Musée du Louvre

The Louvre or the Louvre Museum is one of the world's largest museums and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, France, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district). 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 most visited museum, and received more than 9.7 million visitors in 2012.

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years.[3] During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces.

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum renamed the Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and gifts since the Third Republic. As of 2008, the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.

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Bushel with Ibex Motifs

4200 BCE-3500 BCE

Gebel el-Arak Knife

3200 BCE

Bull Head from Girsu (Telloh)

3000 BCE

Bactrian Princess

2500 BCE

Perforated plaque of Dudu

2450 BCE

The Eannatum Boulder

2450 BCE

Clay Nails - A Treaty of Fraternity

2400 BCE

Cone of Entemena

2400 BCE

Hinge inscripted with Entemena

2400 BCE

Silver Vase with Cuneiform

2400 BCE

Stele of the Vultures - Historical Side

2350 BCE

Stele of the Vultures - Mythological Side

2350 BCE

Inscription by Naram-Sin: Temple Construction

2250 BCE

Victory Stele of Naram-Sin

2230 BCE

Gudea cylinders

2125 BCE

Gudea Diorite Sculpture

2120 BCE-2120 BCE

Divination Liver Model: Omen of siege

2000 BCE

Lion of Mari

2000 BCE

Hymn to Iddin-Dagan

1950 BCE

The Head of Hammurabi

1790 BCE

Prologue to Law Code of Hammurabi

1780 BCE

Law Code of Hammurabi

1750 BCE

Funerary Male Portrait

1500 BCE

Peplos Kore

530 BCE

Portrait of Aristotle

100 CE

Portrait of a Young Woman

200 CE

Daughter of Mousaios, Funerary Stele

250 CE

Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata

Giotto di Bondone, 1295-1300

Baal Stele


Portrait of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta

Piero della Francesca, 1451

Self-portrait at age 22

Albrecht Dürer, 1493

Mona Lisa

Leonardo da Vinci, 1503-1506

Pastoral Concert

Giorgione, Titian, 1509


Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1573

The Coronation of the Virgin

Tintoretto, 1580

Fortune Teller

Caravaggio, 1594

The Astronomer

Johannes Vermeer, 1668

The Lacemaker

Johannes Vermeer, 1669-1670

Fiding of Moses


The Song

Marguerite Gérard, 1785

Portrait of Madame Molé-Reymond

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1786

The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons

Jacques-Louis David, 1789

Self-portrait in the Guise of a Mockingbird

Joseph Ducreux, 1791

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss

Antonio Canova, 1787-1793

Self Portrait

Jacques-Louis David, 1794

The Intervention of the Sabine Women

Jacques-Louis David, 1795-1799

Child with a Doll

Anne Genevieve Greuze, 1800

The Flood

Anne-Louis Girodet, 1806

Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine

Jacques-Louis David, 1805-1807

La Grande Baigneuse

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1808
Featured Collections

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

The last Mondrian in a modernist palace

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Metropolitan Museum of Art

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