Louvre Collection

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

The Louvre Museum is the world's largest and most visited art museum, housing a collection of 480,000 works of art that spans ancient civilizations from the 6th century BC to the 19th century and is spread out across 60,000 square meters. Some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures may be found in the Louvre.

A few examples include the Mona Lisa, the Venus of Milo, the Code of Hammurabi, the Regent Diamond, and Napoleon I's Coronation. The Louvre is also home to a collection of monumental and iconic masterpieces from Western culture.

See What's Inside the Louvre

Louvre Collections Highlights | What to Look Out For

Louvre Collections

Paintings

The Paintings Department of the Louvre Museum is unique in that it only displays works created before 1848, with a few exceptions.  European paintings from the 13th to the 19th centuries are featured in this collection. Head to the 1st floor of the Denon wing and the 2nd floor of the Richelieu and Sully wings to see some of the most stunning paintings in the world on display at the Louvre. The Grand Gallery is another well-known gallery filled with magnificent paintings that should not be overlooked.

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Louvre Collections

Sculptures

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.

Louvre Collections

Egyptian Collection

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.

Louvre Collections

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.

Louvre Collections

Royal Furniture

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.

Louvre Collections

Islamic Arts

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.

Louvre Collections

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.

Louvre Collections

Graphic Arts

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.

Thematic Albums

The Louvre collection is also divided into different themes. You can now choose to explore a collection based on your interests.

Louvre collection

The Art of Portraiture

60 artworks

Explore an array of portraits from sculptures to paintings, drawings to engravings, and more.

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Louvre collection

Queens, Kings, and Emperors

59 artworks

A number of artworks showcase royalty in different forms. Explore coronation items, paintings, and sculptures of European monarchs.

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Louvre collection

Major Events in History

26 artworks

Discover many significant events in history through several depictions of artworks at the museum.

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Louvre collection

Acquisitions in 2022

51 artworks

Take a look at the newest additions to the Louvre collection as the museum strives to enrich its existing collection.

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Louvre collection

Masterpieces of the Louvre

40 artworks

Get a close look at some of the most famous artworks not just in the museum, but across the globe.

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Louvre collection

National Museums Recovery

1737 works

Around 61,000 artworks were retrieved after the second world war, many of which were returned to their owners. The rest are kept within French museums like the Louvre.

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Visitor Tips

  • 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.

View the Louvre Collection Online

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Louvre Collections

Q. How big is the Louvre collection?

A. The Louvre collection includes around 450,000 artifacts and 35,000 works of art across eight curatorial departments.

Q. Do I need tickets to see the Louvre collection?

A. Yes. To see the entire Louvre collection, you need to purchase an entrance ticket to the museum. Book your tickets here.

Q. What is part of the Louvre collections?

A. The Louvre collection consists of Paintings, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Decorative arts, Islamic arts, Graphic arts.

Q. How long will it take to see the entire Louvre collection?

A. It would take you roughly 2 to 3 hours to take a look at the entire Louvre collection.

Q. Can I view the Louvre collection online?

A. Yes. The entire Louvre collection can be viewed online.

Q. How many paintings are part of the Louvre collection?

A. The Louvre collection houses approximately 7,500 paintings.

Q. What are the best artworks of the Louvre collection?

A. Some of the best artworks of the Louvre collection are Mona Lisa, The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds, Liberty Leading the People, Alexander the Great in Babylon, and The Raft of the Medusa.

Q. Is the entire Louvre collection on display?

A. While the Louvre collection size is over 450,000, at a given time about 35,000 are on display.

Q. What antiques are part of the Louvre collection?

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.

Q. How old is the Louvre collection?

A. The oldest item that is part of the Louvre collection is a statue from Ain Ghazal, over 9000 years old.

Q. Where is the Louvre Egyptian collection?

A. In 1827, the Louvre opened the first Egyptian Museum, which consisted of four rooms. In today's Louvre, the Department of Egyptian Antiquities occupies two floors of the museum.

Q. What sculptures are part of the Louvre collection?

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.