Today, the Louvre is one of the most important and most visited museums in the world. It is also the biggest museum in Paris, extending over 210,000 m².
The Musée du Louvre, once an immense medieval fortress and royal palace, now houses the most-visited collection of artworks in the world. In the company of our guide, Paris art historians, we’ll dive into the vast collection of the Louvre, carefully selecting key works—a mixture of masterpieces and unknown treasures—to craft a narrative of kings, emperors, and the accomplished artists who served them.
We will begin with a brief introduction to the building's history in the Cour Napoleon, learning about its transformation from medieval fortress to magnificent royal palace over the course of five centuries. Entering the museum, we often begin with the Classical Antiquities section. Famous for its stunning collection of Egyptian artifacts, we may see the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet, as well as many items illustrating religion and every day life in Egypt from the farmers to the Pharaohs. We'll continue our appreciation of the Louvre's classical collection with its awe-inspiring Greek and Roman sculptures, including the iconic Venus de Milo and Nike of Samothrace.
Depending on your interest , we will then move on to what, for many, is the heart of the louvre the Denon Wing's grand galleries of Italian painting. Here, we will encounter some of the greatest works of art in the western world, including masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Veronese. Our guide will curate your visit, selecting a mixture of famous and lesser-known works, crafting a narrative around your interests and questions. For example, we may trace the evolution of perspective from the late medieval to the Baroque period, or discuss issues of power and politics as expressed by court painters.
Equally important to the Louvre's collections are the French Master paintings, which occupy the adjoining series of rooms. Through the eyes of our docent, we will learn about the late 18th and early 19th century rival art movements of Neoclassicism, led by Jacques-Louis David, and Romanticism, spearheaded by Théodore Gericault and Eugène Delacroix. Noting their differences, we form an understanding of their role in the evolution of art. These large format paintings truly bring your visit full circle to the final periods of the museum's collection.