The Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum is the largest museum in Paris by its surface (more than 160 000 m² of which 58 470 devoted to exhibitions). The Louvre currently has several very rich collections of works of art from different civilizations, cultures and eras such as:
- the arts of Islam,
- Egyptian antiquities,
- Greek antiquities,
- Etruscan and Roman,
- sculptures and paintings (paintings of great masters and painters)
not forgetting a collection relating to Art and Civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. It is rich of about 300 000 pieces, of which only 35 000 are exposed. It is one of the oldest museums and the third largest in the world. It houses several of the most famous paintings in the world: The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, The Freedom Guiding the People, Eugene Delacroix and The Oath of Horaces by Jacques Louis David.
His situation in Paris
Located in the heart of the city of Paris, between the right bank of the Seine and the Rue de Rivoli, in the 1st arrondissement, the building is a former royal palace where you will find the equestrian statue of Louis XIV in the Napoleon Court.
Since it is about image; know that the Louvre Museum has often served as a backdrop and location for film (120 shoots in 2013); Here is a list of some world-famous films where the Louvre is showcased and serves as a movie set: The Lovers of the Pont Neuf, a film by Léos Carax. The Da Vinci Code, a film by Ron Howard (2006) has given a huge visibility to the Museum or Luc Besson with his film Lucy, the Smurfs 2, Wonder Woman, Fifty shades lighter.
With a record attendance of 8.7 million visitors in 2017 (prospective 2018 the 9 million), the Louvre is by far the most visited art museum in the world, as well as the most visited monument in Paris. Place of culture par excellence; The Louvre has powerful tools including an auditorium where conferences, debates, reading sessions or concerts take place.
The Louvre was built by Philip Augustus in 1204 and was originally the royal castle and later transformed by Charles V between 1364 and 1380 and was completely rebuilt from the time of Francis I to the 19th century. It was the palace of French kings and princes, the Louvre is now the Palace of Arts and houses one of the richest museums in the world. Its collection, which ranges from Egyptian art of 5000 BC to 19th century works, is divided into seven departments: Oriental and Islamic Antiquities; Egyptian Antiquities; Greek, Roman and Etruscan Antiquities; Painting; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; as well as Graphic Arts.
François Mitterrand’s contribution to the Louvre
In 1981, President Mitterrand launched a rehabilitation project called Le Grand Louvre. The visible part of this iceberg like construction site, the glass Pyramid designed by the famous architect Ieoh Ming Pei, opens an exceptional perspective towards the Grande Arche de la Défense with the Arc de Triomphe in the middle. The Pyramid now gives access to the main entrance, letting a delightful golden light filter through the glass surface illuminating the floor below.
The enormous renovation of the Grand Louvre begun in 1983 resulted in an increase of 22,000 square meters. The basement is now occupied by the remains of the medieval castle, originally a large keep of the defensive wall built under Philip August in 1190, which have been excavated and displayed below the Cour Carrée. Under the glass pyramid leading to the main entrance of the Hall Napoleon begins the shopping gallery leading to several restaurants and cafeterias of the Galerie du Carrousel under the inverted pyramid.
The Richelieu Wing is fully accessible to visitors in wheelchairs. Temporary exhibitions are on display under the pyramid in the Hall Napoléon and in the Aile Richelieu and Aile Sully.
To help you find your way around, the three wings are color coded. Each level is also color-coded and divided into ten sections and each room is numbered. In 1993, the Museum celebrated the bicentennial of its opening and an extension to the Richelieu wing was opened to celebrate the event. The disruption this caused will affect the building over the decade, so changes and closures are expected.
Inside the Louvre
This is one of the largest art collections in the world. The basic collection was built up by Francis I, and completed by Henry II and Catherine de Medici. The Old Master collection was developed by Louis XIV and important Spanish and Dutch works were acquired by Louis XVI. Most painting enthusiasts come to see the exceptional collection of European paintings from I400 to I900. The Grand Gallery along the south side of the building is a magnificent room that showed the world what a picture gallery should look like. Pierced with large windows, its walls are adorned with some of the finest works of the Italian Renaissance. Also on this level is the Spanish collection and large-scale French paintings from the 19th century. On the upper level, northern European artists are well represented, as well as earlier paintings from the French school.
Not to be missed
After spending about 2 hours, you can familiarize yourself with some of the world’s most famous paintings. For example, try to interpret the enigmatic smile of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, or admire the apt proportions of the Venus de Milo (Sully wing). Michelangelo, Bellini, Donatello and Maillol are some of the great sculptors also represented here.
There will be direct access to the Espace Carrousel du Louvre from the metro and from the Place du Carrousel. The new parking lots will free up rue du Rivoli and place du Palais-Royal from the bus lines disgorging their passengers at the Louvre.
New galleries are planned in the coming years for Italian painting and sculpture, for the vast collections of Egyptian and Greek art, for the works of the Etruscans, and for sculpture from northern countries. With its seven sections, the Louvre Museum is colossal in size and has an extraordinary number of works of art. Approximately 28,000 are on display, which represents barely 5% of the Louvre’s treasures, most of which are kept in the cellars.
How to get to the Louvre
Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Metro: M1 Station Louvre Rivoli or M7 Palais Royal
From 15 to 17 Euros for adults, free for young people under 18 years old.
To know: the Louvre Museum is free for all the first Sunday of the month of October to March, and the 14 of July.
Museum is closed:
– January 1st (New Year’s Day)
– May 1st (Labor Day)
– May 8 (end of the Second World War)
– December 25 (Christmas)
The official website https://www.louvre.fr/en