Friday, April 13, 2012

L = Louvre Museum - A to Z Blog Challenge

Musée du Louvre

The Louvre and the Glass Pyramid, Paris - by Green Eye

The Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre, is one of the world's largest museums and a historic monument. It's a landmark of Old Paris, located in the 1st arrondissement, with one side facing the rue de Rivoli. 

Entry into the Louvre is through the Glass Pyramid, located in the inner courtyard.  I expected the effect of the old (the Louvre building) and the new (the pyramids) to be jarring.  Instead, the transparency allows for the Louvre building to be seen or reflected by the pyramid.  Commissioned by President Francois Mitterrand, the large pyramid was completed in 1989 by I. M. Pei. 

Louvre Interior Gallery, Antiquities - by DG Hudson

It's difficult to indicate the size of this palace and its galleries without a reference point, like the crowds above. No expense was spared in the flooring, the marble, the light fixtures and the gilt.  Palais du Louvre began its life as a 12th century fortress.  A model representation of the medieval version is on display in the basement, where the original foundations of the old Louvre castle can be seen.

Louvre Painted and Gilded Ceiling by DG Hudson

In 1682, King Louis XIV, the Sun King, moved his household to the Palace of Versailles keeping the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including a collection of antique sculpture.

Antiquities, The Louvre, Paris - by DG Hudson

During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces.  Treasures from antiquity survived because of this wise decision. 

The Louvre Museum Interior, Paris, by DG Hudson

What do you think of the Louvre?  Do you like art museums?  Or do you think of The Da Vinci Code?  Please share in the comments. 


References:  Louvre home page  Paris Districts Louvre Museum, Wikipedia  Louvre Pyramid