The well-known museum, that hosting many impressionist paintings, is now aligning itself with rules in force in other major museums in Paris and around the world, which allow visitors to take photos as long as flashes and tripods aren't used.
The sudden lifting of the no-photos policy, which had been in place since 2010, happened on Wednesday, after French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin took a picture of a canvas by artist Pierre Bonnard whose post-impressionist paintings are currently being exhibited in the museum.
Pellerin posted her image on her Instagram feed on Monday, triggering an outcry by Internet users who complained she was getting away with a practice forbidden to ordinary visitors.
She also posted pics on her Twitter account.
— Fleur Pellerin (@fleurpellerin) March 16, 2015
"This decision is applicable immediately," said Guy Cogeval, the president of the Musée d'Orsay and L'Orangerie, in an internal memo.
Cogeval said the issue has been under discussion for several months, but admitted that the culture minister's open flaunting of the ban had made the need for a decision more urgent.
However the museum insists that using flash photography, tripods and selfie sticks is still forbidden.
The culture ministry has its own, non-binding, charter on photography in French museums that urges commonsense approaches to taking photos in museums as long as it doesn't disturb other visitors or pose a danger to artworks.
The decision to lift the ban was however heralded by one Paris art blogger.
Bernard Hasquenoph, who started the blog "Louvre pour tous" ("The Louvre for Everyone") has been fighting for many years for visitors to have the freedom to take photos in museums.
"This is a victory for the sharing of culture," he said. "The Musée d'Orsay was against the current".