The Musée Marmottan Monet has the largest collection of Oscar-Claude Monet’s works in the world. The collection includes 94 paintings, 29 drawings, 8 notebooks of drawings, his painting palettes, personal correspondence, photographs, and a collection of paintings he kept that were created by his friends.
The building housing the museum was originally a hunting lodge. It was acquired in 1882 by Jules Marmottan, who renovated it so that is was larger and better suited to displaying his personal collection of First Empire art, furniture, and paintings. (The First French Empire was the Napoleonic era, from 1804-1815). On his death in 1932, he bequeathed his art and the building to the Academy of Fine Arts. Thus, the Musée Marmottan was born.
In 1957, Victorine Donop de Monchy donated a collection of paintings that she had inherited from her father, Dr. Georges de Bellio. Her father had been a doctor, patron, and friend of Monet, Édouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Michel Monet, Claude Monet’s second and only surviving son, donated the property of Giverny and his collection of his father’s paintings and personal effects to the Academy of Beaux-Arts in 1966. A special room was built in the basement of the Musée to display these pieces; it was inspired by the design of the Musée de l’Orangerie.
In 1985, Nelly Duhem, adopted daughter of French Impressionist painter Henri Duhem, donated his large collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist pieces (including several Monets) to the museum.
These three donations make up the backbone of the museum’s collection, with further prestigious works added since then. Sadly (for me), when we visited, you were not allowed to take photos at the museum. However, you can undergo a virtual visit from the museum’s website, and see some photos of the exhibited works there as well (that is where I’ve gotten the pictures used in this post).
A highlight of the collection includes the seminal painting that led to the name of the Impressionism movement. On October 27, 1985, five masked gunmen with pistols forced their way into the Musée Marmottan Monet during the day and stole nine paintings from the collection, including this one. Happily, a tip led to the recovery of all the paintings five years later.
The Musée Marmottan Monet also contains the world’s largest collection of works by female Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot.
The Musée de Marmottan Monet is another gem of a gallery to check out while you are in Paris!