The Louvre (Paris, France)
There’s no question about Louvre’s position as the best art gallery in the world. It’s among the largest museums in the world, not to mention a historic landmark as well. Also referred to as ‘Le Louvre’, it is composed of 60,600 square meters of exhibit area featuring almost 35,000 objects and art pieces spanning different influence and eras. This museum attracts almost 10 million visitors annually, thus making it the most visited museum in the world.
Located at Palais du Louvre in Paris, France, this museum is very accessible from any point in the city. The Louvre museum is opened daily except Tuesdays and from 9am to 6pm. But more than appreciating what’s inside the palace walls, visitors are encouraged to explore the other parts of Le Louvre, such as The Carousel Garden, Tuileries Garden, Gypsotheque at Versailles, and Musee Eugene Delacroix.
Dating back in the 12th century, the Louvre was built to be a fortress and an arsenal. Eventually, it served as the home of many French kings, including Francois I and Louis XIV. Throughout the years, the Louvre has undergone a series of reconstructions and renovations under the orders of the reigning king.
In 1973, a part of the Louvre was dedicated to become the Museum Central des Arts following the construction of the monument to science and the arts within its walls in 1971. The first exhibits housed at Louvre were the expensive paintings and art collections of France’s royal families and aristocrats.
The transition of the Louvre from palace to museum was gradual. It mainly started in 1798, when additional artworks were acquired by Napoleon’s conquests. The Grand Louvre was technically built after the Tuileries was demolished in 1882. From then on, the palace slowly transitioned by purely become a museum, until it became what it is right now.
The most notable pieces on display at the Louvre museum include the Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities collection, the Islamic Art collection, the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman collection, and a long line of famous paintings and sculptures lead by the ‘Venus de Milo’ sculpture and Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’.
Many works of famous artists can be viewed at the Louvre. Aside from Leonardo the Vinci, the other artists whose art pieces have found their home there are Raphael, Michelangelo, Paolo Veronese, Quentin Massys, Caravaggio, Velazquez, Poussin, Boucher, Ingres, and Delacroix, among others.
The rich gallery of the Louvre is a haven to all new and seasoned artists from all over the world. Among the famous sculptures on exhibit are Antonio Canova’s ‘Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss’ (1787), ‘Venus de Milo’, which was acquired by Louis XVIII himself, ‘The Seated Scribe’ from the Egyptian Antiquities collection, and Michelangelo’s ‘Rebellious Slave’.
For paintings, Da Vinci’s very famous ‘Mona Lisa’ can be found here, along with Raphael’s ‘Baltasar de Castiglione’ (1515). A few other famous paintings on display are ‘The Crucifixion’ (1550) by Paolo Veronese and ‘The Annunciation’ (1435) by Rogier Van Der Weyden.