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The Louvre ( ), or the Louvre Museum ( ), is the world's most-visited museum, and a historic landmark in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the and from the to the and the ; overseas territories include in , in the N ...

France
. It is the home of some of the best-known works of art, including the ''
Mona Lisa The ''Mona Lisa'' (; it, Gioconda or ''Monna Lisa'' ; french: Joconde ) is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as "the b ...

Mona Lisa
'' and the
Venus de Milo The ''Venus de Milo'' (; el, Αφροδίτη της Μήλου, Afrodíti tis Mílou) is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from aro ...

Venus de Milo
. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the
Right Bank Right Bank may refer to: * Right Bank (Biscay) Image:Sitting at the dock of Biscay.jpg, 250px, Typical Right Bank houses near Neguri (Getxo). The right bank of the estuary of the river Nervión in Biscay, Spain is part of the Gran Bilbao, Metro ...
of the
Seine ) , mouth_location = Le Havre Le Havre (, ; nrf, Lé Hâvre) is an urban French Communes of France, commune and city in the Seine-Maritime Departments of France, department in the Normandy (administrative region), Normandy region of nor ...

Seine
in the city's 1st arrondissement (district or ward). Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet). Due to the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a c ...

COVID-19 pandemic
, the museum was closed for 150 days in 2020, and attendance plunged by 72 percent to 2.7 million. Nonetheless, the Louvre still topped the
list of most-visited art museums This article lists the most-visited art museums in the world in 2020. The primary source is ''The Art Newspaper'' annual survey of the number of visitors to major art museums in 2020, published 30 March 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mu ...
in the world in 2020."The Art Newspaper", 30 March 2021 The museum is housed in the
Louvre Palace The Louvre Palace (french: Palais du Louvre, ), often referred to simply as the Louvre, is an iconic building of the French state located on the Rive Droite, Right Bank of the Seine in Paris, occupying a vast expanse of land between the Tuileri ...

Louvre Palace
, originally built in the late 12th to 13th century under
Philip II
Philip II
. Remnants of the
Medieval Louvre The Louvre Castle (french: Château fort du Louvre), also known as the Medieval Louvre (french: Louvre médiéval, links=no), was a castle (french: château fort, links=no) built by Philip II of France, King Philip II of France on the rive droite ...
fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to urban expansion, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function, and in 1546
Francis IFrancis I or Francis the First may refer to: * Francesco I Gonzaga (1366–1407) * Francis I, Duke of Brittany (1414–1450), reigned 1442–1450 * Francis I of France (1494–1547), reigned 1515–1547 * Francis I, Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg (1510–15 ...
converted it into the primary residence of the
French Kings The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was among the most powerful s ...
. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682,
Louis XIV , house = House of Bourbon, Bourbon , father = Louis XIII, Louis XIII of France , mother = Anne of Austria , birth_date = , birth_place = Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Kingdom of France, F ...

Louis XIV
chose the
Palace of Versailles The Palace of Versailles ( ; french: Château de Versailles ) is a former royal residence located in Versailles, about west of Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most ...

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 The ''Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres'' () is a French learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipline (a ...
and the
Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture 300px, ''The Embarkation for Cythera'', 1717, was Antoine Watteau's reception piece for the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. The Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture (; en, "Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture") was foun ...
, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
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 Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
and the museum was renamed ''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 pt, Luís Estanislau Xavier da França it, Luigi Stanislao Saverio di Borbone-Francia nl, Lodewijk Stanislaus Xaverius van Frankrijk , reg-type2= , regent2= , spouse = , house = Bourbon , father= Louis, Dauphin of France , mother= Maria Josep ...

Louis XVIII
and
Charles X Charles X (born Charles Philippe, Count of Artois; 9 October 1757 – 6November 1836) was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Roy ...

Charles X
, and during the
Second French Empire The Second French Empire (; officially the French Empire, ), was the 18-year Empire, Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 14 January 1852 to 4 September 1870, between the French Second Republic, Second Republic and the French Third ...

Second French Empire
the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and bequests since the Third Republic. The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments:
Egyptian Antiquities Egyptology (from ''Egypt'' and Greek , '' -logia''; ar, علم المصريات) is the study of ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, ...
; Near Eastern Antiquities;
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
,
Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Etruscan cities **Etruscan ...
, and
Roman Antiquities Dionysius of Halicarnassus ( grc-gre, Διονύσιος Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἁλικαρνασσεύς, ; c. 60 after 7 BC) was a Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Augustus Caesar. His literary style was ...
;
Islamic Art About the concept of visual arts The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substr ...

Islamic Art
;
Sculpture ''lamassu 300px, ''Lamassu'' from Dur-Sharrukin. University of Chicago Oriental Institute. Syrian limestone Neo-Assyrian Period, c. 721–705 BCE ''Lama'', ''Lamma'' or ''Lamassu'' (Cuneiform: , ; Sumerian language, Sumerian: lammař; late ...

Sculpture
;
Decorative Arts ] The decorative arts are arts or crafts whose object is the design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification ...

Decorative Arts
; Paintings; Prints and Drawings. The Musée du Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments with more than dedicated to the permanent collection. The Louvre exhibits sculptures, objet d'art, objets d'art, paintings, drawings, and archaeological finds.


Location and visit

The Louvre museum is located inside the
Louvre Palace The Louvre Palace (french: Palais du Louvre, ), often referred to simply as the Louvre, is an iconic building of the French state located on the Rive Droite, Right Bank of the Seine in Paris, occupying a vast expanse of land between the Tuileri ...

Louvre Palace
, in the center of Paris, adjacent to the
Tuileries Gardens The Tuileries Garden (french: Jardin des Tuileries, ) is a public garden located between the Louvre The Louvre ( ), or the Louvre Museum ( ), is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris Paris () is the Capital ci ...
. The two nearest stations are Louvre-Rivoli and Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre, the latter having a direct underground access to the
Carrousel du Louvre The Carrousel du Louvre is an underground shopping mall in Paris, France Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175 ...

Carrousel du Louvre
commercial mall. Before the Grand Louvre overhaul of the late 1980s and 1990s, the Louvre had several street-level entrances, most of which are now permanently closed. Since 1993, the museum's main entrance has been the underground space under the
Louvre Pyramid The Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) is a large glass Glass is a non- crystalline, often transparency and translucency, transparent amorphous solid, that has widespread practical, technological, and decorative use in, for example, window ...
, or ''Hall Napoléon'', which can be accessed from the Pyramid itself, from the underground
Carrousel du Louvre The Carrousel du Louvre is an underground shopping mall in Paris, France Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175 ...

Carrousel du Louvre
, or (for authorized visitors) from the connecting to the nearby
rue de Rivoli Rue de Rivoli (; English: "Rivoli Street") is a street in central Paris, France. It is a commercial street whose shops include leading fashionable brands. It bears the name of Napoleon's early victory against the Austrian army, at the Battle of Riv ...

rue de Rivoli
. A secondary entrance at the , near the western end of the Denon Wing, was created in 1999 but is not permanently open. The museum's entrance conditions have varied over time. Initially, artists and foreign visitors had privileged access, a feature that only disappeared in the 1850s. At the time of initial opening in 1793, the
French Republican calendar The French Republican calendar (french: calendrier républicain français), also commonly called the French Revolutionary calendar (), was a calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of t ...
had imposed ten-days "weeks" (french: décades), the first six days of which were reserved for visits by artists and foreigners and the last three for visits by the general public. In the early 1800s, after the seven-day week had been reinstated, the general public had only four hours of museum access per weeks, between 2pm and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. In 1824, a new regulation allowed public access only on Sundays and holidays; the other days the museum was open only to artists and foreigners, except for closure on Mondays. That changed in 1855 when the museum became open to the public all days except Mondays. It was free until 1922, when an entrance fee was introduced except on Sundays. Since its post-
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
reopening in 1946, the Louvre has been closed on Tuesdays, and habitually open to the public the rest of the week except for some holidays. The use of cameras and video recorders is permitted inside, but flash photography is forbidden.


History


Before the Museum

The
Louvre Palace The Louvre Palace (french: Palais du Louvre, ), often referred to simply as the Louvre, is an iconic building of the French state located on the Rive Droite, Right Bank of the Seine in Paris, occupying a vast expanse of land between the Tuileri ...

Louvre Palace
, which houses the museum, was begun by in the late 12th century to protect the city from the attack from the West, as the
Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (: ''Regnum Anglorum'', "Kingdom of the English") was a on the island of from 12 July 927, when it emerged from various kingdoms, until 1 May 1707, when it united with to form the . The Kingdom of England was among ...

Kingdom of England
still held
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
at the time. Remnants of the
Medieval Louvre The Louvre Castle (french: Château fort du Louvre), also known as the Medieval Louvre (french: Louvre médiéval, links=no), was a castle (french: château fort, links=no) built by Philip II of France, King Philip II of France on the rive droite ...
are still visible in the crypt. Whether this was the first building on that spot is not known, and it is possible that Philip modified an existing tower. The origins of the name "Louvre" are somewhat disputed. According to the authoritative ''
Grand Larousse encyclopédique The ''Grand Larousse encyclopédique en dix volumes'' ("Big Larousse encyclopedia in ten volumes") is a French encyclopedic dictionary published by Larousse between February 1960 and August 1964, with two later supplements that update the content ...
'', the name derives from an association with
wolf hunting Wolf hunting is the practice of hunting gray wolves ''(Canis lupus)'' or other species of wolves The wolf (''Canis lupus''), also known as the gray wolf or grey wolf, is a large canine native to Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest ...
den (via Latin: ''lupus'', lower Empire: ''lupara'').Edwards, pp. 193–94 In the 7th century, Burgundofara (also known as Saint Fare), abbess in Meaux, is said to have gifted part of her "Villa called Luvra situated in the region of Paris" to a monastery, even though it is doubtful that this land corresponded exactly to the present site of the Louvre. The Louvre Palace changed a lot over the centuries. In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building from its military role into a residence. In 1546, Francis I started its rebuilding in French Renaissance style.Edwards, p. 198 After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, construction works slowed to a halt. The royal move away from Paris resulted in the Louvre being used as a residence for artists, under Royal patronage. For example, four generations of craftsmen-artists from the Boulle family were granted Royal patronage and resided in the Louvre. Meanwhile, the collections of the Louvre originated in the acquisitions of paintings and other artworks by the monarchs of the
House of France The term House of France refers to the branch of the Capetian dynasty which provided the Kings of France following the election of Hugh Capet. The House of France consists of a number of branches and their sub-branches. Some of its branches hav ...
. Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre's holdings, his acquisitions including
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian of the who was active as a painter, , engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he als ...

Leonardo da Vinci
's ''
Mona Lisa The ''Mona Lisa'' (; it, Gioconda or ''Monna Lisa'' ; french: Joconde ) is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as "the b ...

Mona Lisa
''. At the
Palace of Fontainebleau The Palace of Fontainebleau (; ) or Château de Fontainebleau, located southeast of the center of Paris, in the commune of Fontainebleau, is one of the largest French royal châteaux. The medieval castle and subsequent palace served as a residence ...

Palace of Fontainebleau
, Francis collected art that would later be part of the Louvre's art collections, including
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian of the who was active as a painter, , engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he als ...

Leonardo da Vinci
's ''
Mona Lisa The ''Mona Lisa'' (; it, Gioconda or ''Monna Lisa'' ; french: Joconde ) is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as "the b ...

Mona Lisa
''. The Cabinet du Roi consisted of seven rooms west of the Galerie d'Apollon on the upper floor of the remodeled Petite Galerie. Many of the king's paintings were placed in these rooms in 1673, when it became an art gallery, accessible to certain art lovers as a kind of museum. In 1681, after the court moved to Versailles, 26 of the paintings were transferred there, somewhat diminishing the collection, but it is mentioned in Paris guide books from 1684 on, and was shown to ambassadors from
Siam ) , royal_anthem = '' Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glorify His prestige") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Bangkok Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai language, ...

Siam
in 1686. By the mid-18th century there were an increasing number of proposals to create a public gallery in the Louvre. Art critic Étienne La Font de Saint-Yenne in 1747 published a call for a display of the royal collection. On 14 October 1750,
Louis XV Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774), known as Louis the Beloved (french: le Bien-Aimé), was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France ruled from the establishment of the West Francia, Kingdom of the West Franks in 843 ...
decided on a display of 96 pieces from the royal collection, mounted in the Galerie royale de peinture of the
Luxembourg Palace The Luxembourg Palace (french: Palais du Luxembourg, ) is at 15 in the . It was originally built (1615–1645) to the designs of the French architect to be the royal residence of the , mother of . After the it was refashioned (1799–1805) by ...
. A hall was opened by Le Normant de Tournehem and the
Marquis de Marigny A marquess (; french: marquis, ) is a nobleman of high hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The term is also used to translate equivalent Asian styles, as in History of China#Imperial Chi ...
for public viewing of the "king's paintings" (''Tableaux du Roy'') on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Luxembourg gallery included
Andrea del Sarto Andrea del Sarto (, , ; 16 July 1486 – 29 September 1530) was an List of Italian painters, Italian painter from Florence, whose career flourished during the High Renaissance and early Mannerism. He was known as an outstanding fresco decorator, ...

Andrea del Sarto
's ''Charity'' and works by
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (; March 28 or April 6, 1483April 6, 1520), known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture ...

Raphael
;
Titian Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio (; 27 August 1576), known in English as Titian ( ), was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Ital ...
; Veronese;
Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669), usually simply known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker and Drawing, draughtsman. An innovative and prolific Old Masters, master in three art medi ...

Rembrandt
;
Poussin Nicolas Poussin (, , ; June 1594 – 19 November 1665) was the leading painter of the Classicism, classical French Baroque style, although he spent most of his working life in Rome. Most of his works were on religious and mythological subjects pai ...

Poussin
or
Van Dyck Sir Anthony van Dyck (, many variant spellings; 22 March 1599 – 9 December 1641) was a Flemish Baroque painting, Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England after success in the Southern Netherlands and Italy. ...
. It closed in 1780 as a result of the royal gift of the Luxembourg palace to the
Count of Provence Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility in certain European countries, varying in relative status, generally of middling rank in the hierarchy of nobility.L. G. Pine, Pine, L. G. ''Titles: How the King Became His Majesty''. ...

Count of Provence
(the future king, Louis XVIII) by the king in 1778. Under
Louis XVI Louis XVI (Louis-Auguste; ; 23 August 175421 January 1793) was the last King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) wa ...

Louis XVI
, the idea of a royal museum in the Louvre came closer to fruition.Carbonell, p. 56 The comte d'Angiviller broadened the collection and in 1776 proposed to convert the Grande Galerie of the Louvre – which at that time contained the '' plans-reliefs'' or 3D models of key fortified sites in and around France – into the "French Museum". Many design proposals were offered for the Louvre's renovation into a museum, without a final decision being made on them. Hence the museum remained incomplete until the French Revolution.


Revolutionary opening

The Louvre finally became a public museum during the French Revolution. In May 1791, the National Constituent Assembly declared that the Louvre would be "a place for bringing together monuments of all the sciences and arts". On 10 August 1792, was imprisoned and the royal collection in the Louvre became national property. Because of fear of vandalism or theft, on 19 August, the National Assembly pronounced the museum's preparation as urgent. In October, a committee to "preserve the national memory" began assembling the collection for display. The museum opened on 10 August 1793, the first anniversary of the monarchy's demise, as ''Muséum central des arts de la République''. The public was given free accessibility on three days per week, which was "perceived as a major accomplishment and was generally appreciated". The collection showcased 537 paintings and 184 objects of art. Three quarters were derived from the royal collections, the remainder from confiscated émigrés and
Church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is usually used to refer to the p ...

Church
property (''
biens nationaux The biens nationaux were properties Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In the context of this article, it is one or more components (r ...
''). To expand and organize the collection, the Republic dedicated 100,000 
livres The ''livre tournois'' (), for the " ", was one of numerous currencies used in , and a (i.e., a monetary unit used in accounting) used in . The 1262 monetary reform established the livre tournois as 20 ''sous tournois'', or 80.88 grams of fin ...

livres
per year.Nora, p. 278 In 1794, France's revolutionary armies began bringing pieces from Northern Europe, augmented after the
Treaty of Tolentino A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relation ...
(1797) by works from the Vatican, such as the ''
Laocoön Laocoön (;The diacritic over the penultimate "o" is a diaeresis, indicating that each vowel should be sounded separately. It should not be confused with an '' umlaut'', which would indicate a different sound to the vowel altogether. grc, Λαο ...

Laocoön
'' and ''
Apollo Belvedere The ''Apollo Belvedere'' (also called the ''Pythian Apollo or Apollo of the Belvedere'') is a celebrated marble sculpture from Classical Antiquity. The ''Apollo'' is now thought to be an original Roman re-creation of Hadrianic date (''ca.'' 120– ...

Apollo Belvedere
'', to establish the Louvre as a museum and as a "sign of popular sovereignty". The early days were hectic. Privileged artists continued to live in residence, and the unlabeled paintings hung "frame to frame from floor to ceiling".Alderson, pp. 24, 25 The structure itself closed in May 1796 due to structural deficiencies. It reopened on 14 July 1801, arranged chronologically and with new lighting and columns. On 15 August 1797, the
Galerie d'Apollon The Galerie d'Apollon is a part of the Louvre Palace, Louvre, famous for its high vaulted ceilings with painted decorations, and housing the museum's collection of the French Crown Jewels. History The room was originally called the 'Petite Galeri ...
was opened with an exhibition of drawings. Meanwhile, the Louvre's gallery of Antiquity sculpture (''musée des Antiques''), with artefacts brought from Florence and the Vatican, had opened in November 1800 in
Anne of Austria french: Anne-Marie-Mauricie d'Autriche , house =Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English (german: Haus Habsburg ; es, Casa de Habsburgo ; hu, Habsburg-család), also known as the House of Austria (g ...

Anne of Austria
's former summer apartment, located on the ground floor just below the Galerie d'Apollon.


Napoleonic era

On 19 November 1802, Napoleon appointed
Dominique Vivant Denon Dominique Vivant, Baron Denon (4 January 1747 – 27 April 1825) was a French artist, writer, diplomat, author, and archaeologist. He was appointed as the first Director of the Louvre museum by Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 17 ...
, a scholar and polymath who had participated in the
Egyptian campaign The French campaign in Egypt and Syria (1798–1801) was Napoleon, Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman territories of Ottoman Egypt, Egypt and Ottoman Syria, Syria, proclaimed to defend French First Republic, French trad ...
of 1798–1801, as the museum's first director, in preference to alternative contenders such as antiquarian
Ennio Quirino Visconti Ennio Quirino Visconti (November 1, 1751 – February 7, 1818) was an Italian antiquarian and art historian, papal Prefect of Antiquities, and the leading expert of his day in the field of ancient Roman sculpture. His son, Pietro Ercole Visconti, ed ...

Ennio Quirino Visconti
, painter
Jacques-Louis David Jacques-Louis David (; 30 August 174829 December 1825) was a French painter in the Neoclassical Neoclassical or neo-classical may refer to: * Neoclassicism or New Classicism, any of a number of movements in the fine arts, literature, theatre, m ...
, sculptor
Antonio Canova Antonio Canova (; 1 November 1757 – 13 October 1822) was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian ...

Antonio Canova
and architects or . On Denon's suggestion in July 1803, the museum itself was renamed ''Musée Napoléon''. The collection grew through successful military campaigns. Acquisitions were made of Spanish, Austrian, Dutch, and Italian works, either as the result of
war looting Looting is the act of stealing, or the taking of goods by force, typically in the midst of a military, political, or other social crisis, such as war, natural disasters (where law and civil enforcement are temporarily ineffective), or rioting. ...
or formalized by treaties such as the
Treaty of Tolentino A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relation ...
. At the end of Napoleon's First Italian Campaign in 1797, the
Treaty of Campo Formio The Treaty of Campo Formio (today Campoformido) was signed on 17 October 1797 (26 Vendémiaire VI) by Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone di Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a ...
was signed with Count Philipp von Cobenzl of the
Austrian Monarchy Habsburg Monarchy (german: Habsburgermonarchie), or Danubian Monarchy (german: Donaumonarchie), or Habsburg Empire (german: Habsburgerreich) is a modern umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of langua ...
. This treaty marked the completion of Napoleon's conquest of Italy and the end of the first phase of the
French Revolutionary Wars The French Revolutionary Wars (french: Guerres de la Révolution française) were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted French First Republic, France against Gr ...
. It compelled Italian cities to contribute pieces of art and heritage to Napoleon's "parades of spoils" through Paris before being put into the Louvre Museum.Plant, p. 36 The
Horses of Saint Mark The Horses of Saint Mark ( it, Cavalli di San Marco), also known as the Triumphal Quadriga, is a set of bronze statues of four horses, originally part of a monument depicting a quadriga (a four-horse carriage used for chariot racing). The horses ...
, which had adorned the basilica of San Marco in Venice after the sack of
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
in 1204, were brought to Paris where they were placed atop Napoleon's
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel () is a triumphal arch 300px, The Arc de Triomphe, Paris A triumphal arch is a free-standing monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In ...

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
in 1797. Under the
Treaty of Tolentino A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relation ...
, the two statues of the Nile and Tiber were taken to Paris from the Vatican in 1797, and were both kept in the Louvre until 1815. (The Nile was later returned to Rome, whereas the Tiber has remained in the Louvre to this day.) The despoilment of Italian churches and palaces outraged the Italians and their artistic and cultural sensibilities. After the French defeat at
Waterloo Waterloo most commonly refers to: * Battle of Waterloo, a battle on 18 June 1815 in which Napoleon met his final defeat :* Waterloo, Belgium, a municipality in Belgium from which the battle took its name *London Waterloo station, the UK's largest an ...

Waterloo
, the looted works' former owners sought their return. The Louvre's administrator
Denon is a Japanese electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control electron flow by amplif ...
was loath to comply in absence of a treaty of restitution. In response, foreign states sent emissaries to London to seek help, and many pieces were returned, though far from all.Alderson, p. 25 In 1815
Louis XVIII Louis XVIII (Louis Stanislas Xavier; 17 November 1755 – 16 September 1824), known as the Desired (), was from 1814 to 1824, except for the in 1815. He spent twenty-three years in exile: during the and the (1804–1814), and durin ...
finally concluded agreements with the
Austrian Austrian may refer to: * Austrians, someone from Austria or of Austrian descent ** Someone who is considered an Austrian citizen, see Austrian nationality law * Something associated with the country Austria, for example: ** Austria-Hungary ** Austr ...
government for the keeping of works such as Veronese's ''
Wedding at Cana 220px, The " Wedding Church" in Kafr Kanna, Israel, a pilgrimage site believed by many Christians to be the site of the biblical marriage The transformation of water into wine at the Marriage at Cana or Wedding at Cana is the first miracle of Jes ...
'' which was exchanged for a large or the repurchase of the Albani collection.


From 1815 to 1852

For most of the 19th century, from
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
's time to the , the Louvre and other national museums were managed under the monarch's civil list and thus depended much on the ruler's personal involvement. Whereas the most iconic collection remained that of paintings in the Grande Galerie, a number of other initiatives mushroomed in the vast building, named as if they were separate museums even though they were generally managed under the same administrative umbrella. Correspondingly, the museum complex was often referred to in the plural ("") rather than singular. During the
Bourbon RestorationBourbon Restoration may refer to: * Bourbon Restoration in France The Bourbon Restoration was the period of French history The first written records for the history of France appeared in the Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the ...
(1814–1830),
Louis XVIII Louis XVIII (Louis Stanislas Xavier; 17 November 1755 – 16 September 1824), known as the Desired (), was from 1814 to 1824, except for the in 1815. He spent twenty-three years in exile: during the and the (1804–1814), and durin ...
and
Charles X Charles X (born Charles Philippe, Count of Artois; 9 October 1757 – 6November 1836) was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Ro ...

Charles X
added to the collections. The Greek and Roman sculpture gallery on the ground floor of the southwestern side of the was completed on designs by
Percier and Fontaine Percier and Fontaine was a noted partnership between French people, French architects Charles Percier and Pierre François Léonard Fontaine. History Together, Percier and Fontaine were inventors and major proponents of the rich and grand, conscio ...
. In 1819 an exhibition of manufactured products was opened in the first floor of the Cour Carrée's southern wing and would stay there until the mid-1820s. Charles X in 1826 created the and in 1827 included it in his broader , a new section of the museum complex located in a suite of lavishly decorated rooms on the first floor of the South Wing of the . The Egyptian collection, initially curated by
Jean-François Champollion Jean-François Champollion (), also known as Champollion ''le jeune'' ('the Younger'; 23 December 17904 March 1832), was a French scholar A scholar is a person who pursues academic and intellectual activities, particularly those that develop e ...

Jean-François Champollion
, formed the basis for what is now the Louvre's Department of Egyptian Antiquities. It was formed from the purchased collections of Edmé-Antoine Durand, Henry Salt (Egyptologist), Henry Salt and the second collection of Bernardino Drovetti (the first one having been purchased by Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia to form the core of the present Museo Egizio in Turin). The Restoration period also saw the opening in 1824 of the , a section of largely French sculptures on the ground floor of the Northwestern side of the , many of whose artefacts came from the
Palace of Versailles The Palace of Versailles ( ; french: Château de Versailles ) is a former royal residence located in Versailles, about west of Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most ...

Palace of Versailles
and from Alexandre Lenoir's Musée des Monuments français (1795-1816), Musée des Monuments Français following its closure in 1816. Meanwhile, the French Navy created an exhibition of ship models in the Louvre in December 1827, initially named in honor of Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, Dauphin Louis Antoine, building on an 18th-century initiative of Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau. This collection, renamed in 1833 and later to develop into the Musée national de la Marine, was initially located on the first floor of the 's North Wing, and in 1838 moved up one level to the 2nd-floor attic, where it remained for more than a century. File:Dernière salle des antiquités égyptiennes (Louvre).jpg, First room File:Egyptian antiquities in the Louvre - Room 27 and others.jpg, Room 27 File:Egyptian antiquities in the Louvre - Room 29 D201903.jpg, Room 29 File:Salles des colonnes du Louvre, vue vers l'ouest.jpg, Salle des Colonnes File:Greek antiquities in the Louvre - Room 35 D201903.jpg, Room 35 File:Room 36 of the Greek antiquities in the Louvre.jpg, Room 36 File:Greek antiquities in the Louvre - Room 38 D201903.jpg, Room 38 Following the July Revolution, Louis Philippe I, King Louis Philippe focused his interest on the repurposing of the
Palace of Versailles The Palace of Versailles ( ; french: Château de Versailles ) is a former royal residence located in Versailles, about west of Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most ...

Palace of Versailles
into a Musée de l'Histoire de France (Versailles), Museum of French History conceived as a project of national reconciliation, and the Louvre was kept in comparative neglect. Louis-Philippe did, however, sponsor the creation of the to host the monumental Assyrian sculpture works brought to Paris by Paul-Émile Botta, in the ground-floor gallery north of the eastern entrance of the . The Assyrian Museum opened on 1 May 1847. Separately, Louis-Philippe had his Spanish gallery displayed in the Louvre from 7 January 1838, in five rooms on the first floor of the Cour Carrée's East (Louvre Colonnade, Colonnade) Wing, but the collection remained his personal property. As a consequence, the works were removed after Louis-Philippe was deposed in 1848, and were eventually auctioned away in 1853. The short-lived French Second Republic, Second Republic had more ambitions for the Louvre. It initiated repair work, the completion of the
Galerie d'Apollon The Galerie d'Apollon is a part of the Louvre Palace, Louvre, famous for its high vaulted ceilings with painted decorations, and housing the museum's collection of the French Crown Jewels. History The room was originally called the 'Petite Galeri ...
and of the , and the overhaul of the (former site of the iconic yearly Salon (Paris), Salon) and of the Grande Galerie. In 1848, the Naval Museum in the Cour Carrée's attic was brought under the common Louvre Museum management, a change which was again reversed in 1920. In 1850 under the leadership of curator Adrien Prévost de Longpérier, Adrien de Longpérier, the musée mexicain opened within the Louvre as the first European museum dedicated to pre-Columbian art.


Second Empire

The rule of Napoleon III was transformational for the Louvre, both the building and the museum. In 1852, he created the Musée des Souverains in the Louvre Colonnade, Colonnade Wing, an ideological project aimed at buttressing his personal legitimacy. In 1861, he bought 11,835 artworks including 641 paintings, Greek gold and other antiquities of the Campana collection. For its display, he created another new section within the Louvre named , occupying a number of rooms in various parts of the building. Between 1852 and 1870, the museum added 20,000 new artefacts to its collections. The main change of that period was to the building itself. In the 1850s architects Louis Visconti and Hector Lefuel created massive new spaces around what is now called the Cour Napoléon, some of which (in the South Wing, now Aile Denon) went to the museum. In the 1860s, Lefuel also led the creation of the with a new closer to Napoleon III's residence in the Tuileries Palace, with the effect of shortening the Grande Galerie by about a third of its previous length. A smaller but significant Second Empire project was the decoration of the below the Salon carré. File:Musée Napoléon III.jpg, Entrance to a section of the ''Musée Napoléon III'' from the ''salle des séances'', then a double-height space File:Galerie Daru - Musée du Louvre.jpg, ''Galerie Daru'', part of the New Louvre building program under Napoleon III File:Paris - Musée du Louvre (30612872064).jpg, ''Salle Daru'' above the ''galerie Daru'', also created under Napoleon III File:LOUVRE Museum (interior) Paris (1).jpg, ''Escalier Mollien'' in the New Louvre File:P1080712 Louvre salle romaine rwk.JPG, ''Salle des Empereurs''


From 1870 to 1981

The Louvre narrowly escaped serious damage during the suppression of the Paris Commune. On 23 May 1871, as the French Army advanced into Paris, a force of ''Communards'' led by set fire to the adjoining Tuileries Palace. The fire burned for forty-eight hours, entirely destroying the interior of the Tuileries and spreading to the north west wing of the museum next to it. The emperor's Louvre library (''Bibliothèque du Louvre'') and some of the adjoining halls, in what is now the Richelieu Wing, were separately destroyed. But the museum was saved by the efforts of Paris firemen and museum employees led by curator . Following the end of the monarchy, several spaces in the Louvre's South Wing went to the museum. The Salle du Manège was transferred to the museum in 1879, and in 1928 became its main entrance lobby. The large Salle des Etats that had been created by Lefuel between the Grande Galerie and Pavillon Denon was redecorated in 1886 by , Lefuel's successor as architect of the Louvre, and opened as a spacious exhibition room. Edomond Guillaume also decorated the first-floor room at the northwest corner of the , on the ceiling of which he placed in 1890 a monumental painting by Carolus-Duran, ''The Triumph of Marie de' Medici'' originally created in 1879 for the
Luxembourg Palace The Luxembourg Palace (french: Palais du Luxembourg, ) is at 15 in the . It was originally built (1615–1645) to the designs of the French architect to be the royal residence of the , mother of . After the it was refashioned (1799–1805) by ...
. Meanwhile, during the Third French Republic, Third Republic (1870–1940) the Louvre acquired new artefacts mainly via donations, gifts, and sharing arrangements on excavations abroad. The 583-item , donated in 1869 by Louis La Caze, included works by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Chardin; Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard, Fragonard,
Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669), usually simply known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker and Drawing, draughtsman. An innovative and prolific Old Masters, master in three art medi ...

Rembrandt
and Jean-Antoine Watteau, Watteau. In 1883, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, which had been found in the Aegean Sea in 1863, was prominently displayed as the focal point of the Escalier Daru. Major artifacts excavated at Susa in Iran, including the massive ''Apadana capital'' and glazed brick decoration from the Palace of Darius in Susa, Palace of Darius there, accrued to the Oriental (Near Eastern) Antiquities Department in the 1880s. The Société des amis du Louvre was established in 1897 and donated prominent works, such as the ''Pietà of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon''. The expansion of the museum and its collections slowed after World War I, however, despite some prominent acquisitions such as Georges de La Tour's ''Saint Thomas'' and Edmond James de Rothschild, Baron Edmond de Rothschild's 1935 donation of 4,000 prints, 3,000 drawings, and 500 illustrated books. From the late 19th century, the Louvre gradually veered away from its mid-century ambition of universality to become a more focused museum of French, Western and Near Eastern art, covering a space ranging from Iran to the Atlantic. The collections of the Louvre's musée mexicain were transferred to the Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro in 1887. As the was increasingly constrained to display its core naval-themed collections in the limited space it had in the second-floor attic of the northern half of the , many of its significant holdings of non-Western artefacts were transferred in 1905 to the Trocadéro ethnography museum, the National Archaeological Museum, France, National Antiquities Museum in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and the Chinese Museum (Fontainebleau), Chinese Museum in the
Palace of Fontainebleau The Palace of Fontainebleau (; ) or Château de Fontainebleau, located southeast of the center of Paris, in the commune of Fontainebleau, is one of the largest French royal châteaux. The medieval castle and subsequent palace served as a residence ...

Palace of Fontainebleau
. The Musée national de la Marine, Musée de Marine itself was relocated to the Palais de Chaillot in 1943. The Louvre's extensive collections of Asian art were moved to the Guimet Museum in 1945. Nevertheless, the Louvre's first gallery of Islamic art opened in 1922. In the late 1920s, Louvre Director devised a master plan for the rationalization of the museum's exhibitions, which was partly implemented in the following decade. In 1932–1934, Louvre architects and Albert Ferran redesigned the Escalier Daru to its current appearance. The in the South Wing was covered by a glass roof in 1934. Decorative arts exhibits were expanded in the first floor of the North Wing of the , including some of France's first displays. In the late 1930s, The La Caze donation was moved to a remodeled above the , with reduced height to create more rooms on the second floor and a sober interior design by Albert Ferran. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
, the Louvre conducted an elaborate plan of Evacuation of the Louvre museum art collection during World War II, evacuation of its art collection. When Germany occupied the Sudetenland, many important artworks such as the ''
Mona Lisa The ''Mona Lisa'' (; it, Gioconda or ''Monna Lisa'' ; french: Joconde ) is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as "the b ...

Mona Lisa
'' were temporarily moved to the Château de Chambord. When war was formally declared a year later, most of the museum's paintings were sent there as well. Select sculptures such as ''Winged Victory of Samothrace'' and the ''
Venus de Milo The ''Venus de Milo'' (; el, Αφροδίτη της Μήλου, Afrodíti tis Mílou) is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from aro ...

Venus de Milo
'' were sent to the Château de Valençay. On 27 August 1939, after two days of packing, truck convoys began to leave Paris. By 28 December, the museum was cleared of most works, except those that were too heavy and "unimportant paintings [that] were left in the basement". In early 1945, after the liberation of France, art began returning to the Louvre. New arrangements after the war revealed the further evolution of taste away from the lavish decorative practices of the late 19th century. In 1947, Edmond Guillaume's ceiling ornaments were removed from the , where the ''
Mona Lisa The ''Mona Lisa'' (; it, Gioconda or ''Monna Lisa'' ; french: Joconde ) is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as "the b ...

Mona Lisa
'' was first displayed in 1966. Around 1950, Louvre architect streamlined the interior decoration of the Grande Galerie. In 1953, a new ceiling by Georges Braque was inaugurated in the , next to the . In the late 1960s, seats designed by Pierre Paulin were installed in the Grande Galerie. In 1972, the 's museography was remade with lighting from a hung tubular case, designed by Louvre architect with assistance from designers , Joseph-André Motte and Paulin. In 1961, the Finance Ministry accepted to leave the Pavillon de Flore at the southwestern end of the Louvre building, as Verne had recommended in his 1920s plan. New exhibition spaces of sculptures (ground floor) and paintings (first floor) opened there later in the 1960s, on a design by government architect Olivier Lahalle.


Grand Louvre

In 1981, French President François Mitterrand proposed, as one of his Grands Projets of François Mitterrand, Grands Projets, the Grand Louvre plan to relocate the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (France), Finance Ministry, until then housed in the North Wing of the Louvre, and thus devote almost the entire Louvre building (except its northwestern tip, which houses the separate Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs) to the museum which would be correspondingly restructured. In 1984 I. M. Pei, the architect personally selected by Mitterrand, proposed a master plan including an underground entrance space accessed through a Louvre Pyramid, glass pyramid in the Louvre's central ''Cour Napoléon''. The open spaces surrounding the pyramid were inaugurated on 15 October 1988, and its underground lobby was opened on 30 March 1989. New galleries of early modern French paintings on the 2nd floor of the , for which the planning had started before the ''Grand Louvre'', also opened in 1989. Further rooms in the same sequence, designed by Italo Rota, opened on 15 December 1992. On 18 November 1993, Mitterrand inaugurated the next major phase of the Grand Louvre plan: the renovated North (Richelieu) Wing in the former Finance Ministry site, the museum's largest single expansion in its entire history, designed by Pei, his French associate Michel Macary, and Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Further underground spaces known as the
Carrousel du Louvre The Carrousel du Louvre is an underground shopping mall in Paris, France Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175 ...

Carrousel du Louvre
, centered on the Louvre Inverted Pyramid, Inverted Pyramid and designed by Pei and Macary, had opened in October 1993. Other refurbished galleries, of Italian sculptures and Egyptian antiquities, opened in 1994. The third and last main phase of the plan unfolded mainly in 1997, with new renovated rooms in the Sully and Denon wings. A new entrance at the ''porte des Lions'' opened in 1998, leading on the first floor to new rooms of Spanish paintings. As of 2002, the Louvre's visitor count had doubled from its pre-Grand-Louvre levels. File:Louvre Courtyard, Looking West.jpg, The Napoleon Courtyard and Ieoh Ming Pei's pyramid in its center, at dusk. File:Paris July 2011-27a.jpg, The Louvre Palace and the pyramid (by day)


21st century

President Jacques Chirac, who had succeeded Mitterrand in 1995, insisted on the return of non-Western art to the Louvre, upon a recommendation from his friend the art collector and dealer . On his initiative, a selection of highlights from the collections of what would become the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac was installed on the ground floor of the and opened in 2000, six years ahead of the Musée du Quai Branly itself. The main other initiative in the aftermath of the Grand Louvre project was Chirac's decision to create a new department of Islamic Art, by executive order of 1 August 2003, and to move the corresponding collections from their prior underground location in the Richelieu Wing to a more prominent site in the Denon Wing. That new section opened on 22 September 2012, together with collections from the Roman-era Eastern Mediterranean, with financial support from the Alwaleed Philanthropies, Al Waleed bin Talal Foundation and on a design by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti.Gareth Harris (13 September 2012)
Islamic art, covered
''Financial Times''.
In 2010, American painter Cy Twombly completed a new ceiling for the (the former ), a counterpoint to that of Braque installed in 1953 in the adjacent . The room's floor and walls were redesigned in 2021 by Louvre architect Michel Goutal to revert the changes made by his predecessor Albert Ferran in the late 1930s, triggering protests from the Cy Twombly Foundation on grounds that the then-deceased painter's work had been created to fit with the room's prior decoration. On 6 June 2014, the Decorative Arts section on the first floor of the 's northern wing opened after comprehensive refurbishment. The Louvre, like many other museums and galleries, felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts and cultural heritage. It was closed for six months during French coronavirus lockdowns and saw visitor numbers plunge to 2.7 million in 2020, from 9.6 million in 2019 and 10.2 million in 2018, which was a record year. File:Pavillon des Sessions 01.jpg, The 's display of non-Western art from the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, Musée du Quai Branly, opened in 2000 File:Cour Visconti (Louvre) D201512a.jpg, The 's ground floor covered to host the new Islamic Art Department in 2012 File:Les arts de lIslam au Louvre (8055981963).jpg, Islamic art display in the covered , 2012 File:Louvre, dipartimento di arte islamica, 01.JPG, Underground display of the Islamic Art Department, 2012


Collections

The Musée du Louvre owns 615,797 objectsRapport d'activité 2019 du musée du Louvre
p. 29, website www.louvre.fr.
of which 482,943 are accessible online since 24 March 2021 and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments.


Egyptian antiquities

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 of Egypt, Middle Kingdom, the New Kingdom, Coptic art, and the Roman Egypt, Roman, History of Ptolemaic Egypt, Ptolemaic, and Byzantine periods.Nave, pp. 42–43 The department's origins lie in the royal collection, but it was augmented by Napoleon's 1798 expeditionary trip with Dominique Vivant, the future director of the Louvre. After
Jean-François Champollion Jean-François Champollion (), also known as Champollion ''le jeune'' ('the Younger'; 23 December 17904 March 1832), was a French scholar A scholar is a person who pursues academic and intellectual activities, particularly those that develop e ...

Jean-François Champollion
translated the Rosetta Stone, Charles X of France, Charles X decreed that an Egyptian Antiquities department be created. Champollion advised the purchase of three collections, formed by Edmé-Antoine Durand, Henry Salt (Egyptologist), Henry Salt, and Bernardino Drovet; these additions added 7,000 works. Growth continued via acquisitions by Auguste Mariette, founder of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Mariette, after excavations at Memphis, Egypt, Memphis, sent back crates of archaeological finds including ''The Seated Scribe''. Guarded by the Great Sphinx of Tanis, 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''. Middle Kingdom art, "known for its gold work and statues", moved from realism to idealization; this is exemplified by the schist statue of Amenemhatankh and the wooden ''Offering Bearer''. The New Kingdom and Coptic Egyptian sections are deep, but the statue of the goddess Nephthys and the limestone depiction of the goddess Hathor demonstrate New Kingdom sentiment and wealth. Gebel el-Arak knife mp3h8783-cropped.jpg, The ''Gebel el-Arak Knife''; 3300-3200 BC; handle: elephant ivory, blade: flint; length: 25.8 cm File:The seated scribe-E 3023-IMG 4267-gradient.jpg, ''The Seated Scribe''; 2613–2494 BC; painted limestone and inlaid quartz; height: 53.7 cm Sphinx, Louvre 15 June 2014.jpg, The ''Great Sphinx of Tanis''; circa 2600 BC; rose granite; height: 183 cm, width: 154 cm, thickness: 480 cm Akhenathon and Nefertiti E15593 mp3h8771-gradient.jpg, ''Akhenaten and Nefertiti''; 1345 BC; painted limestone; height: 22.2 cm, width: 12.3 cm, thickness: 9.8 cm


Near Eastern antiquities

Near Eastern antiquities, the second newest department, dates from 1881 and presents an overview of early Near Eastern civilization and "first settlements", before the arrival of Islam. The department is divided into three geographic areas: the Levant, Mesopotamia (Iraq), and Persia (Iran). The collection's development corresponds to archaeological work such as Paul-Émile Botta's 1843 expedition to Khorsabad and the discovery of Sargon II's palace. These finds formed the basis of the Assyrian museum, the precursor to today's department. The museum contains exhibits from Sumer and the city of Akkad (city), Akkad, with monuments such as the Prince of Lagash's ''Stele of the Vultures'' from 2450 BC and the stele erected by Naram-Sin of Akkad, Naram-Sin, King of Akkad, to celebrate a victory over barbarians in the Zagros Mountains. The Code of Hammurabi, discovered in 1901, displays Babylonian Laws prominently, so that no man could plead their ignorance. The 18th-century BC mural of the ''Investiture of Zimrilim'' and the 25th-century BC ''Statue of Ebih-Il'' found in the ancient city-state of Mari, Syria, Mari are also on display at the museum. 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. Cup Idalion Louvre N3455.jpg, Phoenician metal bowls from Cyprus Ebih-Il Louvre AO17551 n01.jpg, The ''Statue of Ebih-Il''; circa 2400 BC; gypsum, schist, shells and lapis lazuli; height: 52.5 cm P1050763 Louvre code Hammurabi face rwk.JPG, The ''Code of Hammurabi''; 1755–1750 BC; basalt; height: 225 cm, width: 79 cm, thickness: 47 cm Human headed winged bull profile.jpg, Assyrian lamassu (Human-headed winged bull); circa 713–716 BC; 4.2 x 4.4 x 1 m Immortels - dynamosquito.jpg, Frieze of archers, from the Palace of Darius at Susa; circa 510 BC; bricks


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 History of the Cyclades, Cycladic period to the decline of the Roman Empire. This department is one of the museum's oldest; it began with appropriated royal art, some of which was acquired under
Francis IFrancis I or Francis the First may refer to: * Francesco I Gonzaga (1366–1407) * Francis I, Duke of Brittany (1414–1450), reigned 1442–1450 * Francis I of France (1494–1547), reigned 1515–1547 * Francis I, Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg (1510–15 ...
. Initially, the collection focused on marble sculptures, such as the ''
Venus de Milo The ''Venus de Milo'' (; el, Αφροδίτη της Μήλου, Afrodíti tis Mílou) is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from aro ...

Venus de Milo
. Works such as the ''
Apollo Belvedere The ''Apollo Belvedere'' (also called the ''Pythian Apollo or Apollo of the Belvedere'') is a celebrated marble sculpture from Classical Antiquity. The ''Apollo'' is now thought to be an original Roman re-creation of Hadrianic date (''ca.'' 120– ...

Apollo Belvedere
'' arrived during the Napoleonic Wars, but these pieces were returned after Napoleon I's fall in 1815. In the 19th century, the Louvre acquired works including vases from the Durand collection, bronzes such as the Borghese Vase from the Bibliothèque nationale. The archaic is demonstrated by jewellery and pieces such as the limestone Lady of Auxerre, from 640 BC; and the cylindrical ''Hera of Samos'', c. 570–560 BC. After the 4th century BC, focus on the human form increased, exemplified by the ''Borghese Gladiator''. 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 pottery, 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 Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Agrippa and Marcus Annius Verus, Annius Verus; among the bronzes is the Greek Apollo of Piombino. Head figurine Spedos Louvre Ma2709.jpg, Cycladic art, Cycladic head of a woman; 27th century BC; marble; height: 27 cm Crater Actaeon Louvre CA3482.jpg, Volute krater that depicts Actaeon's death; circa 450–440 BC; ceramic; height: 51 cm, diameter: 33.1 cm Victoire de Samothrace - vue de trois-quart gauche, gros plan de la statue (2).JPG, The ''Winged Victory of Samothrace''; 200–190 BC; Parian marble; 244 cm Front views of the Venus de Milo.jpg, ''
Venus de Milo The ''Venus de Milo'' (; el, Αφροδίτη της Μήλου, Afrodíti tis Mílou) is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from aro ...

Venus de Milo
''; 130–100 BC; marble; height: 203 cm


Islamic art

The Islamic art collection, the museum's newest, spans "thirteen centuries and three continents". These exhibits, of ceramics, glass, metalware, wood, ivory, carpet, textiles, and miniatures, include more than 5,000 works and 1,000 shards.Ahlund, p. 24 Originally part of the decorative arts department, the holdings became separate in 2003. Among the works are the ''Pyxis of al-Mughira, 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 Sultanate (Cairo), Mamluk period; and the 10th century ''Suaire de Saint-Josse, 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''. In September 2019, a new and improved Islamic art department was opened by Princess Lamia bint Majed Al Saud. The new department exhibits 3,000 pieces were collected from Spain to India via the Arabian peninsula dating from the 7th to the 19th centuries. Spagna, cordoba, pisside col nome di al-mughina, avorio, X sec. 04.JPG, The ''Pyxis of al-Mughira''; 10th century (maybe 968); ivory; 15 x 8 cm Tile with bismillah Louvre AD28001a.jpg, Iranian tile with bismillah; turn of the 13th-14th century; molded ceramic, luster glaze and Glaze (painting technique), glaze Siria, bacile detto battistero di s.luigi, 1320-40 ca, firmato muhammad ibn al-zayn, con restauri del 1821, ottone incr. d'oro, arge e pasta nera 01.JPG, The ''Baptistère de Saint Louis''; by Muhammad ibn al-Zayn; 1320–1340; hammering, engraving, inlay in brass, gold, and silver; 50.2 x 22.2 cm Door Louvre AA320 n01.jpg, Door; 15th-16th century; sculpted, painted and gilded walnut wood


Sculptures

The sculpture department consists of works created before 1850 not belonging 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''. Initially the collection included only 100 pieces, the rest of the royal sculpture collection being at Versailles. It remained small until 1847, when Léon Laborde was given control of the department. Laborde developed the medieval section and purchased the first such statues and sculptures in the collection, ''Childebert I, King Childebert'' and ''stanga door'', respectively. The collection was part of the Department of Antiquities but was given autonomy in 1871 under Louis Courajod, a director who organized a wider representation of French works. 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 collection's overview of French sculpture contains Romanesque art, Romanesque works such as the 11th-century ''Daniel in the Lions' Den'' and the 12th-century ''Virgin of Auvergne''. In the 16th century, Renaissance influence caused French sculpture to become more restrained, as seen in Jean Goujon's bas-reliefs, and Germain Pilon's ''Descent from the Cross'' and ''Resurrection of Christ''. The 17th and 18th centuries are represented by Gian Lorenzo Bernini's 1640–1 Bust of Cardinal Richelieu, Étienne Maurice Falconet's ''Woman Bathing'' and ''Amour menaçant'', and François and Michel Anguier, François Anguier's obelisks. Neoclassicism, Neoclassical works includes
Antonio Canova Antonio Canova (; 1 November 1757 – 13 October 1822) was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian ...

Antonio Canova
's ''Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss'' (1787). The 18th and 19th centuries are represented by the French sculptors like Alfred Barye and Émile Guillemin. Tomb of Philippe Pot, Right Side - Louvre, Room 10.jpg, The ''Tomb of Philippe Pot''; 1477 and 1483; limestone, paint, gold and lead; height: 181 cm, width: 260 cm, depth: 167 cm Fame riding Pegasus Coysevox Louvre MR1824.jpg, ''The King's Fame Riding Pegasus''; by Antoine Coysevox; 1701–1702; Carrara marble; height: 3.15 m, width: 2.91 m, depth: 1.28 m File:Louvre seine marne mr1801.jpg, Group sculpture; by Nicolas Coustou; 1701–1712; marble; height: 2.44 m File:Louis XV Coustou Louvre MR1811.jpg,
Louis XV Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774), known as Louis the Beloved (french: le Bien-Aimé), was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France ruled from the establishment of the West Francia, Kingdom of the West Franks in 843 ...
as Jupiter (god), Jupiter; 1731; probably marble; height: 1.95 m, width: 1.20 m, depth: 68 cm


Decorative arts

The Objet d'art, 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 faience, faïence works. In 1862, the Campana collection added gold jewelry and maiolicas, mainly from the 15th and 16th centuries. The works are displayed on the Richelieu Wing's first floor and in the Apollo Gallery, named by the painter Charles Le Brun, who was commissioned by Louis XIV (the Sun King) to decorate the space in a solar theme. The medieval collection contains the coronation crown of Louis XIV, Charles V of France, Charles V's sceptre, and the 12th century ''porphyry vase''. The Renaissance art holdings include Giambologna's bronze ''Nessus and Deianira'' and the tapestry ''Maximillian's Hunt''.Nave, p. 130 From later periods, highlights include Madame de Pompadour's Sèvres vase collection and Napoleon III of France, Napoleon III's apartments. In September 2000, the Louvre Museum dedicated the Gilbert R. Chagoury, 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 Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis de Seignelay, Colbert de Seignelay, Secretary of State for the Navy. Armoire Louvre OA 6968.jpg, Henry II style wardrobe; circa 1580; walnut and oak, partially gilded and painted; height: 2.06 m, width: 1.50 m, depth: 0.60 m Musée du Louvre - Département des Objets d'art - Salle 34 -2.JPG, Louis XIV style cabinet on stand; by André Charles Boulle; circa 1690–1710; oak frame, resinous wood and walnut, ebony veneer, tortoiseshell, brass and pewter marquetry, and ormolu Commode de la comtesse du Barry (Louvre, OA 11293).jpg, Louis XVI style commode of Madame du Barry; 1772; oak frame, veneer of pearwood, rosewood and kingwood, soft-paste Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, Sèvres porcelain, gilded bronze, white marble, and glass; height: 0.87 m, width: 1.19 m, depth: 0.48 m Baromètre - thermomètre (Louvre, OA 10545).jpg, Louis XVI style barometer-thermometer; circa 1776; soft-paste Sèvres porcelain, enamel, and ormolu; height: 1 m, width: 0.27 m


Painting

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 Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (; March 28 or April 6, 1483April 6, 1520), known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture ...

Raphael
and Michelangelo and brought Leonardo da Vinci to his court. After the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

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. Exemplifying the French School are the early ''Pietà of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, Avignon Pietà'' of Enguerrand Quarton; the anonymous painting of ''King Jean le Bon'' (c. 1360), possibly the oldest independent portrait in Western painting to survive from the postclassical era; Hyacinthe Rigaud's ''Louis XIV'';
Jacques-Louis David Jacques-Louis David (; 30 August 174829 December 1825) was a French painter in the Neoclassical Neoclassical or neo-classical may refer to: * Neoclassicism or New Classicism, any of a number of movements in the fine arts, literature, theatre, m ...
's ''The Coronation of Napoleon''; Théodore Géricault, Théodore Géricault's ''The Raft of the Medusa''; and Eugène Delacroix's ''Liberty Leading the People''. Nicolas Poussin, the Le Nain brothers, Philippe de Champaigne, Le Brun, La Tour, Watteau, Fragonard, Ingres, Corot, and Delacroix are well represented. Northern European works include Johannes Vermeer's ''The Lacemaker (Vermeer), The Lacemaker'' and ''The Astronomer (Vermeer), The Astronomer''; Caspar David Friedrich's ''The Tree of Crows'';
Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669), usually simply known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker and Drawing, draughtsman. An innovative and prolific Old Masters, master in three art medi ...

Rembrandt
's ''The Supper at Emmaus'', ''Bathsheba at Her Bath'', and ''The Slaughtered Ox''. The Italian holdings are notable, particularly the Renaissance collection. The works include Andrea Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini's ''Calvary''s, which reflect realism and detail "meant to depict the significant events of a greater spiritual world". The High Renaissance collection includes
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian of the who was active as a painter, , engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he als ...

Leonardo da Vinci
's ''
Mona Lisa The ''Mona Lisa'' (; it, Gioconda or ''Monna Lisa'' ; french: Joconde ) is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as "the b ...

Mona Lisa
'', ''The Virgin and Child with St. Anne (Leonardo da Vinci), Virgin and Child with St. Anne'', ''St. John the Baptist (Leonardo), St. John the Baptist'', and ''Madonna of the Rocks''. The Baroque collection includes Giambattista Pittoni's ''The Continence of Scipio'', ''Susanna and the Elders'', ''Bacchus and Ariadne'', ''Mars and Venus (Pittoni), Mars and Venus'', and others Caravaggio is represented by ''The Fortune Teller (Caravaggio), The Fortune Teller'' and ''Death of the Virgin (Caravaggio), Death of the Virgin''. From 16th century Venice, the Louvre displays
Titian Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio (; 27 August 1576), known in English as Titian ( ), was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Ital ...
's ''Le Concert Champetre'', ''The Entombment,'' and ''The Crowning with Thorns''. The La Caze Collection, a bequest to the Musée du Louvre in 1869 by Louis La Caze, was the largest contribution of a person in the history of the Louvre. La Caze gave 584 paintings of his personal collection to the museum. The bequest included Antoine Watteau's Commedia dell'arte player of Pierrot ("Gilles"). In 2007, this bequest was the topic of the exhibition "1869: Watteau, Chardin... entrent au Louvre. La collection La Caze". Some of the best known paintings of the museum have been digitized by the French Center for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France. Quentin Massys 001.jpg, ''The Money Changer and His Wife''; by Quentin Massys; 1514; oil on panel; 70.5 × 67 cm Giuseppe Arcimboldo - Spring, 1573.jpg, ''Spring''; by Giuseppe Arcimboldo; 1573; oil on canvas; 76 × 64 cm Suzanne et les vieillards - Giovanni Battista Pittoni - Q18573893.jpg, ''Susanna and the Elders''; by Giambattista Pittoni; 1720; oil on panel; 37 × 46 cm La Continence de Scipion - Giovanni Battista Pittoni - Q18573892.jpg, ''The Continence of Scipio''; by Giambattista Pittoni; 1733; oil on panel; 96 × 56 cm François boucher, diana che esce dal bagno, 1742, 01.jpg, ''Diana after the Bath''; by François Boucher; 1742; oil on canvas; 73 × 56 cm Jacques-Louis David, Le Serment des Horaces.jpg, ''Oath of the Horatii''; by
Jacques-Louis David Jacques-Louis David (; 30 August 174829 December 1825) was a French painter in the Neoclassical Neoclassical or neo-classical may refer to: * Neoclassicism or New Classicism, any of a number of movements in the fine arts, literature, theatre, m ...
; 1784; oil on canvas; height: 330 cm, width: 425 cm
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian of the who was active as a painter, , engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he als ...

Leonardo da Vinci
purchased by François I"> Virgin of the Rocks (Louvre).jpg,
''Virgin of the Rocks''
Leonardo da Vinci - Virgin and Child with St Anne C2RMF retouched.jpg,
''The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (Leonardo)''


Prints and drawings

The Old master print, 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 James de Rothschild, 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. Trois têtes d'hommes en relation avec le lion.jpg, Three lion-like heads; by Charles Le Brun; circa 1671; black chalk, pen and ink, brush and gray wash, white gouache on paper; 21.7 × 32,7 cm Antoine Coypel - Bacchus.jpg, ''Bacchus''; by Antoine Coypel; black chalk, white highlights, and sanguine; 42.7 × 37.7 cm WATTEAU Antoine - Huit études de têtes de femme, et une tête d'homme.jpg, ''Studies of Women's Heads and a Man's Head''; by Antoine Watteau; first half of the 18th century; sanguine, black chalk and white chalk on gray paper; 28 × 38.1 cm Edgar Germain Hilaire Degas 018.jpg, ''Danseuse sur la scène''; by Edgar Degas; pastel; 58 × 42 cm Matthias Grünewald - Smiling Woman - WGA10822.jpg, Portrait of elderly woman, by Matthias Grünewald Hans Holbein d. J. - Head of a Woman - WGA11590.jpg, Portrait of a young woman، by Hans Holbein the Younger, Hans Holbein Andrea del Sarto - Head of a Young Man - WGA0384.jpg, Head of a man, by
Andrea del Sarto Andrea del Sarto (, , ; 16 July 1486 – 29 September 1530) was an List of Italian painters, Italian painter from Florence, whose career flourished during the High Renaissance and early Mannerism. He was known as an outstanding fresco decorator, ...

Andrea del Sarto
Biagio Pupini - Vierge à l'Enfant.jpg, Virgin and Child, by Biagio Pupini


Management, administration, partnerships

The Louvre is owned by the French government. Since the 1990s, its management and governnace have been made more independent. Since 2003, the museum has been required to generate funds for projects. By 2006, government funds had dipped from 75 percent of the total budget to 62 percent. Every year, the Louvre now raises as much as it gets from the state, about €122 million. The government pays for operating costs (salaries, safety, and maintenance), while the rest – new wings, refurbishments, acquisitions – is up to the museum to finance.Farah Nayeri (20 January 2009)
Banks compete to manage Louvre's endowment
''International Herald Tribune''.
A further €3 million to €5 million a year is raised by the Louvre from exhibitions that it curates for other museums, while the host museum keeps the ticket money. As the Louvre became a point of interest in the book ''The Da Vinci Code'' and the 2006 film based on the book, the museum earned $2.5 million by allowing filming in its galleries. In 2008, the French government provided $180 million of the Louvre's yearly $350 million budget; the remainder came from private contributions and ticket sales. The Louvre employs a staff of 2,000 led by Director Jean-Luc Martinez, who reports to the French Ministry of Culture and Communications. Martinez replaced Henri Loyrette in April 2013. Under Loyrette, who replaced Pierre Rosenberg in 2001, the Louvre has undergone policy changes that allow it to lend and borrow more works than before. In 2006, it loaned 1,300 works, which enabled it to borrow more foreign works. From 2006 to 2009, the Louvre lent artwork to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, and received a $6.9 million payment to be used for renovations. In 2009, Minister of Culture (France), Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand approved a plan that would have created a storage facility northwest of Paris to hold objects from the Louvre and two other national museums in Paris's flood zone, the Musée du Quai Branly and the Musée d'Orsay; the plan was later scrapped. In 2013, his successor Aurélie Filippetti announced that the Louvre would move more than 250,000 works of artVincent Noce (13 July 2015)
Louvre's superstore to go ahead despite protests
''The Art Newspaper''.
held in a basement storage area in Liévin; the cost of the project, estimated at €60 million, will be split between the region (49%) and the Louvre (51%). The Louvre will be the sole owner and manager of the store. In July 2015, a team led by British firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners was selected to design the complex, which will have light-filled work spaces under one vast, green roof. In 2012, the Louvre and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco announced a five-year collaboration on exhibitions, publications, art conservation and educational programming. The €98.5 million expansion of the Islamic Art galleries in 2012 received state funding of €31 million, as well as €17 million from the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation founded by the eponymous Saudi prince. The republic of Azerbaijan, the Emir of Kuwait, the Sultan of Oman and King Mohammed VI of Morocco donated in total €26 million. In addition, the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is supposed to provide €400 million over the course of 30 years for its use of the museum's brand. Loyrette has tried to improve weak parts of the collection through income generated from loans of art and by guaranteeing that "20% of admissions receipts will be taken annually for acquisitions". He has more administrative independence for the museum and achieved 90 percent of galleries to be open daily, as opposed to 80 percent previously. He oversaw the creation of extended hours and free admission on Friday nights and an increase in the acquisition budget to $36 million from $4.5 million. In March 2018 an exhibition of dozens of artworks and relics belonging to France's Louvre Museum was opened to visitors in Tehran, as a result of an agreement between Iranian and French presidents in 2016. In the Louvre, two departments were allocated to the antiquities of the Iranian civilization, and the managers of the two departments visited Tehran. Relics belonging to Ancient Egypt, Rome and Mesopotamia as well as French royal items were showcased at the Tehran exhibition. Iran's National Museum of Iran, National Museum building was designed and constructed by French architect André Godard. Following its time in Tehran, the exhibition is set to be held in the Khorasan Grand Museum in Mashhad, northeastern Iran in June 2018. On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death, the Louvre held the largest ever single exhibit of his work, from 24 October 2019 to 24 February 2020. The event included over a hundred items: paintings, drawings and notebooks. A full 11 of the fewer than 20 paintings that Da Vinci completed in his lifetime were displayed. Five of them are owned by the Louvre, but the
Mona Lisa The ''Mona Lisa'' (; it, Gioconda or ''Monna Lisa'' ; french: Joconde ) is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as "the b ...

Mona Lisa
was not included because it is in such great demand among visitors to the Louvre museum; the work remained on display in its gallery. Salvator Mundi (Leonardo), Salvator Mundi was also not included since the Saudi owner did not agree to move the work from its hiding place. Vitruvian Man, however, was on display, after a successful legal battle with its owner, the Galleria dell'Accademia in Venice. In 2021, a Renaissance era ceremonial helmet and breastplate stolen from the museum in 1983 were recovered. The museum noted that the 1983 theft had "deeply troubled all the staff at the time." There are few publicly accessible details on the theft itself. In May 2021, it was announced that Laurence des Cars has been picked by French president Emmanuel Macron as the next leader of the Louvre. For the first time in its 228-year history, the Louvre will be directed by a woman. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the Louvre has launched a platform where most of its works, including those that are not on display, can be seen. The new platform, collections.louvre.fr, already has more than 482,000 illustrated records – representing 75% of its rich and varied collections.


Excavations

The Louvre's ancient art collections are to a significant extent the product of excavations, some of which the museum sponsored under various legal regimes over time, often as a companion to France's diplomacy and/or colonial enterprises. In the , a carved marble panel lists a number of such campaigns, led by: * Louis-François-Sébastien Fauvel in Greece (1818) *
Jean-François Champollion Jean-François Champollion (), also known as Champollion ''le jeune'' ('the Younger'; 23 December 17904 March 1832), was a French scholar A scholar is a person who pursues academic and intellectual activities, particularly those that develop e ...

Jean-François Champollion
in Egypt (1828-1829) * Guillaume-Abel Blouet and Léon-Jean-Joseph Dubois with the Morea expedition in Greece (1829) * in Algeria (1842-1845) * Paul-Émile Botta in the Nineveh Plains (1845) * in Cyrenaica (1850) * Auguste Mariette in Egypt (1850-1854) * Victor Langlois in Cilicia (1852) * Ernest Renan with the French expedition to Lebanon and Syria following the 1860 civil conflict in Mount Lebanon and Damascus (1860-1861) * Léon Heuzey and Honoré Daumet in Macedonia (region), Macedonia (1861) * Eugène-Melchior de Vogüé and Edmond Duthoit in Cyprus (1863-1866) * Charles Champoiseau in Samothrace (1863) * in Thessaloniki and Thasos (1864-1865) * Olivier Rayet and Albert-Félix-Théophile Thomas in Ionia (1872-1873) * Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau in Palestine (region), Palestine (1873) * in Algeria and Tunisia (1874) * Ernest de Sarzec in Tello / ancient Girsu, Mesopotamia (1877-1900) * Paul Girard in Greece (1881) * Edmond Pottier, Salomon Reinach and Alphonse Veyries in Myrina (Aeolis) (1872-1873) * Marcel-Auguste Dieulafoy and Jane Dieulafoy in Susa, Persia (1884-1886) * Charles Huber in Tayma, Arabia (1885) * Alfred Charles Auguste Foucher in India and present-day Pakistan (1895-1897) * Arthur Engel (numismatist), Arthur Engel and in Spain (1897) * Jacques de Morgan in Susa (1897) * Gaston Cros in Tello / ancient Girsu (1902) * Paul Pelliot in Xinjiang, Chinese Turkestan (1907-1909) * Maurice Pézard in Northern Palestine (1923) * Georges Aaron Bénédite in Egypt (1926) * François Thureau-Dangin in Northern Syria (1929) * Henri de Genouillac in Mesopotamia (1912, 1929) * the Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale in Cairo, created in 1880 The rest of the plaque combines donors of archaeological items, many of whom were archaeologists themselves, and other archaeologists whose excavations contributed to the Louvre's collections: * in France (1899) * Édouard Piette in France (1902) * in France (1899-1906) * Henri and Jacques de Morgan in Susa (1909-1910) * (1906-1920) and his daughter Germaine in France (1976) * in France (1929) * and his wife Suzanne in France (1935) * Fernand Bisson de la Roque in Egypt (1922-1950) * Bernard Bruyère in Egypt (1920-1951) * Raymond Weill in Egypt (1952) * Pierre Montet in Egypt (1921-1956) * in the Indus Valley Civilisation, Indus Valley and Afghanistan (1950-1973) * in France (1973) * André Parrot in Mari, Syria (1931-1974) * Claude Frédéric-Armand Schaeffer in Ugarit, Syria (1929-1970) * Roman Ghirshman in Iraq and Iran (1931-1972)


Satellites and offshoots

Several museums in and outside France have been or are placed under the Louvre's administrative authority or linked to it through exclusive partnerships, while not being located in the
Louvre Palace The Louvre Palace (french: Palais du Louvre, ), often referred to simply as the Louvre, is an iconic building of the French state located on the Rive Droite, Right Bank of the Seine in Paris, occupying a vast expanse of land between the Tuileri ...

Louvre Palace
. Since 2019, the Louvre has also maintained a large art storage and research facility in the Northern French town of Liévin, the , which is not open to the public.


Musée de Cluny (1926-1977)

In February 1926 the Musée de Cluny, whose creation dates back to the 19th century, was brought under the aegis of the Louvre's department of decorative arts (). That affiliation was terminated in 1977.


Musée du Jeu de Paume (1947-1986)

The building in the Tuileries Garden, initially intended as a sports venue, was repurposed from 1909 as an art gallery. In 1947, it became the exhibition space for the Louvre's collections of late 19th and early 20th paintings, most prominently Impressionism, as the Louvre Palace was lacking space to display them, and was consequently brought under direct management by the Louvre's . In 1986, these collections were transferred to the newly created Musée d'Orsay.


Gypsothèque du Louvre (since 2001)

The (plaster cast gallery) of the Louvre is a collection of plaster casts that was formed in 1970 by the reunion of the corresponding inventories of the Louvre, the Beaux-Arts de Paris and the Art and Archaeology Institute of the Sorbonne University, the latter two following depredations during the May 68 student unrest. Initially called the from 1970 to 1978, the project was subsequently left unfinished and only came to fruition after being brought under the Louvre's management by ministerial decision in 2001. It is located in the , a dependency of Versailles Palace, and has been open to the public since 2012.


Musée Delacroix (since 2004)

The small museum located in Eugène Delacroix's former workshop in central Paris, created in the 1930s, has been placed under management by the Louvre since 2004.


Louvre-Lens (since 2012)

The Louvre-Lens follows a May 2003 initiative by then culture minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon to promote cultural projects outside of Paris that would make the riches of major Parisian institutions available to a broader French public, including a satellite () of the Louvre. After several rounds of competition, a former mining site in the town of Lens, Pas-de-Calais, Lens was selected for its location and announced by Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin on . Japanese architects SANAA and landscape architect Catherine Mosbach were respectively selected in September 2005 to design the museum building and garden. Inaugurated by President François Hollande on , the Louvre-Lens is run by the Hauts-de-France region under a contract () with the Louvre for art loans and brand use. Its main attraction is an exhibition of roughly 200 artworks from the Louvre on a rotating basis, presented chronologically in a single large room (the or "gallery of time") that transcends the geographical and object-type divisions along which the Parisian Louvre's displays are organized. The Louvre-Lens has been successful at attracting around 500,000 visitors per year until the COVID-19 pandemic.


Louvre Abu Dhabi (since 2017)

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a separate entity from the Louvre, but the two entities have a multifaceted contractual relationship that allows the Emirati museum to use the Louvre name until 2037, and to exhibit artworks from the Louvre until 2027. It was inaugurated on and opened to the public three days later. A 30-year agreement, signed in early 2007 by French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres and Sheik Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, establishes that Abu Dhabi shall pay €832,000,000 (US$1.3 billion) in exchange for the Louvre name use, managerial advice, art loans, and special exhibitions. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is located on Saadiyat Island and was designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel and engineering firm of Buro Happold. It occupies and is covered by an iconic metallic dome designed to cast rays of light mimicking sunlight passing through date palm fronds in an oasis. The French art loans, expected to total between 200 and 300 artworks during a 10-year period, come from multiple museums, including the Louvre, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Musée d'Orsay, Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles, Versailles, the Guimet Museum, the Musée Rodin, and the Musée du quai Branly.


Controversy

The Louvre is involved in controversies that surround Napoleonic looting of art, cultural property seized under Napoleon I, as well as during World War II by the Nazis. During German occupation of France during World War II, Nazi occupation, thousands of artworks were stolen. But after the war, 61,233 articles on more than 150,000 seized artworks returned to France and were assigned to the Office des Biens Privés. In 1949, it entrusted 2,130 unclaimed pieces (including 1,001 paintings) to the Direction des Musées de France in order to keep them under appropriate conditions of conservation until their restitution and meanwhile classified them as MNRs (Musées Nationaux Recuperation or, in English, the National Museums of Recovered Artwork). Some 10% to 35% of the pieces are believed to come from Jewish spoliations and until the identification of their rightful owners, which declined at the end of the 1960s, they are registered indefinitely on separate inventories from the museum's collections. They were exhibited in 1946 and shown all together to the public during four years (1950–1954) in order to allow rightful claimants to identify their properties, then stored or displayed, according to their interest, in several French museums including the Louvre. From 1951 to 1965, about 37 pieces were restituted. Since November 1996, the partly illustrated catalogue of 1947–1949 has been accessible online and completed. In 1997, Prime Minister Alain Juppé initiated the Mattéoli Commission, headed by Jean Mattéoli, to investigate the matter and according to the government, the Louvre is in charge of 678 pieces of artwork still unclaimed by their rightful owners. During the late 1990s, the comparison of the American war archives, which had not been done before, with the French and German ones as well as two court cases which finally settled some of the heirs' rights (Gentili di Giuseppe and Rosenberg families) allowed more accurate investigations. Since 1996, the restitutions, according sometimes to less formal criteria, concerned 47 more pieces (26 paintings, with 6 from the Louvre including a then displayed Tiepolo), until the last claims of French owners and their heirs ended again in 2006. According to Serge Klarsfeld, since the now complete and constant publicity which the artworks got in 1996, the majority of the French Jewish community is nevertheless in favour of the return to the normal French civil rule of ''prescription acquisitive'' of any unclaimed good after another long period of time and consequently to their ultimate integration into the common French heritage instead of their transfer to foreign institutions like during World War II. Napoleon's campaigns acquired Italian pieces by treaties, as war reparations, and Northern European pieces as spoils as well as some antiquities excavated in Egypt, though the vast majority of the latter were seized as war reparations by the British army and are now part of collections of the British Museum. On the other hand, the Dendera zodiac is, like the Rosetta Stone, claimed by Egypt even though it was acquired in 1821, before the Egyptian Anti-export legislation of 1835. The Louvre administration has thus argued in favor of retaining this item despite requests by Egypt for its return. The museum participates too in arbitration sessions held via UNESCO's Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to Its Countries of Origin. The museum consequently returned in 2009 five Egyptian fragments of frescoes (30 cm x 15 cm each) whose existence of the tomb of origin had only been brought to the authorities attention in 2008, eight to five years after their good-faith acquisition by the museum from two private collections and after the necessary respect of the procedure of ''déclassement'' from French public collections before the Commission scientifique nationale des collections des musées de France. In 2011, over 130 international artists urged a boycott of the new Guggenheim museum as well as Louvre Abu Dhabi, citing reports, since 2009, of abuses of foreign construction workers on Saadiyat Island, including the arbitrary withholding of wages, unsafe working conditions, and failure of companies to pay or reimburse the steep recruitment fees being charged to laborers. According to ''Architectural Record'', Abu Dhabi has comprehensive labor laws to protect the workers, but they are not conscientiously implemented or enforced.Fixsen, Anna
:What Is Frank Gehry Doing About Labor Conditions in Abu Dhabi?"
''Architectural Record", September 25, 2014
In 2010, the Guggenheim Foundation placed on its website a joint statement with TDIC recognizing the following workers' rights issues, among others: health and safety of the workers; their access to their passports and other documents that the employers have been retaining to guaranty that they stay on the job; using a general contractor that agrees to obey the labor laws; maintaining an independent site monitor; and ending the system that has been generally used in the Persian Gulf region of requiring workers to reimburse recruitment fees. In 2013, ''The Observer'' reported that conditions for the workers at the Louvre and New York University construction sites on Saadiyat amounted to "modern-day slavery".Carrick, Glenn and David Batty
"In Abu Dhabi, they call it Happiness Island. But for the migrant workers, it is a place of misery"
''The Observer'', 22 December 2013, accessed 30 June 2014; Batty, David
"Conditions for Abu Dhabi's migrant workers 'shame the west'"
''The Observer'', 22 December 2013, accessed 1 December 2014; Batty, David
"Campaigners criticise UAE for failing to tackle exploitation of migrant workers"
''The Observer'', 22 December 2013, accessed 30 June 2014
In 2014, the Guggenheim's Director, Richard Armstrong (museum director), Richard Armstrong, said that he believed that living conditions for the workers at the Louvre project were now good and that "many fewer" of them were having their passports confiscated. He stated that the main issue then remaining was the recruitment fees charged to workers by agents who recruit them.Kaminer, Ariel and Sean O'Driscoll
"Workers at N.Y.U.’s Abu Dhabi Site Faced Harsh Conditions"
''The New York Times'', 18 May 2014
Later in 2014, the Guggenheim's architect, Gehry, commented that working with the Abu Dhabi officials to implement the law to improve the labor conditions at the museum's site is "a moral responsibility." He encouraged the TDIC to build additional worker housing and proposed that the contractor cover the cost of the recruitment fees. In 2012, TDIC engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers as an independent monitor required to issue reports every quarter. Labor lawyer Scott Horton told ''Architectural Record'' that he hoped the Guggenheim project will influence the treatment of workers on other Saadiyat sites and will "serve as a model for doing things right."Rosenbaum, Lee
"Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Still Stalled, as Monitoring Report Is Issued on Saadiyat Island Labor Conditions"
CultureGrrl, ArtsJournal.com, February 4, 2016


See also

* Center for Research and Restoration of Museums of France * List of museums in Paris * Musée de la mode et du textile


References


Notes


Works cited

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External links

*
Digital CollectionLouvre's 360x180 degree panorama virtual tour
{{Authority control Louvre, 1793 establishments in France Archaeological museums in France Art museums and galleries in Paris Art museums established in 1793 Egyptological collections in France History museums in France Institut de France Louvre Palace Museums in Paris Museums of ancient Greece in France Museums of Ancient Near East Museums of ancient Rome in France National museums of France Order of Arts and Letters of Spain recipients