The Louvre in Paris is a colossal museum with one of the most remarkable collections in the world. With so much ground to cover and impressive artwork to see, it can be quite difficult to know where to begin and where to focus your attention.
A tour in the Louvre Museum’s extensive galleries offers a crash course in Western Civilization’s finest art. Some of the world’s most celebrated masterpieces are on show here, including the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci as well as the Vénus de Milo.
A significant number of the museum’s paintings were owned by the different kings who lived in the Louvre when it was a royal palace. Other exquisite pieces were obtained through France’s treaties with the Vatican and the Venetian Republic. The collection was enriched further by the spoils of Napoléon I.
As the world’s biggest museum, the Musée du Louvre packs in thousands of artworks into a 73 000-square-metre exhibition area in three sections: the Denon, Richelieu as well as the Sully wings, in a glorious building that was once the palace of French kings. Each wing consists of more than 70 rooms displaying paintings and objects of art. In addition, there are enormous halls filled with sculptures.
It’s not possible to see the entire collection in one day or even in a week. So we’ve put together a list of highlights you must see.
There has been much scholarly debate what makes the Mona Lisa one of the most renowned paintings in the world. One explanation is the air of mystery.
Even though the identity of the sitter is unclear, the woman who is portrayed is thought to be Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo (a silk merchant in Florence, Italy). For this reason, the painting’s Italian name is La Gioconda, which translates to La Joconde in French.
Another explanation for the painting’s celebrity is the subject’s enigmatic smile, perhaps symbolising the ideal of happiness. Her captivating expression and sidewards glance have a way of enchanting viewers. Observers notice how the Mona Lisa appears to be watching them from wherever they stand in the room.
IM Pei’s Pyramid
The Louvre Pyramid, which was designed by the famous Chinese-American architect IM Pei serves as the main entrance to the building. It’s been located in the main palace’s courtyard since 1988. Its modern architecture made of glass and metal stands in huge contrast with the three classical wings of the Louvre palace surrounding it. However, the recognisable pyramid isn’t only the Louvre Museum highlight, but also one of the symbols of Paris today.
Les Noces de Cana
Paolo Caliari (who is known as Véronèse) crafted Les Noces de Cana in 1563 that was commissioned by the Benedictine San Giorgio Maggiore Monastery situated in Venice. This was centuries before we had state of the art technology like that which powers mobile NFL betting, but the technique used in this painting is still incredibly cutting edge.
As the Louvre Museum’s largest painting, this immense six-metre-tall by 10-metre-wide canvas covers a whole wall of the Louvre gallery from the floor to ceiling. Initially, it was intended to decorate the refectory of the Venetian monastery.