Louvre Museum Paris | Discover the Most-Visited Museum In The World
It is said that if you go to Paris and don’t visit the Louvre, you haven’t visited Paris. This is fairly true, as the grandeur of the Louvre Paris is hard to miss. This iconic museum stands on the right bank of the River Seine and is the largest art gallery in the world.
Louvre Museum houses the heritage of the great French history, along with other important works from around the world, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Home to more than 35,000 exhibits in its centuries-old building, the museum attracts millions of visitors from all over the world every year.
Louvre Museum | Quick Facts
What Is The Louvre?
Why is Louvre Museum Famous?
The building that the Lourve is housed in, the Lourve Palace, was originally built as a fortress in the 12th century. It opened its doors to the public as a museum in 1793. At the time, the museum had a humble collection of over 500 paintings. Today, it houses 480,000 pieces of artwork across 60,600 square meters, making it the largest museum in the world.
The museum has a rich collection that spans work from ancient civilizations to the mid-19th century. It is home to some of the most famous artworks in the world, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Virgin of the Rocks. The museum also has a vast collection of sculptures (including Venus de Milo) and other objects from ancient civilizations.
In 2018, 10.2 million people visited the Louvre Museum in Paris, making it the world's most popular museum of fine arts. While many credited A Beyoncé and Jay-Z's music video for their single "Apeshit", in which they posed in front of Louvre artworks for the numbers, its consistent popularity (9.6 million visitors in 2019) is indicative of the historical, cultural, and artistic significance of the museum.
History of Louvre Museum
12th Century - 1791: King Philip II built the Louvre Palace in the late 12th century to protect the city from an invasion by the Kingdom of England. In the 14th century, the Louvre Palace was converted into a residence by Charles V.
1791 - 1801: On 10 August 1792, the royal collection in the Louvre became national property after Louis XVI was imprisoned. The museum opened on 10 August 1793 as Muséum central des arts de la République.
1801 – 1870: During these years, the museum went through some impressive transformations and its collection grew.
1870 - 1981: In 1971, as the French army tried to suppress the Paris Commune, a section of the Communards set the adjoining Tuileries Palace on fire. Parts of the museum caught fire as well but it was controlled.
The expansion of the museum slowed after World War I.
During World War II, many important artworks inside the Lourve were evacuated. The artworks only returned in 1945, after the liberation of France.
1981- 1995: The museum once again went through a series of transformations, including the addition of a glass pyramid during this time period.
21st century: In 2003, a department of Islamic Art was created. In 2010, American painter Cy Twombly completed a new ceiling for the Salle des Bronzes. The room's floor and walls were redesigned in 2021 by Michel Goutal.
In 2019, the Louvre Museum launched an augmented reality (AR) app called ‘Louvre 360’. The app allows users to get a closer look at some of the museum's most famous works and even learn about their history by using AR technology.
Detailed History of the Louvre Palace >
Louvre Museum Collection
The massive collection of the world’s largest art gallery consists of over 35,000 artworks and it spans eight thematic departments. The vast collections include artworks and artifacts dating back centuries, representing almost 11,000 years of human history and culture. The museum’s permanent collection consists of great works of art by maestros like Leonardo Da Vinci, Delacroix, Rubens, and Vermeer, among others. It also houses Egyptian, Islamic, and Greco-Roman collections of art. The eight thematic departments of the Louvre are:
The Egyptian collection of the Louvre is considered to be one of the most extensive in the world, housing over 50,000 pieces. It deep dives into the lives of the ancient Egyptians and includes artifacts from the Nile civilization (4,000 BC) to the 4th century AD.
Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities:
The Greek, Etruscan, and Roman antiquities department of the Louvre Museum focuses on Mediterranean history dating from the Neolithic era to the 6th century. One of the oldest departments of the Louvre, a large part of the collection was inducted by the French royalty in the 16th century.
Near Eastern Antiquities
This department is massive with 25 rooms dedicated to the exhibition of art and artifacts from early Near Eastern civilization. The department is divided into three geographic areas: the Levant, Mesopotamia (Iraq), and Persia (Iran).
The department for Sculpture at the Louvre Paris is rich with works created before 1850 that do not belong in the Etruscan, Greek, and Roman department. It holds the largest collection of French sculptures in the world. Some of the notable works are Satan by Jean-Jacques Feuchère and Diana the Huntress by Jean-Antoine Houdon, among others.
The department of Islamic Arts at the Louvre is the newest section in the museum. Founded in the year 2003, the collection features 3,000 works from the Arabian peninsula spanning the 7th to 19th centuries. Some important works showcased in this section are the Plate with Peacock, three pages of the Shahnameh, and the Barberini Vase.
The department of Decorative Arts at the Louvre consists of artifacts, tapestries, ceramics, stained glass, and more from the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century. Some highlights of the department include the coronation crown of Louis XIV, Giambologna's bronze Nessus and Deianira, and Napoleon III's apartments.
Prints & Drawings
This department houses the largest collection of drawings in the world with 1,40,000 pieces in the Louvre’s catalog. It is the least known part of the museum as most of the works cannot be displayed due to the fragility of the drawings. The collection is organized into three sections: the core Cabinet du Roi, royal copper printing plates, and the donations of Edmond de Rothschild.
What's Inside the Louvre?
Home to over 480,000 works of art, there is a lot to see inside the Louvre. Here are some of the must-see masterpieces
Liberty Leading the People
One of the most iconic works by Eugène Delacroix, the painting was transferred to the Louvre Museum in 1874. The painting shows a woman personifying Liberty with a French flag in one hand and a bayoneted musket in the other.
Venus de Milo
The iconic sculpture was discovered in 1820 on the Greek island of Milos, in the Cyclades Archipelago. The sculpture, however, was not found in its original form, as it took a trial of time on the island and lost its arms.
Winged Victory of Samothrace
Made in Ancient Greece, the sculpture depicts Nike, the goddess of victory. The marble statue is about 8 feet high, and is one of the most celebrated works in the Western world. It is believed that it commemorates a victory, most likely, a naval victory.
Great Sphinx of Tanis
The Great Sphinx of Tanis is dated to 26 century BC, and is one of the largest sphinx outside of Egypt. Made of granite, this sculpture is impressively detailed, making it one of the highlights of the Egyptian Antiquities section at the Louvre Paris.
The ceiling of the Galerie d’Apollon
The Galerie d’Apollon houses the French Crown Jewels at the Louvre. It is famous for its high vaulted ceilings with stunning artwork on the ceiling. One of the oldest parts of the museum, today, it is considered a heritage site.
Plan Your Visit to Louvre Museum in Paris
Louvre Museum Tickets & Guided Tours
Frequently Asked Questions About The Louvre Museum in Paris
A. The Louvre is an art museum and historic site in Paris. The museum, established in 1793, has an impressive collection of artwork and artifacts that trace 11,000 years of human civilization and culture.
A. Yes, children under 18 years of age can visit the museum free of cost.
A. The Louvre is located at Rue de Rivoli, 75001 in Paris, France.
A. The Louvre is open Wednesday to Monday from 9 AM to 6 PM.
A. The best time to visit the Louvre is Wednesday and Friday evenings when the museum is open until 9.45 PM, and the crowd is comparatively less.
A. The Louvre is the world's largest and most-visited museum. It houses one of the most impressive art collections in history, with 480,000 works of art spanning centuries and regions.
A. The Louvre Museum opened to the public on 10 August 1793, making the museum 229 years old.
A. With galleries spreading over 15 acres, and an impressive collection of 480,000 works of art, the Louvre in Paris is the largest museum in the world.
A. The Louvre is extremely popular. An important landmark in Paris, the Louvre attracted approximately 9.6 million visitors in 2019, making it the most visited museum worldwide.
A. Inside the Louvre Museum you will find 35,000 works of art displayed across eight curatorial departments. You will find sculptures, decorative objects, paintings, drawings, and archaeological finds inside.
A. The Louvre collection includes over 480,000 artworks, of which 35,000 are on display.