7.3 million (2016)
* Ranked 1st nationally
* Ranked 3rd globally
Marie-Laure de Rochebrune
PUBLIC TRANSIT ACCESS
* Palais Royal –
Musée du Louvre
The LOUVRE (US : /ˈluːv, ˈluːvrə/ ) or the LOUVRE MUSEUM
(French : _Musée du Louvre_, pronounced ( listen )) is the world's
largest museum and a historic monument in
France . A central
landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the
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 metres (782,910 square feet). The
Louvre is the
world\'s third most visited museum , receiving 7.3 million visitors in
The museum is housed in the
Louvre Palace , originally built as a
fortress in the late 12th century under Philip II . Remnants of the
fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to the urban
expansion of the city, the fortress eventually lost its defensive
function and, in 1546, was converted by Francis I into the main
residence of the French Kings. The building was extended many times
to form the present
Louvre Palace. In 1682,
Louis XIV chose the Palace
of Versailles for his household, leaving the
Louvre primarily as a
place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a
collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the
building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles
Lettres and the
Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture , which
in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained
Louvre for 100 years. During the
French Revolution , the
National Assembly decreed that the
Louvre should be used as a museum
to display the nation's masterpieces.
The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537
paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated
church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the
museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The collection was increased
Napoleon and the museum 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
Louis XVIII and Charles X , and during the 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
Near Eastern Antiquities ; Greek , Etruscan and Roman
Islamic Art ;
Decorative Arts ; Paintings;
Prints and Drawings.
* 1 History
* 1.1 12th–20th centuries
* 1.1.1 Medieval, Renaissance, and Bourbon palace
* 22.214.171.124 Opening
* 1.1.4 Restoration and Second Empire
* 1.1.5 Sacking of the
Louvre in 1871
* 1.1.6 Third Republic and World Wars
* 1.1.7 Grand
* 1.2 21st century
* 1.2.1 Satellite museums
* 126.96.36.199 Lens
* 1.2.2 Conservation
* 1.3 Controversial acquisitions
* 2 Collections
* 2.1 Egyptian antiquities
* 2.2 Near Eastern antiquities
* 2.3 Greek, Etruscan, and Roman
* 2.6 Decorative arts
* 2.7 Painting
* 2.8 Prints and drawings
* 3 Location, access, and facilities
* 4 Gallery
* 5 See also
* 6 Notes and references
* 6.1 Works cited
* 7 External links
Medieval, Renaissance, And Bourbon Palace
Below-ground portions of the medieval
Louvre are still visible.
Louvre Palace , which houses the museum, was begun as a fortress
by Philip II in the 12th century to protect the city from possible
Viking attacks, with remnants of this building still visible in the
crypt. Whether this was the first building on that spot is not known;
it is possible that Philip modified an existing tower. According to
the authoritative _
Grand Larousse encyclopédique _, the name derives
from an association with wolf hunting den (via Latin: _lupus_, lower
Empire: _lupara_). In the 7th century, St. Fare, an abbess in Meaux,
left part of her "Villa called Luvra situated in the region of Paris"
to a monastery.; this territory probably did not correspond exactly
to the modern site, however.
Louvre Palace was altered frequently throughout the
Middle Ages .
In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence
and in 1546, Francis I renovated the site in
French Renaissance style.
Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre's
holdings, his acquisitions including
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci 's _Mona Lisa
Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682,
constructions slowed; however, the move permitted the
Louvre to be
used as a residence for artists.
By the mid-18th century there were an increasing number of proposals
to create a public gallery, with the art critic La Font de Saint-Yenne
publishing, in 1747, a call for a display of the royal collection. On
14 October 1750, Louis XV agreed and sanctioned a display of 96 pieces
from the royal collection, mounted in the Galerie royale de peinture
Luxembourg Palace . A hall was opened by Le Normant de
Tournehem and the Marquis de Marigny for public viewing of the
_Tableaux du Roy_ on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and contained Andrea
del Sarto 's _Charity_ and works by
Titian ; Veronese ;
Van Dyck , until its closing in 1780 as a
result of the gift of the palace to the Count of Provence (the future
king, Louis XVIII) by the king in 1778. Under Louis XVI , the royal
museum idea became policy. The comte d\'Angiviller broadened the
collection and in 1776 proposed conversion of the Grande Galerie of
Louvre – which contained maps – into the "French Museum". Many
proposals were offered for the Louvre's renovation into a museum;
however, none was agreed on. Hence the museum remained incomplete
until the French Revolution.
French Revolution the
Louvre was transformed into a public
museum. In May 1791, the Assembly declared that the
Louvre would be "a
place for bringing together monuments of all the sciences and arts".
On 10 August 1792, Louis XVI was imprisoned and the royal collection
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.
Antonio Canova 's Psyche Revived by Cupid\'s Kiss _ was
commissioned in 1787, donated in 1824.
The museum opened on 10 August 1793, the first anniversary of the
monarchy's demise. The public was given free access 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 property (_biens
nationaux _). To expand and organize the collection, the Republic
dedicated 100,000 livres per year. In 1794, France's revolutionary
armies began bringing pieces from Northern Europe, augmented after the
Treaty of Tolentino (1797) by works from the Vatican, such as
Laocoön and His Sons _ and the _
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 unlabelled paintings hung "frame to frame from
floor to ceiling". 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.
Napoleon I , a northern wing paralleling the Grande Galerie was
begun, and the collection grew through successful military campaigns.
Following the Egyptian campaign of 1798–1801, Napoléon appointed
the museum's first director,
Dominique Vivant Denon . In tribute, the
museum was renamed the "Musée Napoléon" in 1803, and acquisitions
were made of Spanish, Austrian, Dutch, and Italian works, either as
spoils or through treaties such as the
Treaty of Tolentino . At the
end of Napoleon's First Italian Campaign in 1797, the Treaty of Campo
Formio was signed with
Count Philipp von Cobenzl of the Austrian
Monarchy . This treaty not only marked the completion of Napoleon's
conquest of Italy, but also the end of the first phases of the French
Revolutionary Wars . Under this treaty, Italian cities were required
to contribute pieces of art and patrimony to take part in Napoleon's
"parades of booty" through
Paris before being put into the Louvre
Museum. One of the most famous pieces taken under this program was
Horses of Saint Mark
Horses of Saint Mark . The four antique bronze horses, which had
adorned the basilica of San Marco in
Venice after the sack of
Constantinople in 1204, were brought to
Paris to reside atop
Napoleon's Arc du Carrousel in
Paris in 1797.
Several churches and palaces, including Saint Mark's Basilica, were
looted by the French, which outraged the Italians and their artistic
and cultural sensibilities. In 1797, the
Treaty of Tolentino was
signed by Napoleon, and two statues, the _Nile_ and _Tiber_, were
taken to Paris. These statues had previously been in the Vatican, and
both were housed in the
Louvre until 1815. After the defeat of
Napoleon, the _Nile_ was returned to Italy. However, the _Tiber_
remained in the
Museum and can be seen in the collections
The Italian Peninsula was not the only region from which Napoleon
took art. Under the Directory government of the 1790s,
a General) led an expedition to Egypt. The campaign was an
expansionist effort on the part of the government, but the Directory
had another goal to make
Paris the center of art, science, and
culture. The Directory wanted
France to assume responsibility for
liberating the works of art they deemed in danger in order to protect
and nationalize the heritage and culture of their subjects. As a
result, there were teams of artists and scientists who accompanied the
armies into battle equipped with lists of paintings, sculptures, and
other pieces of patrimony that would be collected, crated, and shipped
back to France.
Dominique Vivant Denon was Napoleon's art advisor, and accompanied
him on the expedition to Egypt. Through his initiative, the Valley of
the Kings in Egypt was discovered and studied extensively. As a
result, he was later installed by
Napoleon as the director of Musée
Napoléon , formerly the Louvre, cementing the status of the museum as
a center for global patrimony and storehouse for cultural heritage.
One of the most important discoveries made during Napoleon's campaign
in Egypt was the
Rosetta Stone . It was discovered in 1799, and
eventually led to the ability to decipher ancient hieroglyphs.
Rosetta Stone was discovered by the French, it actually
never made it to the
Louvre Museum. It was seized by British Forces
following the defeat of
Napoleon in Egypt and the subsequent signing
of the Treaty of Alexandria in 1801. It is now on display at the
After the French defeat at Waterloo , the works' former owners sought
their return. The Louvre's administrators were loath to comply and hid
many works in their private collections. In response, foreign states
sent emissaries to London to seek help, and many pieces were returned,
even some that had been restored by the Louvre. In 1815 Louis XVIII
finally concluded agreements with the Austrian government for the
keeping of pieces such as Veronese's _Wedding at Cana _ which was
exchanged for a large Le Brun or the repurchase of the Albani
Restoration And Second Empire
Venus de Milo _ was added to the Louvre's collection during
the reign of
Louis XVIII .
During the Restoration (1814–30),
Louis XVIII and Charles X between
them added 135 pieces at a cost of 720,000 francs and created the
department of Egyptian antiquities curated by Champollion , increased
by more than 7,000 works with the acquisition of antiquities in the
Edme-Antoine Durand , the Egyptian collection of Henry Salt or the
second collection former by
Bernardino Drovetti . This was less than
the amount given for rehabilitation of Versailles , and the Louvre
suffered relative to the rest of Paris. After the creation of the
French Second Republic in 1848, the new government allocated two
million francs for repair work and ordered the completion of the
Galerie d\'Apollon , the Salon Carré, and the Grande Galérie. In
1861, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte bought 11,835 artworks including 641
paintings, Greek gold and other antiquities of the Campana collection
. During the
Second French Empire
Second French Empire , between 1852 and 1870, the French
economy grew; by 1870 the museum had added 20,000 new pieces to its
collections, and the
Pavillon de Flore and the Grande Galérie were
remodelled under architects
Louis Visconti and
Hector Lefuel .
Sacking Of The
Louvre In 1871
The socialist revolutionaries of the Commune of
Paris heavily damaged
and partially looted the
Louvre in their two months of tenure in
Paris. On 23 May 1871, during the suppression of the
Paris Commune, 12
men under the orders of Jules Bergeret , the former chief military
commander of the Commune, set the
Tuileries palace compound that
Louvre on fire at 7 p.m., using petroleum, liquid tar and
turpentine. The fire lasted 48 hours and thoroughly gutted the library
and other sections of the
Louvre which were entirely destroyed. Only
the museum itself miraculously survived.
Third Republic And World Wars
Gerd von Rundstedt seen with a plaster
model of the
Venus de Milo , while visiting the
Louvre with the
curator Alfred Merlin on 7 October 1940
During the Third Republic (1870–1940) the
Louvre acquired new
pieces mainly via donations and gifts. The _Société des Amis du
Louvre_ donated the _
Pietà of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon _, and in 1863
an expedition uncovered the sculpture _
Winged Victory of Samothrace _
in the Aegean Sea. This piece, though heavily damaged, has been
prominently displayed since 1884. The 583-item _Collection La Caze_
donated in 1869, included works by Chardin ;
such as _
Bathsheba at Her Bath _ – and _Gilles_ by Watteau .
Museum expansion slowed after World War I, and the collection did not
acquire many significant new works; exceptions were Georges de La Tour
's _Saint Thomas_ and Baron Edmond de Rothschild\'s (1845–1934) 1935
donation of 4,000 engravings, 3,000 drawings, and 500 illustrated
books. During World War II the museum removed most of the art and hid
valuable pieces. When Germany occupied the
Sudetenland , many
important artworks such as the _
Mona Lisa _ were temporarily moved to
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 _ 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 were left in the basement". In
early 1945, after the liberation of France, art began returning to the
By 1874, the
Louvre Palace had achieved its present form of an almost
rectangular structure with the Sully Wing to the east containing the
Cour Carrée (Square Court) and the oldest parts of the Louvre; and
two wings which wrap the Cour Napoléon, the Richelieu Wing to the
north and the Denon Wing, which borders the
Seine to the south. In
1983, French President
François Mitterrand proposed, as one of his
Grands Projets , the GRAND LOUVRE plan to renovate the building and
relocate the Finance Ministry, allowing displays throughout the
I. M. Pei was awarded the project and proposed a
glass pyramid to stand over a new entrance in the main court, the Cour
Napoléon. The pyramid and its underground lobby were inaugurated on
15 October 1988; the pyramid was completed in 1989. The second phase
of the Grand
Louvre plan, _
La Pyramide Inversée _ (_The Inverted
Pyramid_), was completed in 1993. As of 2002, attendance had doubled
since completion. The
Louvre Palace and the Pyramid (by night)
Louvre Palace and the Pyramid (by day)
Musée du Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays
35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments with more than
60,600 square metres (652,000 sq ft) dedicated to the permanent
Louvre exhibits sculptures, objets d\'art ,
paintings, drawings, and archaeological finds. It is the world\'s
second most visited museum , averaging 15,000 visitors per day, 65
percent of whom are foreign tourists.
Mario Bellini and
Rudy Ricciotti had won an
international competition to create its new galleries for Islamic art,
the new 3,000 sq m pavilion eventually opened in 2012, consisting of
ground- and lower-ground-level interior spaces topped by a golden,
undulating roof (fashioned from almost 9,000 steel tubes that form an
interior web) that seems to float within the neo-Classical Visconti
Courtyard in the middle of the Louvre's south wing. The galleries,
which the museum had initially hoped to open by 2009, represent the
first major architectural intervention at the
Louvre since the
addition of I.M. Pei's glass pyramid in 1989.
On 5 February 2015, about one hundred archaeologists, protesting
against commercial private involvement to protect France's heritage,
blocked Louvre's ticket desks to facilitate free access to the museum.
At least one announcement reading "Free entrance offered by the
archeologists" has been attached to the ticket desk and a number of
people visited the museum free of charge. _
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci 's
Mona Lisa _ is the Louvre's most popular attraction.
Restoration workshops in the
Louvre is owned by the French government; however, since the
1990s it has become 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. 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
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.
Louvre employs a staff of 2,000 led by Director Jean-Luc Martinez
, who reports to the French Ministry of Culture and Communications.
Henri Loyrette in April 2013. Under Loyrette, who
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 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
Louvre Abu Dhabi is supposed to provide €400 million over the
course of 30 years for its use of the museum's prestigious 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 2004, French officials decided to build a satellite museum on the
site of an abandoned coal pit in the former mining town of Lens to
relieve the crowded
Paris Louvre, increase total museum visits, and
improve the industrial north's economy. Six cities were considered
for the project: Amiens, Arras, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais, Lens, and
Valenciennes. In 2004, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin
chose Lens to be the site of the new building, the Louvre-Lens.
SANAA were selected to design the Lens project in
Museum officials predicted that the new building, capable of
receiving about 600 works of art, would attract up to 500,000 visitors
a year when it opened in 2012.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
In March 2007, the
Louvre announced that a
Louvre museum would be
completed by 2016 in
Abu Dhabi . A 30-year agreement, signed by French
Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres and Sheik Sultan bin
Tahnoon Al Nahyan, will establish the museum on Saadiyat Island in Abu
Dhabi in exchange for €832,000,000 (US$1.3 billion). The
Dhabi, designed by the French architect
Jean Nouvel and the
engineering firm of
Buro Happold , will occupy 24,000 square metres
(260,000 sq ft) and will be covered by a roof shaped like a flying
France agreed to rotate between 200 and 300 artworks during a
10-year period; to provide management expertise; and to provide four
temporary exhibitions a year for 15 years. The art will come from
multiple museums, including the Louvre, the Georges Pompidou Centre ,
the Musée d'Orsay, Versailles, the Musée Guimet , the
Musée Rodin ,
Musée du quai Branly .
In 2009, Minister of Culture
Frédéric Mitterrand approved a plan
that would have created a storage facility 30 km northwest of
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 art
held in a 20,000 square metres (220,000 sq ft) basement storage area
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.
Louvre is involved in controversies that surround cultural
property seized under
Napoleon I, as well as during World War II by
the Nazis. During Nazi occupation , thousands of artworks were stolen.
But after the war, 61,233 articles of more than 150,000 seized
artworks returned to
France and were assigned to the Louvre's Office
des Biens Privés. In 1949, it entrusted 2,130 unclaimed pieces
(including 1,001 paintings) to the Direction des Musées de
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
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
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.
In June 2015, the
Louvre was accused of discriminating against
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
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
Musée du Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays
35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments.
Main article: Department of
Egyptian Antiquities of the
The department, comprising over 50,000 pieces, includes artifacts
Nile civilizations which date from 4,000 BC to the 4th
century AD. The collection, among the world's largest, overviews
Egyptian life spanning
Ancient Egypt , the Middle Kingdom , the New
Coptic art , and the Roman , Ptolemaic , and Byzantine
The Seated Scribe
The Seated Scribe _ from
Saqqara , Egypt, limestone
and alabaster, circa 2600 and 2350 BC
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
Rosetta Stone , Charles X decreed that an Egyptian
Antiquities department be created. Champollion advised the purchase of
three collections, formed by
Edmé-Antoine Durand , Henry Salt and
Bernardino Drovet ; these additions added 7,000 works. Growth
continued via acquisitions by
Auguste Mariette , founder of the
Museum in Cairo. Mariette, after excavations at Memphis ,
sent back crates of archaeological finds including _The Seated Scribe
Guarded by the _Large Sphinx_ (c. 2000 BC), the collection is housed
in more than 20 rooms. Holdings include art, papyrus scrolls, mummies,
tools, clothing, jewelry, games, musical instruments, and weapons.
Pieces from the ancient period include the _
Gebel el-Arak Knife _ from
3400 BC, _The Seated Scribe_, and the _Head of King Djedefre_. 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
New Kingdom sentiment and wealth.
NEAR EASTERN ANTIQUITIES
_ Human-headed winged bull (shedu _),
Assyria , limestone, 8th
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
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
The museum contains exhibits from
Sumer and the city of Akkad , with
monuments such as the Prince of Lagash's _
Stele of the Vultures _ from
2450 BC and the stele erected by Naram-Sin , King of Akkad, to
celebrate a victory over barbarians in the
Zagros Mountains . The
2.25-metre (7.38 ft)
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 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.
GREEK, ETRUSCAN, AND ROMAN
_ The Nike of Samothrace _ (Winged Victory), marble, circa 190 BC
The Greek, Etruscan, and Roman department displays pieces from the
Mediterranean Basin dating from the
Neolithic to the 6th century. The
collection spans from the Cycladic period to the decline of the Roman
Empire. This department is one of the museum's oldest; it began with
appropriated royal art, some of which was acquired under Francis I .
Initially, the collection focused on marble sculptures, such as the
Venus de Milo _. Works such as the _
Apollo Belvedere _ arrived during
the Napoleonic Wars, but these pieces were returned after
fall in 1815. In the 19th century, the
Louvre acquired works including
vases from the Durand collection, bronzes such as the _
Borghese Vase _
Bibliothèque nationale .
The archaic is demonstrated by jewellery and pieces such as the
Lady of Auxerre _, from 640 BC; and the cylindrical _Hera
of Samos_, circa 570–560 BC. After the 4th century BC, focus on
the human form increased, exemplified by the _
Borghese Gladiator _.
Louvre holds masterpieces from the
Hellenistic era, including The
_Winged Victory of Samothrace_ (190 BC) and the _Venus de Milo_,
symbolic of classical art. The long _Galerie Campana_ displays an
outstanding collection of more than one thousand Greek potteries . In
the galleries paralleling the Seine, much of the museum's Roman
sculpture is displayed. The Roman portraiture is representative of
that genre; examples include the portraits of Agrippa and Annius Verus
; among the bronzes is the Greek _
Apollo of Piombino _.
Casket, ivory and silver, Muslim Spain, 966
Islamic art collection, the museum's newest, spans "thirteen
centuries and three continents". These exhibits, comprising ceramics,
glass, metalware, wood, ivory, carpet, textiles, and miniatures,
include more than 5,000 works and 1,000 shards. Originally part of
the decorative arts department, the holdings became separate in 2003.
Among the works are the _Pyxide d\'al-Mughira _, a 10th century ivory
Andalusia ; the _Baptistery of Saint-Louis_, an engraved
brass basin from the 13th or 14th century Mamluk period; and the 10th
century _Shroud of Saint-Josse _ from Iran. The collection contains
three pages of the _
Shahnameh _, an epic book of poems by
Persian , and a Syrian metalwork named the _Barberini Vase_.
List of works in the Louvre Tomb of
Philippe Pot ,
governor of Burgundy under Louis XI , by Antoine Le Moiturier
Yombe sculpture, 19th century
The sculpture department comprises work created before 1850 that does
not belong in the Etruscan, Greek, and Roman department. The Louvre
has been a repository of sculpted material since its time as a palace;
however, only ancient architecture was displayed until 1824, except
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, _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.
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
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
Jean Goujon 's bas-reliefs, and
Germain Pilon 's _Descent from the
Cross_ and _Resurrection of Christ_. The 17th and 18th centuries are
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Gian Lorenzo Bernini 's 1640–1 Bust of Cardinal
Étienne Maurice Falconet 's _Woman Bathing_ and _Amour
menaçant_, and François Anguier 's obelisks. Neoclassical works
Antonio Canova 's _Psyche Revived by Cupid\'s Kiss _ (1787).
The 18th and 19th centuries are represented by the French sculptor
Alfred Barye .
French stained glass panel, 13th century, depicting Saint Blaise
The _Objets d\'art _ collection spans the time from the Middle Ages
to the mid-19th century. The department began as a subset of the
sculpture department, based on royal property and the transfer of work
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
Medieval artwork, and the Sauvageot donation expanded the
department with 1,500 middle-age and faïence works. In 1862, the
Campana collection added gold jewelry and maiolicas, mainly from the
15th and 16th centuries.
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
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\'s sceptre, and the 12th century _porphyry vase_.
Renaissance art holdings include
Giambologna 's bronze _Nessus
and Deianira_ and the tapestry _Maximillian's Hunt_. From later
periods, highlights include
Madame de Pompadour 's
Napoleon III 's apartments.
In September 2000, the
Museum dedicated the Gilbert Chagoury
and Rose-Marie Chagoury Gallery to display tapestries donated by the
Chagourys, including a 16th-century six-part tapestry suite, sewn with
gold and silver threads representing sea divinities, which was
Paris for Colbert de Seignelay , Secretary of State
for the Navy.
Further information: Catalog of paintings in the
Mona Lisa _ (
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci ), oil on panel, 1503–1519,
probably completed while the artist was at the court of Francis I .
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
Michelangelo and brought Leonardo da
Vinci to his court. After the
French Revolution , the Royal
Collection formed the nucleus of the Louvre. When the _d'Orsay_ train
station was converted into the Musée d\'Orsay in 1986, the collection
was split, and pieces completed after the
1848 Revolution were moved
to the new museum. French and Northern European works are in the
Richelieu wing and _Cour Carrée_; Spanish and Italian paintings are
on the first floor of the Denon wing.
Exemplifying the French School are the early _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
Jacques-Louis David 's _The Coronation of
Napoleon _; and
Eugène Delacroix 's _
Liberty Leading the People _.
Northern European works include
Johannes Vermeer 's _The Lacemaker _
and _The Astronomer _;
Caspar David Friedrich
Caspar David Friedrich 's _
The Tree of Crows _;
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's _
Mona Lisa _,
_Virgin and Child with St. Anne _, _St. John the Baptist _, and
Madonna of the Rocks _.
Caravaggio is represented by _The Fortune
Teller _ and _Death of the Virgin _. From 16th century Venice, the
Titian 's _Le Concert Champetre_, _The Entombment_ and
_The Crowning with Thorns_. Three lion-like heads, Charles le
Brun , France, pen and wash on squared paper, 1671
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
PRINTS AND DRAWINGS
The prints and drawings department encompasses works on paper. The
origins of the collection were the 8,600 works in the Royal Collection
(_Cabinet du Roi_), which were increased via state appropriation,
purchases such as the 1,200 works from Fillipo Baldinucci's collection
in 1806, and donations. The department opened on 5 August 1797, with
415 pieces displayed in the Galerie d'Apollon. The collection is
organized into three sections: the core _Cabinet du Roi_, 14,000 royal
copper printing-plates, and the donations of Edmond de Rothschild ,
which include 40,000 prints, 3,000 drawings, and 5,000 illustrated
books. The holdings are displayed in the Pavillon de Flore; due to the
fragility of the paper medium, only a portion are displayed at one
LOCATION, ACCESS, AND FACILITIES
Louvre museum and around, showing bus stops and metro
lines serving the area as well as parking
The museum lies in the center of
Paris on the Right Bank. The
neighborhood, known as the 1st arrondissement, was home to the former
Tuileries Palace , which closed off the western end of the Louvre
entrance courtyard, but was heavily damaged by fire during the Paris
Commune of 1871 and later demolished. The adjacent
Tuileries Gardens ,
created in 1564 by Catherine de' Medici, was designed in 1664 by
André Le Nôtre . The gardens house the Galerie nationale du Jeu de
Paume , a contemporary art exhibition space which was used to store
confiscated Jewish cultural property during the 1940 to 1944 German
occupation of France. Parallel to the Jeu de Paume is the Orangerie,
home to the famous _
Water Lilies _ paintings by
Claude Monet .
Louvre is slightly askew of the Historic Axis (_Axe historique
_), a roughly eight-kilometre (five-mile) architectural line bisecting
the city. It begins on the east in the
Louvre courtyard and runs west
Champs-Élysées . In 1871, the burning of the Tuileries
Palace by the
Paris Commune revealed that the
Louvre was slightly
askew of the _Axe_ despite past appearances to the contrary. The
Louvre can be reached by the Palais Royal –
Musée du Louvre Métro
or the Louvre-Rivoli stations.
Louvre has three entrances: the main entrance at the pyramid, an
entrance from the
Carrousel du Louvre underground shopping mall, and
an entrance at the Porte des Lions (near the western end of the Denon
Under the main entrance to the museum is the
Carrousel du Louvre , a
shopping mall operated by
Unibail-Rodamco . Among other stores, it has
the first Apple Store in France, and a McDonald\'s restaurant, the
presence of which has created controversy.
The use of cameras and video recorders is permitted inside, but flash
photography is forbidden.
Cycladic , a votive head, 2700–2300 BC
Egyptian , stele, _Priest burning incense before Ra-Horakhty-Atum_,
ca. 900 BC
Ancient Persia , the Ibex Rhyton, 600–300 BC
Ancient Greek , Athens, _The
Rampin Rider _,
Etruscan amphora, _Diomedes and Polyxena_, ca. 540–530 BC
Hellenic Near East , _The Eros Medallion_, ca. 250–200 BC
Fayum Egyptian, Fayum mummy portrait
Roman , portrait of
Marcus Agrippa , 25 BC
Frankish , ivory, _Christ between two apostles_, 5th century
Islamic art from Iraq, terracotta cup, 9th century
Romanesque art from
Maastricht , Reliquary, 11th century
Romanesque architecture from France, _St Michael and the Devil_, 12th
Renaissance painting , _St Francis receiving the stigmata_,
Giotto , c.1300
Early Netherlandish painting , _The Annunciation_, Rogier van der
Weyden , 1435
Gothic art from France, _The Pieta of Villeneuve les Avignon_,
Enguerrand Quarton , 1460
Renaissance painting , _Portrait of an old man and his
grandson _, Ghirlandaio , 1488
Flemish painting , _
The Money Changer and His Wife _, Quentin Massys
Renaissance painting , _Baltasar de Castiglione _,
Renaissance sculpture, _Dying Slave_,
Venetian Mannerist painting, _The Crucifixion_,
Paolo Veronese ,
Baroque painting, _The Fortune Teller _,
Caravaggio , c.1600
English painting , _
Charles I at the Hunt _, van Dyck , 1635
Baroque , _The Lacemaker _,
Vermeer , 1664
Spanish painting , _Infanta María Margarita_,
Velázquez , 1655
Classicism , _The Shepherds of Arcadia _,
Poussin , c.1640
Rococo , _Diana bathing_, Boucher , 1742
Classical painting , _The Bather_,
Ingres , 1808
Romantic art , _
Liberty Leading the People _, Delacroix , 1830
* List of museums in
* Center for Research and Restoration of Museums of
Musée de la mode et du textile
* Arts portal
* Visual arts portal
* Archaeology portal
NOTES AND REFERENCES
* ^ _A_ _B_ Visitor Figures 2016: The grand totals: exhibition and
museum attendance numbers worldwide, _
The Art Newspaper _,
International Edition, April 2017.
* ^ The _
New Oxford American Dictionary _ gives the respelling
"/'loov(rə)/", which has been converted to its
IPA equivalent. The
portion within parentheses indicates a variant pronunciation.
* ^ "
Louvre Museum". _Inexhibit_. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
* ^ "
Louvre Website- Chateau to Museum, 1672 and 1692". Louvre.fr.
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* ^ "
Louvre Website- Chateau to
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Mignot, p. 32
* ^ _A_ _B_ Edwards, pp. 193–94
* ^ In Larousse _Nouveau Dictionnaire étymologique et historique_,
Librairie Larousse, Paris, 1971, p. 430: ***LOUP 1080, Roland (_leu_,
forme conservée dans _à la queue leu leu_, _Saint Leu_, etc.); du
lat. lupus; loup est refait sur le fém. louve, où le *v* a empêché
le passage du *ou* à *eu* (cf. Louvre, du lat. pop. lupara)*** the
etymology of the word _louvre_ is from _lupara_, feminine (pop. Latin)
form of _lupus_.
* ^ In Lebeuf (Abbé), Fernand Bournon, _Histoire de la ville et de
tout le diocèse de
Paris par l'abbé Lebeuf_, Vol. 2, Paris: Féchoz
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Edwards, p. 198
* ^ _A_ _B_ Chaundy, Bob (29 September 2006). "Faces of the Week".
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* ^ Mignot, p. 42
* ^ Nore, p. 274
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Nora, p. 278
* ^ Carbonell, p. 56
* ^ Oliver, p. 21–22
* ^ Monaghan, Sean M.; Rodgers, Michael (2000). "French Sculpture
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* ^ Oliver, p. 35
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Alderson, p.24, 25
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Mignot, pp. 68, 69
* ^ McClellan, p. 7
* ^ Mignot, p. 52
* ^ _A_ _B_ Alderson, p.25
* ^ _A_ _B_ Plant, p. 36
* ^ Popkin, p.88
* ^ Swetnam-Burland, Molly (2009). "Egypt Embodied: The Vatican
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* ^ Popkin, p. 89
* ^ Bierman, p. 41
* ^ Bierman, p.42
* ^ Strathern, p. 305
* ^ Quynn, Dorothy (1945) "The Art Confiscations of the Napoleonic
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http://www.jstor.org/stable/1843116 p. 442
* ^ Parkinson, Pg. 28
* ^ Bierman, p. 161
* ^ Mignot, p. 69. According to Mignot, Mantegna 's _Calvary_,
Veronese 's _The Wedding at CanaThe Marriage of Cana_, and Rogier van
der Weyden's _Annunciation_ were not returned.
* ^ "Paolo Veronese". _The Gentleman's Magazine_. No. December
1867. A. Dodd and A. Smith. p. 741.
* ^ Johns, Christopher M. S. (1998). _
Antonio Canova and the
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* ^ _Life _ (4 November 1940), p. 39.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Mignot, pp. 70–71
* ^ Alan Riding, _And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in
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* ^ Matila Simon, "The battle of the Louvre;: The struggle to save
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* ^ Mignot, p. 13
* ^ Mignot, p. 66
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Gareth Harris (13 September 2012), Islamic art, covered
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* ^ Carol Vogel (19 September 2012), The Louvre\'s New Islamic
Galleries Bring Riches to Light _
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New York Times _.
* ^ Denis Bocquet. "Structural Innovation and the Stakes of
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Farah Nayeri (20 January 2009), Banks compete to manage
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International Herald Tribune _.
* ^ Matlack, Carol (28 July 2008). "The Business of Art: Welcome to
Louvre Inc.". _Der Spiegel Online_. Retrieved 25 September 2008.
* ^ Lunn, p. 137
* ^ (in French)Un archéologue prend la direction du Louvre, Le
Monde du 3 April 2013.
* ^ Scarlet Cheng (15 November 2012),
Louvre and Sll Francisco
museums sign five-year deal _
The Art Newspaper _.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Gentleman, Amelia (1 December 2004). "Lens puts new
angle on the Louvre". _The Guardian_. London. Retrieved 27 February
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to go ahead despite protests _
The Art Newspaper _.
* ^ Victoria Stapley-Brown (10 November 2014), Designers chosen for
Louvre\'s €60m storage outpost _
The Art Newspaper _.
* ^ "Rapport Matteoli, Le pillage de l\'art en
l\'occupation et la situation des 2000 oeuvres confiées aux Musées
nationaux, p. 50, 60, 69" (PDF). Retrieved 21 August 2011.
* ^ Rickman, p. 294
* ^ "Soupçons de discrimination à l\'encontre d\'étudiants
* ^ "
Louvre accused of discriminating against Israeli students".
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* ^ "Israeli student group turned away from Louvre". _The Jerusalem
Post - JPost.com_.
* ^ Merryman, abstract
* ^ "Le
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* ^ "The fabulous collections of the
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Mignot, pp 76, 77
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ _I_ Nave, pp.42–43
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Mignot, p. 92
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Mignot, pp. 119–21
* ^ "Decorative Arts". Musée du Louvre. Archived from the original
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* ^ "Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia". University of
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* ^ Hannan, p.252
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Ahlund, p. 24
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* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Mignot, 397–401
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Mignot, pp. 451–54
* ^ "Decorative Arts". Musée du Louvre. Archived from the original
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* ^ Lasko, p. 242
* ^ (in French)
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* ^ Hannan, p. 262
* ^ _A_ _B_ Mignot, pp. 199–201, 272–73, 333–35
* ^ According to
Giorgio Vasari , Michelangelo's Leda and the Swan
, (now lost) was acquired by Francis I.
* ^ "Paintings". Musée du Louvre. Archived from the original on 23
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* ^ Mignot, p. 201
* ^ Hannan, p. 267
* ^ Mignot, p. 378
* ^ Hannan, pp. 270–278
* ^ www.louvre.fr –
Musée du Louvre – Exhibitions – Past
Exhibitions – The La Caze Collection. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
Archived 17 September 2011 at the
Wayback Machine .
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* ^ Rogers, p. 159
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* Sturdy, David (1995). _Science and social status: the members of
the Académie des sciences 1666–1750_. Woodbridge, Suffolk, U.K.:
Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-395-X .
OCLC 185477008 .
Wikimedia Commons has media related to LOUVRE _.
* Official website
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