit of joy to the house…

The “Aux Sources des Nymphéas: le décor impressionniste” exhibition unveils this hidden face of the artistic movement history. This aspect that was subject to lots of teasing in the 19th century, and that enabled to wonder about the artistic practice and esthetic thought. Impressionists saw art for one goal: making something beautiful to please the eyes, as simply as that.

The musée de l’Orangerie then unveils works of art by Cassatt, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro or even Renoir. These masterpieces have been sent from all over the world to France, some of them being displayed for the first time. The exhibition gathers 80 paintings, fans, ceramics, and drawings, 80 works of art which first interest was to “brighten up walls”.

The Musée de l’Orangerie provides us with an almost hedonist tour: empty your mind from all worries, come and admire impressionist works of art, only think about delighting your senses. Shall we go, then?

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From 2 March 2022 to 11 July 2022



    Jardin Tuileries
    75001 Paris 1

    M° Concorde

    Official website

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