Dive Into the World of Art and Explore the Louvre Collection
A landmark as vast and expansive as the Louvre deserves to be explored in all its glory; there’s much more to it than the Mona Lisa after all! Home to 480,000 pieces of art including paintings, sculptures, decorative art, and more, the Louvre collection is an art lover’s wildest fantasy. If you’re planning to visit the Louvre Museum, it would be recommended to know about the different collections available for your viewing pleasure. We have done just that with this Louvre collection guide.
Explore the Louvre Collections
Louvre Collections Highlights | What to Look Out For
The Antiquities Department used to house the Sculptures Department with the latter operating solo in 1871. Sculptures from France, Italy, and northern Europe are now on display as part of this collection. The period covered is from the Middle Ages to the turn of the nineteenth century. The Sculptures Department is spread out over two levels. The French statues in the Marly and Puget courtyards can be seen on the mezzanine in the Richelieu Wing. Spanish, northern European, and Italian sculptures are on display in the Denon Wing's mezzanine.
In 1827, the Louvre opened the first Egyptian Museum, which consisted of four rooms. The museum was built and directed by Jean-François Champollion, the French academic who decoded Egyptian hieroglyphs in 1822, to spread knowledge of this enigmatic culture that had long interested Europeans. Egyptology became a science, and the museum's collection grew significantly. The Musée Charles X's collection has long outgrown its confines; the Department of Egyptian Antiquities now spans 2 floors of the Louvre.
Near Eastern Antiques
The origins of writing can be traced in the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities. The first written words of humanity are preserved there. Visitors can observe the first legal documents and human depictions from the Neolithic age when men began to practice farming and agriculture. The Department of Near Eastern Antiquities is separated into three collections, each covering a geographical area ranging from the eastern Mediterranean to India, via the Arabian peninsula and the Black Sea.
Before being transformed into a museum, the Louvre was a palace, a fact that’s on full display when you explore both Napoleon III and Anne of Austria’s apartments. The Minister of Official for Napoleon III lived in small private rooms that led to the vast state residences, where the mood was radically different. The drawing and dining rooms feature a swirl of gold, velvet, paintings, and stucco ornamentation, providing a lavish setting for any type of royal gathering.
In 2003, the Department of Islamic Arts was established. However, works associated with this genre had long been in France's possession. The phrase 'Islamic Art' encompasses all of the Islamic world's art forms. These are represented in the Louvre by a collection of objects dating from the advent of Islam in the seventh century until the late nineteenth century. From Spain to India, North Africa, and Egypt, the collection spans three continents.
Art from Around the World
The Pavillon des Sessions, which opened in 2000, houses artworks from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. As a result, the world's most famous museum expanded its scope to encompass cultures from every continent. African sculptures, an Easter Island statue head, Arctic masks, a ceremonial house post from the Solomon Islands, and much more can be seen in the Pavillon des Sessions' big bright halls. Jean-Michel Wilmotte's modest, unobtrusive exhibition space is the ideal showcase for the range of this exhibition.
The Rotonde Sully, a few steps from the Pyramid, houses the Louvre's collection of prints and drawings. Here you can discover sketching and printmaking skills while admiring the art of some of Europe's greatest painters. The graphic arts collection of the Louvre is one of the world's largest, with almost 250,000 pieces ranging from the 11th to the 19th centuries, including drawings, pastels, prints, and miniatures. Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Charles Le Brun, Delacroix, Géricault and Ingres, Hans Holbein, and Rembrandt are among the many legendary artists featured here.
Aside from these categories, the Louvre also has a large collection of textiles, jewellery, finery, prints, and documents.
The Louvre collection is also divided into different themes. You can now choose to explore a collection based on your interests.
- The Louvre is truly vast and to get a good peek at everything special on display, you’ll need to plan your visit a bit.
- Identify the Louvre collections that interest you, locate them before your visit, and explore them in the order that allows you to save time.
- Apart from the Mona Lisa, other must-see artworks in the Louvre collection include Liberty Leading the People, Alexander the Great in Babylon, The Raft of the Medusa, and The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes since you’ll be walking a lot to explore all the fabulous art featured in the Louvre collections.
- If you’re new to the art scene and don’t have a reference point to begin, go for a guided Louvre tour. A knowledgeable guide will make your experience more enriching and ensure you don’t miss any of the standouts.
The Louvre Collection Online
Now you can explore the entire collection of the museum online. After the temporary shutdown due to the pandemic, the Louvre Museum created an online database with 480,000 artworks and items, showcasing their collection online. Users can explore these works using an interactive map. This map lets you virtually walk through the halls and corridors of the museum and look at every item in its collection. The online collection can be accessed by anyone across the world for free.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Louvre Collections
A. The Louvre collection includes around 450,000 artifacts and 35,000 works of art across eight curatorial departments.
A. It would take you roughly 2 to 3 hours to take a look at the entire Louvre collection.
A. The Louvre collection houses approximately 7,500 paintings.
A. While the Louvre collection size is over 450,000, at a given time about 35,000 are on display.
A. Egyptian antiquities, ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, Old Master paintings, royal jewels, and other objects from French aristocrats are all part of the Louvre collection.
A. The oldest item that is part of the Louvre collection is a statue from Ain Ghazal, over 9000 years old.
A. Some of the famous sculptures that are part of the Louvre collection include Winged Victory of Samothrace, Sleeping Hermaphrodite on Bed, The Three Graces, Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss, and Venus de Milo.