Paris Museum Series: Musee Du Louvre

Facade – Musee du Louvre and Pyramid (completed, 1989)
Photo by: C. Dirampaten

The Musee Du Louvre (myze dy luv) – in English, Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world’s largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world, and a historic monument.  A central landmark of Paris, France, it is located in the right bank of the Seine at the first arrondissement (district).  Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area 60,600 square meters.  – http://en.wikipedia.org

At the Pyramid’s underground lobby (inaugurated in 1988), plus the imposing view of the Richelieu Wing.
Photo by: C. Dirampaten

It was during the French Revolution that a committee to ‘preserve the national memory’ was appointed – this paved the way to the opening of Louvre as a museum, 10 August 1793. 

Early perspective drawing of the Louvre Palace , Louvre Exhibit
Photo by: A. Sales

The current facade of the Grand Louvre and the Pyramid were completed in 1989, as part of a major renovation.  That renovation was earmarked as a high-ticket project under President Francois Mitterrand’s administration. 

In 2011, the Louvre, being host to 8.8 million guests, was ranked as the world’s most visited museum. 

In April 2012, I got the chance to visit the Louvre!  I was able to take some interesting photos, too! =)

Visitors are allowed to take photos and videos in the permanent collection halls.  However, flash or similar lighting device/equipment is prohibited.

A ‘meowth moment’ at the Denon
Denon Wing : Named after the first Louvre museum director, Dominique Vivant Denon – appointed by Napoleon I, 1801.

Musee du Louvre is divided into 8 curatorial departments:  Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, Roman; Islamic Art; Sculptures; Decorative Arts; Paintings; and Prints and Drawings.  – http://en.wikipedia.org.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is considered as the most celebrated art work at the Louvre.  It was thought to have been bought by Francis I sometime in 1546.  Now speaking of Da Vinci in the context of pop subculture, the Louvre has reported earnings of about 2.5M USD for allowing the movie, The Da Vinci Code (2006) to film at its galleries.

Meowth : Vis-a-vis avec Mona Lisa
The most important Italian Renaissance art work at the Louvre
Photo by: C. Dirampaten

Mona Lisa is displayed at the Denon Wing.  Opposite her portrait is one of Louvre’s finest religious paintings – The Marriage at Cana by Paolo Veronese (1528 – 1588).  He painted a crowd of over 130 figures, set in high-fashion 16th century Venice. 

Backdrop : Marriage at Cana

Two of my favorites are:  Venus de Milo – a marble sculpture from the Hellenistic Age (2nd century B.C.), which served as the epitome of Greek feminine beauty; and Nike of Samothrace (190 B. C.).  Both sculptures are displayed at the Denon Wing of the Louvre.

Hellenistic image turn classical art : Venus de Milo

Nike (Victory) was once erected at the prow of a ship which she would guide to victory. Found in Samothrace in 1863, arms and hands missing, Nike dates from about 190 B. C.

It’s now becoming obvious that I did spend a considerable amount of time at the Denon Wing.  The greater collections of Italian Renaissance paintings, including that of Raphael’s and Michael Angelo’s are housed in this section of the Louvre.

Portrait of Baldassarre Casteliogne – Raphael (1483 – 1520)
This canvass painting dates from around 1514-1515.
Photo by: A. Sales

David and Goliath – Daniele da Volterra (1509 – 1566)
Photo by: A. Sales

Italian painting, inspired by Catholicism
Photo by: A. Sales

The Richelieu Wing is home to Napoleon III Appartements exhibit.  The place has been restored to its equally splendour setting as it was during the time of Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugenie (Second Empire).

Grand Salon

Grand Salon

State Dining Room

Other interesting photos, as captured by our lenses…

Ceiling adorned by paintings
Photo by: A. Sales

Springtime! Duck at the Pyramid pond, Grand Louvre
Photo by: C. Dirampaten

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When in Paris…

Musee du Louvre is conveniently accessible to the public via METRO – Palais Royal Musee du Louve Lines M1, M7;  Louvre – Rivoli M1

Official website:

http://www.louvre.fr/en

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