The Louvre Museum (Musee du Louvre)
The Louvre (LOO-vruh) is the most popular and largest museum in the world. It was once one of France’s largest palaces and Napoleon turned it into the museum.
It is chockablock full of very famous works of art (35,000!) including the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa.
There is SO much to see in this museum, it would take at least 9 months – a whole school year – to try and see every piece of artwork.
When visiting the Louvre, it is best to have a map to find your way around, and guidebook – or personal guide – to learn the story behind the art!
KeeKee Must-Sees (at the Louvre)
Here is a list of a few pieces of art we see in my KeeKee in Paris book, plus a few more that I think you will love.
Winged Victory of Samothrace
This is a marble sculpture of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike from 190 BC discovered on the island of Samothrace in the Aegean Sea. The athletic company, Nike, is named after her – for she was known for her strength and speed.
Louis XIV (1638-1715)
Is a painting by Hyacinthe Rigaud. It shows Louis XIV in his royal robes. He was King of France from 1643 – 1715 – that’s over 350 years ago! If you look closely, you can see his crown.
The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne
By Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci depicting Saint Anne, her daughter (the Virgin Mary) and baby Jesus.
Self Portrait Wearing a Toque and Gold Chain
The Dutch artist, Rembrandt van Rijn, created over 100 self-portraits (pictures of himself) in his lifetime. This is one of fifty paintings. You can see the toque (hat) and a gold chain.
Statue of Horus
Horus was the Egyptian god of the sky, and sometimes took the shape of a falcon. This statue is just one of many statues of Horus throughout the world.
Psyche Revived By Cupid’s Kiss
This marble sculpture was created by the Italian artist Antonio Canova. He began sculpting it around 1787 and finished in 1793 – over 200 years ago! The sculpture shows the love between Psyche, the Greek goddess of the soul, and Cupid, the god of affection.
Great Sphinx of Tanis
A sphinx is an Egyptian statue that has the body of a lion and the head of a king. This sphinx is one of the largest outside of Egypt (where there are many sphinx sculptures).This one was found in 1825 among the ruins of the Temple of Amun at Tanis, Egypt and is believed to be from 2600 BC! Doesn’t it look like it’s ready to pounce?
Paintings From The Tomb of Unsu
This is a fragment from a larger Egyptian mural. It shows the ancient Unsu people planting and harvesting corn.
Venus de Milo
The famous Greek statue of goddess Aphrodite (known as Venus to the ancient Romans) from 100 BC was found in 1820 on the Greek island of Milos.
The Louvre building was originally built as a fortress in the 13th century and later destroyed. Archeologists excavated the original moat 23 feet below during construction of the Glass Pyramid. Today you can peek at the original moats in the Medieval Louvre exhibit in the Sully wing.
Some images sourced from Wikipedia and Louvre Museum.