Louvre, Paris

4.5 out of 5 stars 789 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Louvre Museum, Paris, France
    Louvre Museum, Paris, France
    by Parisforless
  • The Lady with an Ermine by da Vinci.
    The Lady with an Ermine by da Vinci.
    by breughel
  • Louvre
    by mindcrime
  • MaaikeSchmit's Profile Photo

    Rue du Louvre – Need stamps?

    by MaaikeSchmit Written Dec 20, 2013
    Rue du Louvre Paris

    The Rue du Louvre is one of the most useful streets to know in Paris for many reasons, and also because you will find a 1 star michelin french-japanese restaurant in one of the adjacent streets, Rue du Coq Héron (see the KEI article).

    So, the Rue du Louvre is a street which starts at the crossroads between Le Louvre and Rue de Rivoli, in the first district, and ends when it arrives at Rue Montmartre, in the second district of Paris. Of course, the first reason to know this really nice street is that it is located at the extreme east of the Louvre Museum, and just two minutes from the oldest bridge in Paris, le Pont Neuf, where you can take the flying boats.

    When you go north, you will find la Bourse de Commerce (or trade exchange) which is the place you have to go if you want to become an entrepreneur in Paris and is a former corn exchange rebuilt after 1850. Passing the Viarmes street, you arrive at the end of Les Halles and you can still visit the St Eustache Church, and walk through la Rue du Jour, where you’ll find very trendy shops, like Agnès B or La Droguerie.

    After passing the KEI restaurant, you’ll find the one and only post office which is open 24/7 in Paris. And finally, if you turn left when you cross Rue Etienne Marcel, you will find one of the nicest spots in Paris, La Place des Victoires.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Mona Lisa at the Louvre

    by GentleSpirit Updated Nov 25, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Mona Lisa
    1 more image

    A lot of people want to see the top ten pieces at the Louvre. The most famous is, of course, DaVinci's Mona Lisa, which is a portrait of the wife of Francesco del Giacondo, presumably painted between 1503 and 1506. The painting was acquired by King Francis I of France and now belongs to the French Republic.

    I got to the Louvre very early and eventually I got to see the Mona Lisa. Back then, there were fewer security measures, you could basically go right up to the painting and take a picture with the Mona Lisa. I did it and the girl that took my picture with Mona did it too, nobody said anything. Today, you are not allowed to get quite as close and the painting itself is protected by glass so that some nutcase won't try to take a knife to it. Security is relatively low key. (Photo 2 shows you the Mona Lisa as displayed in Oct. 2013)

    You imagine the Mona Lisa is a huge painting, it is not! It's famous, sure, and its a great painting, no doubt about it. Perhaps no painting in the history of humanity has had so much commentary and analysis made about it. Who the person in the painting actually was, was it perhaps the artists portrayal of himself etc etc.

    In honesty, I was somewhat underwhelmed by the Mona Lisa after seeing her live. Great painting-absolutely. A bit smaller and darker than I had thought it might be. In a museum of so many great paintings, this one seemed well....a bit ordinary, really.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    I love the Louvre!

    by goodfish Updated Sep 24, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    It's one of the largest and most revered in the world.
    It sprawls across the site of a former medieval fortress whose ancient foundations still exist.
    It has over 35,000 fascinating sculptures, paintings, prints and decorative objects spanning multiple millennia.
    You would put 12 miles on your sensible walking shoes trying to see all of it.

    Between jet lag and a serious fit of the tizzies over seeing the Mother of Paris Art Museums, we were up at 3:30 our first morning and wandering deserted streets looking for coffee. We finally found a McCafé over on Rue de Rivoli that opened early and so fortified with latte and pastry, we were ready to conquer the vast and hallowed halls of Palais du Louvre.

    Much has been written about best ways to get yourself inside without hours of standing about, and the rules have changed since our last visit but suffice it to say that you'll spend less time standing about in ticket lines if you have an advance ticket, Paris Pass or Paris Museum Pass in your hand. Individual entrances are assigned to ticket/passholders and those without; see this page for what those are:

    http://www.louvre.fr/en/getting-here

    The website is your best source of current information, and it is a wealth of it: interactive floor plans; virtual tours; visitor amenities; rules and regulations; etc. Do spend some time browsing the contents before your visit as it'll help you hit the ground running!

    In a nutshell:
    • Open every day from 9:00 - 6:00 except Tuesdays and some holidays. See website for current ticket prices, EEA free admission, etc. Children under age 18 are free.

    • Open until 9:45 PM on Wednesdays and Fridays. This is a great way to spend an evening when other museums are closed! I will mention that some of the windowed galleries are very dimly lit so their paintings will be difficult to see after dark.

    • Your ticket/museum pass allows you to leave/re-enter the museum during the day. A Paris Museum Pass allows you as many visits as the duration days of your pass.

    • Photography and video recording are allowed but no flash

    • Multimedia guides are available for rent in 6 different languages, and multiple profiles (adult, child, hearing-impared, etc.)

    • There are free maps of all three wings at the visitor's entrance hall. If there is a very popular piece you want to see - such as the Mona Lisa - I would suggest knowing the location before you go and making a beeline to it when the doors open. The floor plans on the website will help you locate the most visited pieces or genres of art: click "floor plans" under "Plan your visit."

    • The background and architecture of this former palace is as impressive as the collections so a read of its history is highly recommended: http://www.louvre.fr/en/history-louvre

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    The Richelieu Wing of the Louvre

    by Nemorino Updated Sep 17, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Metsys: Sainte Madeleine
    4 more images

    The Louvre, being such a huge museum, is divided up into three “wings”:

    • The big hollow square at the back, meaning the East, is called the Sully Wing, named after Maximilien de Béthune, the first Duke of Sully (1560–1641), who was the Finance Minister and chief advisor to King Henry IV.

    • The north wing, which runs for several blocks along the Rue de Rivoli, is called the Richelieu Wing after Cardinal Richelieu (Armand Jean du Plessis, 1585–1642), who was not only a Cardinal but also the Chief Minister of King Louis XIII, the son of Henry IV.

    • The south wing, which stretches along the right bank of the Seine, is called the Denon Wing after Dominique Vivant, Baron Denon (1747–1825), an archeologist, diplomat, author and artist who was appointed by Napoléon as the first director of the Louvre Museum in 1802. The Denon Wing is the most popular of the three (and hence the most crowded), because the Mona Lisa is on display there, also the Crowning of Napoleon and other well-known works.

    In 2013 I had the great pleasure of spending a day at the Louvre in the company of VT member breughel (Eddy), who is our resident expert on paintings and tapestries. We decided in advance to concentrate on the Richelieu Wing, where I hadn’t been for six years, because he wanted to show me some of his favorite paintings there and because I wanted to see the large collection of medieval and renaissance tapestries under his guidance.

    My first photo on this tip is a portrait of Saint Madeleine (aka Mary Magdalene) by the Flemish painter Quentin Metsys (1466-1530). This is a fairly recent acquisition, having been bought by the Louvre in 2006 for a reported five million Euros. It is on display in room 9 on the second floor of the Richelieu Wing, along with three other paintings by the same artist.

    Second photo: This is another painting by Quentin Metsys, called The Moneylender and His Wife. Here we have a contrast between the greedy money-lender, who is weighing pearls, jewels, and pieces of gold, and his pious wife, who is being distracted from the religious book she is reading. The Louvre’s website says that this painting “is an allegorical and moral work, condemning avarice and exalting honesty,” and that it was once owned by the painter Peter Paul Rubens.

    A point to note is that the moneylender’s wife is reading a religious book, but it is not the Bible. Reading the Bible was a capital offense in Catholic Flanders in the sixteenth century, because it was considered a subversive act, something only Protestants would do. In 1543, thirteen years after the death of Quentin Metsys, his sister Catherine and her husband were both put to death for reading the Bible – his head was chopped off and she was allegedly buried alive in the square in front of the church.

    Third photo: Another painting in the same room is this one of Saint Jerome in the desert by Joachim Patinir (1480-1524). Patinir was a student and friend of Quentin Metsys; when Patinir died in 1524, Metsys became the guardian of his children.

    Fourth photo: Next door in room 10 is this famous French painting from the Fontainebleau school of the late 16th century. It is presumed to be a portrait of Gabrielle d'Estrées, the chief mistress of Henry IV, and her sister, the Duchess of Villars. According to the Louvre’s website, the “ostentatious gesture” of the Duchess pinching her sister’s nipple “may be an allusion to Gabrielle's pregnancy and the birth in 1594 of César de Vendôme, the illegitimate son of Henry IV.”

    Fifth photo: Here Eddy (VT member breughel) is taking pictures of two famous paintings by Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675). On the left is The Lacemaker from 1669-1671, and on the right is The Astronomer from 1668. These paintings are on display in room 38 on the second floor of the Richelieu Wing.

    Next review from September 2013: Tapestries at the Louvre

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Louvre: 35,000 works of art

    by Nemorino Updated Sep 17, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1. In the Louvre
    4 more images

    Three of the major museums in Paris have divided up the History of Art among themselves. The Louvre, being the largest, is responsible for Art from the earliest times up to 1847. The Musée d'Orsay takes over for the remarkable sixty-six years from 1848 to 1914, and the Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Pompidou shows works from 1914 to the present -- though this is not a hard and fast rule, and there is inevitably some overlapping.

    I can think of one other city that has a similar division of epochs among its major museums, namely Munich, which has the Alte Pinakothek for European paintings from the 14th to 18th centuries, the Neue Pinakothek for the 19th century and the Pinakothek der Moderne for 20th and 21st century art.

    There are 35,000 works of art on display in the Louvre, so it's sort of like the internet -- you can't possibly see them all, so you have to navigate to see what you want, or take potluck. And don't let yourself be overwhelmed by the sheer masses of fantastic artworks! My first photo is from room 39 on the second floor of the Richelieu wing, showing Dutch masterpieces from the second half of the 17th century.

    Second photo: To enter the Louvre, most people wait in a long line at the Pyramid in the central courtyard, but it goes faster if you buy a Museum Pass or simply an advance admission ticket, both of which are available at the fnac stores or at the Civette du Carrousel in the Carrousel du Louvre. These allow you to enter the museum more quickly through the priority entrance, which is now also at the Pyramid (as of 2013), not in the Passage Richelieu where it used to be. When planning your visit, please remember that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.

    Third photo: Le Pont du Rialto (Rialto Bridge in Venice) by Antonio Canal, aka CANALETTO (1697- 1768), in hall C on the second floor of the Sully wing.

    Fourth photo: La nuit ; un port de mer au clair de lune (The night ; a seaport by moonlight), painted in 1771 by Joseph Vernet (1714-1789). On display in room 52 on the second floor of the Sully wing.

    Fifth photo: The Galerie d'Apollon (Gallery of Apollo) has recently been restored after three years of work funded by a corporate sponsor. It is in hall 66 on the first floor of the Denon wing.

    Related tips/reviews:
    Rubens and Marie de' Medici in the Louvre
    Ladies of the Louvre
    The medieval Louvre
    Egyptian antiquities at the Louvre
    Egyptian gods and temples in the Louvre
    The royal tomb
    The Seated Scribe
    Musée Charles X
    Carrousel du Louvre
    Louvre: Hall Napoléon
    Long lines at the Louvre (in the rain)
    People under the Pyramid at the Louvre
    Tapestries at the Louvre
    Claude Lorrain at the Louvre
    The Richelieu Wing of the Louvre

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Tapestries at the Louvre

    by Nemorino Updated Sep 15, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The hunts of Maximilian: March
    4 more images

    On the first floor of the Richelieu Wing of the Louvre there are several large rooms devoted to sixteenth-century Renaissance tapestries. I recently had the privilege of going through these rooms with VT member breughel (Eddy), who is a connoisseur not only of paintings but also of tapestries, especially those from his home country of Belgium.

    I was especially interested in seeing these historic tapestries because a few weeks earlier I had toured the Gobelin manufactory in Paris and seen how tapestries are made by traditional weaving methods – a very slow and laborious process!

    One of the large galleries in the Louvre, room 19, displays all twelve tapestries of the series “The Hunts of Maximilian”. Since there is one tapestry for each month of the year, we can infer that the hunting season was open all year round in those days – at least for Maximilian I, who was the emperor and could hunt whenever and wherever he pleased.

    In addition to hunting, Maximilian I was also a big fan of jousting. In German he was known as der letzte Ritter (the last knight), because he kept on jousting in tournaments even after this sort of combat had become obsolete on the battlefield.

    When he wasn’t hunting or jousting, Maximilian I also fought several wars to expand his empire, but in fact the largest expansions of his empire came through the marriages that he arranged for himself, his son and his grandson.

    All these hunting scenes take place in the outskirts of Brussels or the nearby Sonian Forest. Eddy told me that some of the buildings in the background still exist in Brussels today. He also pointed out the symbol in the lower left hand corner of some of the tapestries:

    B

    B

    This means that the tapestry was woven in “Brussels in Brabant”.

    The designs (known as ‘cartoons’) for these tapestries were made by a painter named Bernard van Orley. Apparently the tapestries were commissioned by Maximilian’s grandson, Emperor Charles V, or by someone at his court. Sixty weavers worked for two years to produce the twelve tapestries.

    The one in my first photo is from the month of March, which as Eddy explained was at that time the first month of the year.

    To learn more about medieval and renaissance tapestries, please have a look at the many reviews on this subject by VirtualTourist member breughel, who has described tapestries on display in Paris, Krakow, Toulouse, Beaune and Brussels, among other places.

    Fifth photo: This is an entirely different tapestry from room 10 on the first floor of the Richelieu Wing. It shows three phases of working with wool. The girl on the left is holding a sheep that she is going to shear. The young man in the middle is winding the wool into a ball and the girl on the left is weaving on a small portable loom.

    This was known as a "Noble Pastorale" tapestry because is shows young lords and ladies playing at being shepherds. This was evidently a popular pastime for young aristocrats and is also reflected in numerous operas including Mozart’s La finta giardiniera ("The Pretend Garden-Girl") and Il rè pastore (“The Shepherd King”).

    This style of tapestries is also called mille-fleurs meaning a thousand flowers, because of the many flowers in the background.

    Next review from September 2013: Claude Lorrain at the Louvre

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Claude Lorrain at the Louvre

    by Nemorino Updated Sep 15, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The landing of Cleopatra
    4 more images

    Later in the afternoon Eddy suggested that we look for the paintings of Claude Lorrain, which he hadn’t seen for a long time. I thought this was a great idea, since I had missed the big exhibition called "Claude Lorrain – The Enchanted Landscape” at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt in 2012.

    With the help of a very nice museum guard who went out of his way to take us there, we finally found the paintings of Claude Lorrain in room 15 on the second floor of the Richelieu wing in the Louvre.

    It turns out that the painter’s real name was Claude Gellée, but he was known as Claude Lorrain because he came from the Lorraine region in what is now northeastern France. (My theory is that he didn’t like the name Gellée because it sounded too much like jelly, but that’s just a guess, okay?)

    The painting in my first photo is called Seaport with the Landing of Cleopatra in Tarsus. It was painted by Claude Lorrain in 1642-43 and is based on a real event that happened in 41 B.C. when Cleopatra went to the Turkish town of Tarsus to meet Mark Antony, whom she was determined to seduce for political reasons. She was so successful at this that they later lived together for several years and had two children together.

    Cleopatra’s voyage to Tarsus was three years after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. (Cleopatra was in Rome at the time) and seven years after Caesar’s arrival in Egypt in 48 B.C. The events of 48 B.C. were re-told in Händel’s great opera Julius Caesar in Egypt, which I have seen at the Garnier Opera in Paris and several times at the Frankfurt Opera, with Brenda Rae as Cleopatra.

    (I must admit that I was never much interested in Cleopatra until I saw this opera, but now I feel as though I ‘know’ her.)

    In Claude Lorrain’s painting, Cleopatra and Mark Antony and all the other people are quite small in comparison to the large ships and buildings – perhaps a hint that we should not take these Very Important People quite as seriously as they took themselves. Eleven years later, in 30 B.C., Cleopatra and Mark Antony were both dead.

    Second photo: This painting by Claude Lorrain from the year 1646 is identified in English as Seaport, Effect of Mist (The Embarkation of Ulysses, or of Aeneas, Iulus, and Achates?). The artist only noted that he had painted it “for Paris”, but he didn’t say for whom. In any case, the painting was acquired by the King Louis XIV in 1695.

    Third photo: A view of Rome called Seaport with the Campidoglio, painted by Claude Lorrain in 1636.

    Fourth photo: Ulysses Returning Chryseis to Her Father, painted by Claude Lorrain sometime around 1644. This was based on an incident that supposedly took place during the Trojan War in the 13th or 12th century BC, as described in Homer’s Iliad. Actually Agamemnon should have returned Chryseis himself, since he was the one who had abducted her in the first place, but he was so upset about losing Chryseis that he sent Ulysses (Odysseus) to do it for him.

    Chryseis was presumably a very attractive young lady, but it’s hard to tell from the painting since she and the others are all so small. In fact I have yet to figure out which of the people is Chryseis, which is her father and which is Odysseus. As Eddy pointed out, the remarkable thing about this painting is the sunlight. The setting sun is hidden behind the large sailing ship (larger than any the Greeks are likely to have actually had during the Trojan War) and only one ray of sunlight is reflected on the water of the harbor reaching all the way to the shore.

    Fifth photo: This one is described as The Port of Genoa, View from the Sea. It was painted by Claude Lorrain between 1627 and 1629. The museum’s website says that this view “is notable for its topographical accuracy. The artist may have drawn on an engraving to help with the composition, but he certainly saw the city in 1627 while he was returning to France by sea.”

    Next review from September 2013: Long lines at the Louvre (in the rain)

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    People under the Pyramid at the Louvre

    by Nemorino Updated Sep 5, 2013

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    3 more images

    The space under the Pyramid is the central entrance hall of the Louvre, where people without tickets can line up to buy them and where all visitors can have access to the three huge wings of the Louvre, called the Sully, Denon and Richelieu Wings, as well as access to the temporary exhibitions in the underground Hall Napoléon.

    After seeing all these people under the Pyramid, I went home and looked up some statistics about how many people visit the Louvre each year. For the year 2010, the official figure given by the French Ministry of Culture was 8,346,421, which makes the Louvre by far the most visited museum in the world. Fortunately it is also one of the largest, so in most parts of the museum (unless you insist on seeing the Mona Lisa or some such) you generally do not feel uncomfortably crowded.

    The museum is only closed on Tuesdays and on January 1, May 1 and December 25, which means that in 2010 it was open on 310 days (because the three holidays did not happen to fall on Tuesdays that year). Dividing 8,346,421 by 310, we can work out that on an average day there are 26,924 people in the museum.

    One reason for building the Pyramid in the first place was that the museum’s traditional entrances could not handle the large numbers of people that were already coming at the time. But museum attendance has more than doubled since the Pyramid was inaugurated in 1989, so now it, too, is inadequate for the task.

    Next review from September 2013: The life of rail

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • shavy's Profile Photo

    Louvre

    by shavy Updated Aug 30, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Louvre Museum
    4 more images

    The Museum, is one of the most important museums in the world, is located in the first district, in central Paris.
    This museum is very famous to everyone who came to visit Paris, the large glass and metal pyramid is added to one of the beauty outside the museum in Louvre. Winter or summer the long row for ticketing is line-up
    The most recent change to the Louvre was the addition of modern glass pyramid that serves as an entrance to the museum. The pyramid was built in 1989 by the renowned American architect IM Pei
    The modern design was initially received with mixed feelings because of the stark contrast with the classical facades that surround the glass pyramid but is now impossible to imagine the Louvre complex. Thanks to the pyramid, there is now a large, central entrance from which the whole museum is easily accessible without having to be. Accustomed to the existing heritage

    Was this review helpful?

  • xoxoxenophile's Profile Photo

    Go beyond the Mona Lisa...

    by xoxoxenophile Written Aug 18, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss, at the Louvre
    4 more images

    It's the Louvre. If you're in Paris, it's a must!

    So many people go there to see La Jaconde (the Mona Lisa) that it's pretty much a bucket list cliche. While it is a great painting, it also wasn't very famous until it was stolen in 1911, and wasn't really revered as a 'masterpiece' until after it was returned. It is, of course, worth seeing if you go to the Louvre, but is covered by glass and somewhat dark, so it's difficult to get a good picture.

    My favorite parts of the Louvre were the sculptures--the ancient Greek and Roman ones, as well as the Renaissance-era ones that look like Greek and Roman sculptures (but with more limbs intact :) ). Stop by "Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss", the "Rebellious Slave" and the "Dying Slave" by Michelangelo, the Venus de Milo, and you won't be able to miss the Winged Victory of Samothrace as you ascend the main staircase.

    And now--some advice on navigating the Louvre. It's so large that the only way you can really do it in a day is to make a list of the things you want to see and work your way to those ones, while spotting a few other gems along the way. Be sure to look at your map closely--after wandering down the long hall of paintings, none of which were very interesting to us, we wanted to go back to the bottom floor and meander back through the sculptures to meet up with our group. Instead, we ended up trapped in the "Miscellaneous" Louvre section (actually called something like "Arts of Africa, Asia, and the Americas"), which is not a terribly impressive collection, and of which there is no way out, except to go back up and walk through the hall of paintings which we had already seen. Lesson learned: make sure all the places you want to go actually connect on the map. It might be a good idea to sit down with the map they give you for a few minutes and plan out your route. It's also a convenient map because many of the masterpieces are labeled on it--everything on our must-see list was marked, which made navigating pretty easy, besides the part where we got trapped in the non-European art collection. Also remember that your Louvre ticket will let you in and out for that day, so you can always take a break and go back. And if you want to avoid the throng of tourists at the Pyramid entrance, enter through the Carousel entrance for a much shorter wait.

    You definitely cannot miss this while you're in Paris!

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • breughel's Profile Photo

    The DNA of Mona Lisa - La Joconde.

    by breughel Updated Aug 12, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo ?

    Last week (9/08/2013) in the Basilica of Santissima Annunziata in Florence the team of historian Silvano Vinceti opened the family tomb of Francesco del Giocondo, whose wife Lisa Gherardini might have been the model for Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting the Mona Lisa.

    Scientists hope to trace the family DNA - the two sons of Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo are buried in this tomb - and compare them with those of three women buried in the St. Ursula convent not far away. The remains of one of the three, including a skull, could be those of Lisa Gherardini.
    If a correspondence is established between the DNA a facial reconstruction could be made starting from that skull and compare it with the Joconde of the Louvre to find out if the model for the Mona Lisa of Leonardo da Vinci was really Lisa Gherardini or not.

    Maybe that Mona Lisa was just a representation from the imagination of the painter?

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Pei Pyramid

    by Maryimelda Written Jun 24, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    The Pei Pyramid has become just as famous as the much loved, three-sided, Palace which we know today as Le Louvre.

    It was designed by an American architect of Chinese birth called Ieoh Ming Pei at the request of Francois Mitterand who recognized the need to centralize the entrance to the Louvre once and for all. Apparently the visitors were rapidly increasing in number and as a result, there was much confusion as to how to get in and out of all the separate entrances to all the different wings of the museum.

    Although there was a great deal of public opposition to the project, it went ahead anyway and when it was up and running quickly became loved and accepted by all who used it. The pyramid extends underground and also gives access to a large shopping complex underneath.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • breughel's Profile Photo

    African Art - For a change of Mona Lisa.

    by breughel Updated Jun 22, 2013

    5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Louvre - African arts
    4 more images

    At wing Denon one will find the most crowded part of Le Louvre with the Joconde room on the First floor but also the least visited part of the Museum with the Arts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas on the Ground floor at the entry of the Porte des Lions (ref my tip on this entry "A shortcut to Mona Lisa" ).
    There are 7 rooms in this department and here the visitor can stand alone in front of some remarkable often surprising works of art.
    I must admit I have a weakness for African art which I discovered when I was a kid by visiting the Museum for Central Africa near Brussels.

    Le Louvre is showing some excellent sculptures which are coming from the Musée du Quai Branly and the Musée de l'Homme. The advantage over the Quai Branly is that Le Louvre allows taking photos prohibited at Branly. (Did you ever read the 6 pages - 4,2 Mb visitor rules of the quai Branly museum? Surrealistic; only in French).

    My first photo shows an overall view. You can see that this is the place if you want to be alone at Le Louvre.
    The second pic shows a sculpture of the civilisation of Ifè (Nigeria 13th c.) Photo n°3 is a woman of the Benin kingdom around 1600.
    Changing of continent I much liked this frightening "Korwar" sculpture (photo 4) from Indonesia (18th c.). The head of the figure is a skull container.
    My wife showed a real enthusiasm for this sculpture (17th c., photo 5) of the Easter Island; the resemblance with me is striking she said!

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Photos in the Louvre

    by Beausoleil Updated Jun 17, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Louvre Pyramid Court
    4 more images

    Here's the official Louvre web site with the photo instructions. You can take photos of the Permanent Collection, not special exhibits. The last time we were there, you couldn't photograph the Mona Lisa but perhaps this has changed.

    Check the web site for prices, exhibits, a map of the Louvre, the entrances and fun looking through the online gallery.

    Official Web Site of the Louvre

    Museum photography policy

    The museum's board of directors has recently adopted a new Regulation regarding photography in the museum:

    "Still and video photography is permitted for private, noncommercial use only in the galleries housing the permanent collection.

    The use of flash or other means of artificial lighting is prohibited.
    Photography and filming are not permitted in the temporary exhibition galleries. The same restrictions apply to the photographing or filming of technical installations and equipment.

    Special permits can be obtained for educational or research projects; requests should be made in writing.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Louvre: Hall Napoléon

    by Nemorino Updated Jun 9, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Poster about the exhibition of German paintings
    3 more images

    When they were building the Pyramid at the Louvre in the 1980s, they also built a large underground exposition space called the Hall Napoléon, which is now used for temporary exhibitions. The exhibition I saw there in May 2013 was called De l’Allemagne (= About Germany), 1800-1939, from Friedrich to Beckmann.

    To avoid queuing at the entrance, I bought an advance ticket the day before at the fnac store at 136 Rue de Rennes in Montparnasse. The ticket (fourth photo) cost twelve Euros plus a commission of 1.60 that I gladly paid. For three more Euros I could have bought a combination ticket for the exhibition and the rest of the Louvre, but I had read that there were over two hundred pictures in the exhibition alone, which I figured would be enough for one day. When I bought the ticket I had to tell them the day and time I wanted to come. The ticket was only valid for admittance in the half hour after the allotted time, but after that I could stay as long as I wanted to.

    On my ticket it said I should enter by the Priority Entrance of the Pyramid, which meant that I could walk right past a long line of people and didn’t even have to put my backpack through the scanning machine. I just had to open my backpack and let a young lady glance inside. All she saw was my bicycle helmet, but that evidently convinced her I was a trustworthy person, so she waved me through.

    The intention of this exhibition was to place the two hundred German artworks “in the intellectual context of their time”, and confront them “with the writings of great thinkers, chief among whom is Goethe.”

    This was an ambitious and certainly well-intentioned project, developed jointly by French and German curators. But as VT member brueghel has pointed out in his tip Polemics about an exhibition, some German reviewers were outraged and claimed the exhibition was warming up old clichés and prejudices about Germany. They said it was trying to show that all of German thought and art led directly to Hitler’s dictatorship. Other German reviewers disagreed with this, as did French reviewers and the director of the Louvre.

    So I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about. Since I am neither French nor German I consider myself a neutral observer in this case, but I should point out that unlike brueghel I am by no means an art expert. He is an amateur in the French sense of the word, meaning he is well-informed and competent in artistic matters, whereas I am an amateur in the English sense of the word, which means roughly the opposite.

    Be that as it may, my opinion after seeing the exhibition De l’Allemagne is that it was rather spotty (no wonder, since it tried to cover a period of 139 years) but certainly not anti-German. The fuss in the German press merely shows how touchy some German critics are, but has little to do with the exhibition itself.

    My main criticism of the exhibition is that one rather unimportant artist was over-represented, namely Caspar David Friedrich (1774 - 1840). Dozens of his paintings were on display (more than by any other single artist), including several large romanticized alpine landscapes that looked to me like a Disneyland vision of the Bavarian Alps, stretched vertically as some photo editing programs tend to do if you click the wrong option.

    The posters advertising the exhibition (my first and third photos) showed part of a mountain landscape by a different German artist, Carl Gustav Carus (1789-1869).

    I did learn something interesting about Caspar David Friedrich from the exhibition, however. It seems that Goethe, who always had a lively interest in the Natural Sciences, once suggested to Friedrich that he paint a series of pictures showing different kinds of clouds (cumulus, stratus, cirrus, etc.), following a system of classification that had recently been developed in England. Friedrich declined, saying that Nature for him was a matter of subjective impressions, not systematic observation.

    So much for Goethe’s (lack of) influence on nineteenth century German painting.

    The first painting in the exhibition, by the way, was a very famous one called Goethe in the Roman Compagna by Johann Tischbein (1751-1829) – on loan from the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main.

    Most of the other paintings in the exhibition were also on loan from various German museums, along with a few from Vienna and Saint Petersburg. Most of these paintings had never been shown in France before.

    What I liked best about the exhibition was the section at the end where they showed a selection of paintings by Max Beckmann (1884-1950). For the Nazis, Beckmann was a prime example of what they considered degenerate art. In April 1933, as soon as the Nazis were in power, Beckmann was fired from his position as a professor at the Städel School in Frankfurt, and his paintings were systematically removed from German museums over the next few years.

    Somehow the critics of the Louvre exhibition seem not to have noticed that the anti-Nazi Beckmann was so prominently represented.

    Related tips/reviews:
    35,000 works of art
    Rubens and Marie de' Medici in the Louvre
    Ladies of the Louvre
    The medieval Louvre
    Egyptian antiquities at the Louvre
    Egyptian gods and temples in the Louvre
    The royal tomb
    The Seated Scribe
    Musée Charles X
    Carrousel du Louvre

    Next review from May 2013: Guided walking tour of Montparnasse

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Paris

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

79 travelers online now

Comments (2)

  • Jan 12, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    Breughel's review describing her first visit to The Louvre in 1962 brought back memories of MY first visit to the city and the museum that same year. It was Easter weekend and there were no queues and just a few people (maybe 10) clustered around The Mona Lisa. A totally different experience from today's museum visitors.

  • gwened's Profile Photo
    Apr 3, 2013 at 5:06 AM

    after getting to reach record attendance and multisites, the director of the Louvre has been replaced effective this month.Jean-Luc Martínez, that was before the head of the antiques greeks, etruscans, and romans of the museum will be the new director. He is a native Parisien as well.

Hotels Near Louvre
4.0 out of 5 stars
3 Reviews
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
1 Review
0.2 miles away
Show Prices

View all Paris hotels