Le Petit Palais museum, near Champs Elysées avenue in Paris, is home to 1300 artworks including tapestries, sculptures, paintings, and antiquities. The building, reminiscent of the Belle Époque period, features a plethora of artworks that trace back to the Italian and French Renaissance era, and to the Middle Ages. One of its highlights is the notable French Impressionist Painter Claude Monet’s works.
The impressionist collections in Le Petit Palais include Monet’s landscape-inspired paintings, and the masterful works of French painters Pierre Bonnard, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne. The Petit Palais has an outdoor garden that adds to its medieval charm.
It was launched during the 1900 Exposition Universelle held in Paris, alongside the Grand Palais building and Pont Alexandre III bridge. The World’s Fair held in the city capital in 1889 contributed the Eiffel Tower, and the one 11 years later paved the way for the museum and two other Parisian landmarks.
Le Petit Palais was designed by French architect Charles Girault with the grandeur of a palatial home. The paintings and sculptures are placed across the museum. In its façade, there is a mural that denotes thought, mysticism, matter, and beauty. Another decorated section in the museum is a glass dome situated above a staircase, leading up to a gallery.
The Dutruit gallery in Petit Palais is home to French portraits and other notable works that offer a sneak peek into the history of the impressionism art movement. The gallery is home to decorative arts, which pave the exhibit floor and the ponds in the garden. The hallway entrance leading up to the gallery features stained glass windows.
The Champs-Elysées side of Le Petit Palais is home to an array of artworks placed in a spacious setting. Visit that section outside the museum free of cost if you want to see the collections of French architect Hector Guimard, painter Édouard Vuillard, and sculptors Jean-Joseph Carriès and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux.
Le Petit Palais also has a small number of Dutch and Flemish paintings alongside colonnades decorated with mosaics. The museum is often overlooked among some of the other museums in Paris such as Musée du Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. If you are a lover of fine arts, do add the ‘Small Palace’ into your Louvre museum tour itinerary alongside d’Orsay.