Located in the iconic city of Paris, the Louvre Museum is the most visited museum in the world. It has several of the world-renowned paintings and art pieces that you would recognize, for example, from Monalisa to the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
In the 12th century, Louvre was a fortress but after the French Revolution Louis XIV moved to Versailles, and this beautiful fortress became a treasure house of art in 1793. Louvre is also one of the largest and richest museums in the world. (I guess, no surprise there.)
The Louvre Museum
If you are an art lover and traveling to France, you must be visiting Paris. And, in Paris, the Louvre Museum has an unrivaled collection of art which a visitor must not miss.
There are as many as 460,000 artifacts in Louvre, out of which approximately 35,000 artifacts are exhibited. The museum’s collections span across:
- Oriental Antiquities
- Egyptian Antiquities
- Greek and Etruscan Antiquities and Arts
- Roman Arts and Antiquities
- Islamic Art
- Graphic Arts
Things To See in Louvre Museum
It would be difficult to list all the most interesting works in the museum as they are too many (plus the joy of going to any museum is to stumble upon great work of arts, without anticipation or expectation). Therefore, only the most popular rooms and works will be presented in this guide.
The Masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci – Monalisa is in the Room 6 of Denon wing. In the same room is the Les Noces de Cana by Paolo Veronese, depicting the Biblical Cana Wedding where the first miracle of Jesus took place.
Another historical piece in the Denon wing is the Winged Victory of Samothrace representing the Greek Goddess of Victory Nike.
In the Sully Wing, the sculpture of Aphrodite known as Venus de Milo is present.
Some of our other favorites arts are Psyche Revived by Antonio Canova and Captif sculptures of Michelangelo.
The Department of Paintings at the Louvre Museum, one of the largest in the world, brings together a vast collection of some of the most representative paintings in the history of European art. Sweeping all schools and all currents, the Italian Trencento (12th century) in French Romanticism (19th century), this department is also one of the most visited, including its Grand Hall that leads to the best work iconic museum, The Mona Lisa.
With nearly a thousand paintings preserved, it is one of the richest collections in the world. All the great names of the Italian Renaissance are represented, precursors (Giotto, Fra Angelico) to the great masters of Quattrocento (Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino, Raphael, Botticelli, etc.) and the Baroque period (Caravaggio, Correggio, Les Carrache, Veronès, etc.).
The Italian paintings are exhibited at 1 st floor of the Denon wing.
The Grand Gallery
Grand Gallery (Denon, 1 st, 5 rooms, 8, 12) – Installed under Henri IV at the end of the 16th century, the Grand Hall, 450 m long, initially linked the medieval Louvre to the Tuileries Palace. When the museum opened in 1793, it was in this room that the first works from the former royal collections were exhibited.
Today the Grand Hall includes all the Italian paintings of the 12th to the 18th centuries. Among the countless masterpieces on display are several paintings by Leonardo da Vinci (La Belle Ferronnière , The Virgin with the Rocks, St. Anne), Andrea Mantegna (San Sebastián, The Virgin of Victory), Perugino, Raphael (Portrait of Baldassarre Castiglione), Giuseppe Arcimboldo (Spring , Summer), Caravaggio (La Diseuse de bonne adventure), the Carracci brothers, Correggio, etc.
The Mona Lisa (Mona Lisa) Hall of the Mona Lisa (Denon, 1 st floor, room 6) – the undisputed masterpiece of the museum, the Mona Lisa is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci at the beginning of the 16th century.
Representative Lisa Gherardini, wife of Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo, the painting entered the royal collections on the death of the Italian master in 1519. Famous worldwide, the work is admired by nearly 20,000 people every day. This affluence makes it difficult to observe the painting, which is why it is recommended to go there when the museum opens, closes or during the night.
As a national museum, the Louvre Museum naturally holds the largest collection of French paintings in the world. Of the four thousand works preserved, only a quarter are exposed to the public.
All periods and all schools are represented: Portrait of John II (14th century) and the School of Fontainebleau (16th century) to classic paintings of Philippe de Champaigne, Nicolas Poussin, Georges de La Tour, Jean-Antoine Watteau … and neoclassical Jacques-Louis David, Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Géricault or Jean-Dominique Ingres.
All French paintings are exhibited on the 2nd floor of the Sully Wing and the Richelieu Wing, with the exception of large sizes of the 19th century set on the 1st floor of the Denon wing.
Created in 1863 under Napoleon III, this room (located in Denon, 1st floor, room 75), parallel to the Grande Galerie, today houses all major formats of French neoclassical painting. They host a large number of tables among the best known as The Oath of the Horatii (David), the Consecration of Emperor Napoleon I st (David) or La Grande Odalisque (Ingres).
Also established in 1863 for the Imperial Museum, this room (located in Denon, 1st Floor, Room 77), follows the Daru Room directly. It hosts all major formats of French Romantic painting including very famous paintings among which Liberty Leading the People (Delacroix) and The Raft of the Medusa (Géricault).
Paintings from Northern Europe
With over a thousand paintings in reserve, the Louvre has one of the largest collections of Flemish and Dutch paintings in the world. Covering all the currents of the 15th to the 19th centuries, all the big names are represented including Bosch, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordeans, Rembrandt, Rubens, Johannes Vermeer, etc.
The museum also has a collection of German paintings, including some by Albrecht Dürer, Caspar David Friedrich and Hans Holbein the Younger, as well as some works from Scandinavian schools.
All these paintings are exposed to the 2nd floor of the Richelieu wing.
Located in Richelieu, 2nd floor, room 18, the Medici gallery was specially equipped to receive twenty-four paintings that Marie de Medici, widow of Henri IV, commissioned Rubens to adorn the apartments of the Palais du Luxembourg it had just been built.
Painted between 1622 and 1625, this series traces the life of the queen, magnified by the presence of the gods of Greco-Roman antiquity.
Smaller than the previous ones, the Louvre’s collections of Spanish paintings include about one hundred and thirty paintings, half of which are exhibited, including some great names such as El Greco, Francisco de Goya, and Diego Velasquez.
The Spanish paintings are exhibited in the Pavilion de Flore at 1 st floor of the Denon wing, following the Great Gallery and Italian collections.
English and American paintings
With about one hundred and twenty paintings, collections of Anglo-Saxon paintings date back to the essence of the 18th and 19th centuries with big names such as Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, and JMW Turner.
The Anglo-Saxon paintings are exhibited in the Pavilion de Flore at 1 st floor of the Denon wing, following the Spanish collections in the Gainsborough room (room 32).
Greek and Russian icons
The Louvre Museum has a small collection of Orthodox icons exhibited in room 31 at 1 st floor of the Denon wing, the Pavillon de Flore.
With more than six thousand works owned including one third exhibited, the Sculpture Department of the Louvre Museum has one of the richest collections in the world. Three schools are represented: the Italian and Spanish school of vi th to the xix th centuries, Northern European School xii th to the xix th centuries and the French school, the largest in the world, including works presented range from the High Middle Ages to the XIX th century. Less popular than others, this department is mainly visited for two of these works: the Marly Horses and the Slaves of Michelangelo.
Note that all the sculptures prior to the Middle Ages were attached to other departments. For more details, refer to their descriptions below.
Covering all periods, from the beginnings of Romanesque and Gothic to romantic sculptures, this impressive collection traces the long history of French sculpture through a rich chronological route.
Beginning with the religious art of churches and abbeys, it continues with the discovery of recumbent and funerary monuments, then the first sculptures of the Renaissance to finish by the great names of the classical period (Jean Goujon, Germain Pilon, Ligier Richier), Baroque (François Girardon, Antoine Coysevox, Pierre Puget), neoclassical and romantic (Guillaume Coustou, David of Angers, Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, Jean-Antoine Houdon).
French sculpture is exhibited in Cours Puget and Marly on the mezzanine floor on the ground floor of Richelieu Wing.
Built by Hector Lefuel for the palace of Napoleon III, the Cour Marly has long been occupied by the Ministry of Finance.
It was only in 1993, when the museum was expanded, that the courtyard was opened to the public. It houses since all the open-air sculptures that once adorned the castle of Marly including the famous Horses de Coustou.
Contemporary courtyard Marly, the Puget court was also built by Hector-Martin Lefuel for the palace of Napoleon III. Long used by the Ministry of Finance, it was only released to the public in 1993 when the museum was expanded.
It houses since all French outdoor sculptures of the 17th, 18th, and 19th century, many of which were designed by Pierre Puget, the image Milon of Croton, a masterpiece of the court.
Ordered in 1739 by Louis XV, these two carved groups of 3.50 m high were made by Guillaume Coustou to adorn the trough of the castle of Marly.
Made of Carrara marble, they represent two rearing horses maintained by a groom. Moved during the Revolution at the entrance of the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, they were transferred to the Louvre in 1984 to be protected.
Italian and Spanish sculptures
Less provided than the French section, the Italian and Spanish collections are no less rich in masterpieces. Covering all periods, from the Middle Ages to the Neoclassical period, great names are represented such as Andrea della Robbia, Francesco Laurana, Bernini, Antonio Canova or Michelangelo.
The Italian and Spanish sculptures are exhibited on the mezzanine level and on the ground floor of the Denon Wing.
The Slaves ( Denon, Ground Floor, Room 4 ) – The Slaves are a set of two sculptures called The Dying Slave (or the Captive ) and The Rebel Slave, made around 1515 by Michelangelo. Initially commissioned by Pope Julius II for his tomb, they were finally dismissed from the project and given, unfinished, by Michelangelo to his friend Roberto Strozzi, who in exile, donated it to François 1st.
Northern European Sculptures
This collection presents a wide range of artistic production carved xii th and xix th centuries conducted in England, Flanders, the Netherlands and in the Germanic countries. Relatively small compared to the other two, this collection is best known for her portrayal of Mary Magdalene, a statue of the XVI th century made by the German artist Gregor Erhart.
Sculptures from Northern Europe are exhibited on the mezzanine floor and on the ground floor of the Denon Wing, in continuity with the Spanish and Italian collections.
After a long day at the museum, you can unwind at the shopping mall underneath the museum which also has a food court.
How To Get To Louvre
Located in the heart of Paris, the Louvre Museum is easily accessible by any means of transport.
The Louvre Rivoli and Palias Royal Musèe du Louvre are the closest metro stations to Louvre Museum. And both of them are on line 1.
There are also bus and taxi services to the world famous museum. If you have the Paris Museum pass (which gives you free entry to 60 different museums and landmarks in Paris) then enter through the Pyramid. Reaching the Pyramid is easy by taking 24, 69, 39, 72, 95, 48, 68 and 81 bus lines.
Best Time To Visit Lourve
The offseason is from October to march. And there is a good news for the budget conscious. Every First Sunday of the offseason months there is free admission to visitors. So, grab the opportunity of a free entry to the most unique museum in the world.
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September 9, 2018 8:26 pm