Musée du Louvre or Louvre Museum is the world’s largest museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (ward). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet). The Louvre is the world’s second most visited museum after the Palace Museum in China, receiving more than 9.26 million visitors in 2014. It is also the largest. The Louvre has three entrances which are the main entrance at the pyramid, an entrance from the Carrousel du Louvre underground shopping mall, and an entrance at the Porte des Lions (near the western end of the Denon wing).
If you want to see another iconic masterpiece of Louvre Museum, you should enter through the main door, through the Louvre pyramid. there we can see the Louvre pyramid and inverted pyramid that makes the icons at once another attraction of the Louvre Museum.
The Musée du Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments.
The department, comprising over 50,000 pieces, includes artifacts from the Nile civilizations which date from 4,000 BC to the 4th century AD. The collection, among the world’s largest, overviews Egyptian life spanning Ancient Egypt, the Middle Kingdom, the New Kingdom, Coptic art, and the Roman, Ptolemaic, and Byzantine periods. Growth continued via acquisitions by Auguste Mariette, founder of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Mariette, after excavations at Memphis, sent back crates of archaeological finds including The Seated Scribe. Guarded by the Large Sphinx (2000 BC), the collection is housed in more than 20 rooms. Holdings include art, papyrus scrolls, mummies, tools, clothing, jewelry, games, musical instruments, and weapons. Pieces from the ancient period include the Gebel el-Arak Knife from 3400 BC, The Seated Scribe, and the Head of King Djedefre.
Near Eastern antiquities
Near Eastern antiquities, the second new departments, originating from 1881 and presents an overview of early Near Eastern civilizations and “the first settlement”, before the arrival of Islam. The department is divided into three geographical areas that are the Levant, Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Persia (Iran). the development of this collection according to the archaeological work such as Paul-Émile Botta’s 1843 expedition to Khorsabad and the discovery of Sargon II’s palace. This discovery forms the basis of the museum Assyria, a precursor to the department today. The Persian portion of Louvre contains work from the archaic period, like the Funerary Head and the Persian Archers of Darius I. This section also contains rare objects from Persepolis which were also lent to the British Museum for its Ancient Persia exhibition in 2005.
Greek, Etruscan, and Roman
The Greek, Etruscan, and Roman department displays pieces from the Mediterranean Basin dating from the Neolithic to the 6th century. The collection spans from the Cycladic period to the decline of the Roman Empire. This department is one of the museum’s oldes, it began with appropriated royal art, some of which was acquired under Francis I. Initially, the collection focused on marble sculptures, such as the Venus de Milo.
The Louvre holds masterpieces from the Hellenistic era, including The Winged Victory of Samothrace (190 BC) and the Venus de Milo, symbolic of classical art. The long Galerie Campana displays an outstanding collection of more than one thousand Greek potteries. In the galleries paralleling the Seine, much of the museum’s Roman sculpture is displayed. The Roman portraiture is representative of that genre, examples include the portraits of Agrippa and Annius Verus, among the bronzes is the Greek Apollo of Piombino.
The Islamic art collection, the museum’s newest, spans “thirteen centuries and three continents”. These exhibits, comprising ceramics, glass, metalware, wood, ivory, carpet, textiles, and miniatures, include more than 5,000 works and 1,000 shards. Originally part of the decorative arts department, the holdings became separate in 2003. Among the works are the Pyxide d’al-Mughira, a 10th century ivory box from Andalusia, the Baptistery of Saint-Louis, an engraved brass basin from the 13th or 14th century Mamluk period, and the 10th century Shroud of Saint-Josse from Iran. The collection contains three pages of the Shahnameh, an epic book of poems by Ferdowsi in Persian, and a Syrian metalwork named the Barberini Vase.
The sculpture department comprises work created before 1850 that does not belong in the Etruscan, Greek, and Roman department. The Louvre has been a repository of sculpted material since its time as a palace. However, only ancient architecture was displayed until 1824, except for Michelangelo’s Dying Slave and Rebellious Slave. In 1986, all post-1850 works were relocated to the new Musée d’Orsay. The Grand Louvre project separated the department into two exhibition spaces, the French collection is displayed in the Richelieu wing, and foreign works in the Denon wing.
The Objets d’art collection spans the time from the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century. The department began as a subset of the sculpture department, based on royal property and the transfer of work from the Basilique Saint-Denis, the burial ground of French monarchs that held the Coronation Sword of the Kings of France. Among the budding collection’s most prized works were pietre dure vases and bronzes. The Durand collection’s 1825 acquisition added “ceramics, enamels, and stained glass”, and 800 pieces were given by Pierre Révoil. The onset of Romanticism rekindled interest in Renaissance and Medieval artwork, and the Sauvageot donation expanded the department with 1,500 middle-age and faïence works. In 1862, the Campana collection added gold jewelry and maiolicas, mainly from the 15th and 16th centuries.
In September 2000, the Louvre Museum dedicated the Gilbert Chagoury and Rose-Marie Chagoury Gallery to display tapestries donated by the Chagourys, including a 16th-century six-part tapestry suite, sewn with gold and silver threads representing sea divinities, which was commissioned in Paris for Colbert de Seignelay, Secretary of State for the Navy.
The painting collection has more than 7,500 works from the 13th century to 1848 and is managed by 12 curators who oversee the collection’s display. Nearly two-thirds are by French artists, and more than 1,200 are Northern European. The Italian paintings compose most of the remnants of Francis I and Louis XIV’s collections, others are unreturned artwork from the Napoleon era, and some were bought. The collection began with Francis, who acquired works from Italian masters such as Raphael and Michelangelo and brought Leonardo da Vinci to his court. After the French Revolution, the Royal Collection formed the nucleus of the Louvre. When the d’Orsay train station was converted into the Musée d’Orsay in 1986, the collection was split, and pieces completed after the 1848 Revolution were moved to the new museum. French and Northern European works are in the Richelieu wing and Cour Carrée, Spanish and Italian paintings are on the first floor of the Denon wing.
The Italian holdings are notable, particularly the Renaissance collection. The works include Andrea Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini’s Calvarys, which reflect realism and detail “meant to depict the significant events of a greater spiritual world”. The High Renaissance collection includes Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Virgin and Child with St. Anne, St. John the Baptist, and Madonna of the Rocks. Caravaggio is represented by The Fortune Teller and Death of the Virgin. From 16th century Venice, the Louvre displays Titian’s Le Concert Champetre, The Entombment and The Crowning with Thorns.
Prints and drawings
The prints and drawings department encompasses works on paper. The origins of the collection were the 8,600 works in the Royal Collection (Cabinet du Roi), which were increased via state appropriation, purchases such as the 1,200 works from Fillipo Baldinucci’s collection in 1806, and donations. The department opened on 5 August 1797, with 415 pieces displayed in the Galerie d’Apollon. The collection is organized into three sections, the core Cabinet du Roi, 14,000 royal copper printing-plates, and the donations of Edmond de Rothschild, which include 40,000 prints, 3,000 drawings, and 5,000 illustrated books. The holdings are displayed in the Pavillon de Flore, due to the fragility of the paper medium, only a portion are displayed at one time.
Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Friday: from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Closed on Tuesdays
Rooms begin closing 30 minutes before museum closing time.
Admission on Sunday
From October to March: access to the permanent collections is free for all visitors on the first Sunday of each month.
Entrances to the museum
– Pyramid and Galerie du Carrousel entrances: open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays; and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.
– Passage Richelieu entrance: open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays)
– Porte des Lions entrance: this entrance may be closed for technical reasons. Please contact us the day before your visit at +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17.