THE LOUVRE MUSEUM - Paris
The Louvre museum contains more than
6,000 European paintings and was originally designed as a palace. When the Musee d'Orsay was created
in 1986, most of the the post-1848 works left the Louvre and was
transferred to the new Museum which is close by.
The Louvre was built on the site of a medieval fortress on the
banks of the Seine river. It was used as the official residence
of the French Kings during the 16th and 17th centuries before
the Court moved to Versailles in 1682. It officially became a
"Peoples Museum" in 1793 after the Revolution, and is
now one of the most important museums in the world.
Its collection, which ranges from Egyptian art of 5000 BC to nineteenth-century
work, is divided into seven departments: Oriental and Islamic
Antiquities; Egyptian Antiquities; Greek, Roman and Etruscan Antiquities;
Painting; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; and Graphic Arts.
Throughout the 17th century, as France assumed a dominant role
in Europe, the Louvre's holdings increased dramatically. Particularly
important acquisitions during this period were major works by
the great Dutch and Flemish masters. In the 18th century the annual
salon exhibitions were established. The first state museum was
opened in the Louvre in 1793. The central position held by the
Louvre in the artistic life was magnified by Napoleon I, who began
its Egyptian collection. The overall museum complex was completed
under Napoleon III (r. 1852-70). Subsequently, the Louvre expanded
its collections greatly through gifts and bequests. Its departments
now include Oriental (ancient Mesopotamian), Greek and Roman,
and Egyptian antiquities; sculptures from the Middle Age to modern
times; furniture and objets d'art; and European paintings and
In the late 1980's during the construction of I.M. Pei's pyramids,
the original Medieval fortress base was unearthed, quickly incorporated
into the design, and is now on display as part of the museum's
The relaxing Tuileries garden near by the Louvre museum is one
of the most beautiful parks in Paris. Altogether a first class
combination well worth a full day of your time.
Palais du Louvre Paris 1er
How to get there
Metro line 1 : Palais Royal / Musee
Bus: 21, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95.
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