The Louvre Museum: What Can You Expect When You Visit
In the 19th century, when Paris was becoming a center of refinement and culture, King Louis XVI decided to build a museum to house the royal art collection. The result was the Louvre: an architectural masterpiece housing one of the largest art collections in the world. With more than 40,000 works from antiquity to modern times, the Louvre is split across several wings, making it one of the largest museums in the world. Whether you're planning your first trip or are looking for something new to see at this famous Parisian landmark, here are some insider secrets about this famous museum.
1. Check the Calendar
All museums have a certain rhythm to their flow of visitors, with a few hours at the start of the day being the busiest. You can use this knowledge to your advantage by visiting the Louvre when it is least crowded, like in the morning on a weekday. If you are visiting for the first time, check the calendar to see what special exhibitions are happening during your stay. These exhibitions are usually very popular and can significantly increase visitor numbers. This is especially true if the collection relates to a current event or news story.
2. Don't Miss the Louvre Museum Sculpture Courtyard
Surrounding the Louvre Museum is a vast courtyard once used as a visitor carriage park. It has since been converted into a park-like setting with a large reflecting pool and sculptures. Because it is located outside the museum, the Sculpture Courtyard is often overlooked by visitors who are eager to see the inside of the Louvre. However, the Sculpture Courtyard is definitely worth the trip. It is home to several famous sculptures, including the iconic Winged Victory of Samothrace. You can also catch a glimpse of the Louvre Museum through the trees, adding to the serene beauty of the outdoor space.
3. The Most Famous Works of Art in the Louvre Museum
Many different works of art are displayed at the Louvre, but some are more famous than others. Here are a few of the most famous works of art in the Louvre: -
The Venus de Milo: One of the world's most famous pieces of classical art, the Venus de Milo is thought to be the remains of a Greek goddess dating back to the 2nd century BC. The sculpture is on display in the Louvre's Sculpture Court, having been discovered on the island of Milos in 1820.
The Mona Lisa: Perhaps the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa is on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris. It is an oil painting on a wooden panel, painted in a style known as "finished sketch." It is thought to have been created between 1503 and 1506.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace: Perhaps the most famous piece of sculpture in the Louvre is the Winged Victory of Samothrace. It is a 75-tonne marble sculpture that was found on the island of Samothrace in 1863. It is displayed in the Louvre's Sculpture Court.
Michelangelo's sculptures: The Louvre houses several sculptures by Italian artist Michelangelo, including the Louvre's famous Sleeping Shepherd Boy (also known as The Shepherd Boy).
Les Noces de Cana by Véronèse: This enormous six-meter-tall by 10-meter-wide canvas, which spans the whole wall of the Louvre gallery from floor to ceiling, is the largest painting in the Louvre Museum. The biblical wedding scene at Cana in Galilee is shown in the superb composition Les Noces de Cana (The Wedding Feast at Cana), which, according to John the Apostle, is the occasion when Christ performs the miracle of changing water into wine.
Vénus de Milo: Aphrodite, the other name for this appealing statue, stands for the Greek ideal of beauty. The goddess statue, made in 100 BC, exhibits late Hellenistic Period stylization.
Pyramid du Louvre: The Pyramid du Louvre's central courtyard serves as the primary entry to the Louvre. This distinctive 22-meter-high pyramid, created by architect Ieoh Ming Pei and completed in 1989, is made of 675 glass panes, allowing enough natural light to enter the interior space.
4. Tour the Louvre Museum by Wing
The Louvre has many wings, each focusing on different periods of art history. If you want to tour the Louvre Museum by branch, here are a few of the most famous wings:
The Sully Wing: The Sully wing is home to the Musée du Louvre's collection of antiquities, including the Venus de Milo. It also houses the world-famous Mona Lisa.
The Richelieu Wing: This wing holds the Musée's Egyptian Art collection, including the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti.
The Denon Wing: The Denon wing is home to the Musée du Louvre's collections of French, Medieval, and Islamic art collections.
The West Wing: The West wing is home to the Musée du Louvre's collections of Italian Art and Paintings.
5. Secrets of the Louvre Museum People Don't Know About
The Louvre is one of the largest art museums in the world, with more than 38,000 works displayed across 173 countries. The museum is home to many famous works of art, such as the Louvre Pyramids, the Statue of Liberty, and the Sistine Chapel. The Louvre also houses art that many people might not know about. You might be surprised that the museum is the home of the Beasts of the Apocalypse, a series of sculptures created for the Vatican. You can also see the world's largest art exhibition in the Hall of Mirrors, a series of paintings that measure over 21 feet long.
6. Order Your Tickets in Advance
The Louvre is one of the most famous Parisian attractions, so order your tickets in advance to avoid the long lines. The best time to book your tickets is at least a few days before you plan to visit the Louvre. This will allow you to get tickets for one of the quieter days during your stay, like a weekday. You can also call the Louvre during off-peak hours, such as on Monday or Friday before a long weekend (like Labor Day or Bastille Day). You can also go on the first Sunday of the month when admission is free for those under 26. To visit the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and other works, spend at least two hours exploring the museum. The museum has six eateries, cafes, and counters where you can get something to eat if you intend to stay a while. The Louvre is open until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday evenings, which is the best time to visit.
The world's largest art museum, the Louvre has something for every kind of art lover, from medieval to modern. The Louvre is an architectural masterpiece, and exploring all its wings is a fascinating way to spend a day or even a week. There is so much to see at the Louvre that you can spend a day wandering the halls and still not see everything the museum offers. All of this makes the Louvre one of the world's best museums and one of the most popular attractions in Paris for a trip. Follow leisure.com for more travel guides and tips.
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