The Louvre Museum in Paris, now an art gallery and museum, was originally built as a fortress and then became a royal palace in the 12th century. Reminiscent of many French palaces, it grew and changed in design by the accumulation of its owners. The architecture reveals elements of Renaissance, Baroque, and neoclassical styles. I.M. Pei was the last to add an architectural extension to the Louvre in 1989. Pei’s additions are the glass pyramids that complement the numerous surviving styles in the initial building. The pyramids are located in the Cour Napoleon, the plaza surrounded by the Louvre. There are many beautiful modern fountains, making the pyramids look like they float at night.
The Louvre Museum is one of the world’s largest museums and is the home of many masterpieces. It is so big you could spend days there, and not see it all
The museum has 8 departments :
– Near Eastern Antiquities
– Egyptian Antiquities
– Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities
– Islamic Art
– Decorative Art
– Prints and Drawings.
Here are some of most famous and my favorite works:
This famous sculpture is also known as the Nike of Samothrace. The Winged Victory of Samothrace is considered as one of the magnificent masterpieces in Hellenistic art and sculpture. The creator of this statue is unknown, experts believe this statue was made by the people of Rhodes about two thousand two hundred years ago as a religious offering to honor a naval victory.
The story of Cupid and Psyche
The goddess Venus was jealous of the beauty a mere mortal, Psyche. Venus formed a plan to have her son Cupid strike Psyche with an arrow, so that she would fall in love with the most horrendous man on earth. Cupid fell for this mere mortal Psyche. She was so beautiful that no mortal would marry her. Her parents consulted an Oracle, who told them to leave her on the nearest mountain, since she was not meant for mortals. Cupid became her “husband” by night alone, if you know what I mean. She was never allowed to see his face. Long story short, her sisters were jealous, they set her up, she pricked herself with Cupid’s arrow, and fell in love with him without seeing his face … and awakened him just as she was about to get a quick peak. Psyche tricked her sisters and basically killed them, the she was tricked herself by Venus to go to the underworld to perform incredible tasks and fell into a deep sleep. Cupid kisses her awake, marries her and Psyche gives birth to his daughter Voluptas whose name translates as Bliss or Pleasure.
The Venus de Milo Statue is is perhaps one of the most famous statues in the world. It is believed to depict Aphrodite (called Venus by the Romans), the Greek goddess of love and beauty. The work was named after the island of Milos where the statue was discovered in eighteen twenty. This Venus wears nothing but a cloth draped over her curving waist and legs. She is easy to identify because she is missing both arms. The statue is somewhat mysterious. Experts still do not know what identifying objects those arms might have once held.
The Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci
Created around fifteen oh three, this is a painting of an Italian woman named Lisa Gherardini. She was the wife of a businessman from Florence named Francesco del Giocondo. It is from him that the painting takes its other name, “La Gioconda.” The woman is sitting in a chair, looking directly at the painter. Behind her is a dreamy landscape. Experts still do not know much about this woman and her famous smile. They do not know why da Vinci painted it, or how it ended up in the collection of French ruler Francis the First. But the painting’s realism and mystery have captured the attention of viewers for centuries.
“Marriage at Cana” was painted for the Convent of San Giorgio by MaggioreVeronese, whose real name was Paolo Cagliari.
The Benedictines of the San Giorgio Maggiore monastery in Venice commissioned this immense painting in 1562 to decorate their new refectory. The contract engaging Veronese in the undertaking of the Wedding Feast was extremely precise. The monks insisted that the work be monumental, in order to fill the entire end wall of the refectory. Hung at a height of 2.5 meters from the ground, it was designed to create an illusion of extended space. This work of 70 m² occupied Veronese for 15 months, most likely with the assistance of his brother Benedetto Caliari. The commission was a turning point in Veronese’s career; after the painting’s success, other religious communities would clamor for a similar work in their own monasteries. Despite its exceptional dimensions, the painting was confiscated, rolled up, and shipped to Paris by Napoleon’s troops in 1797.
The composition of The Bolt appeared for the first time in a drawing by Fragonard auctioned in 1777 and popularized by Blot’s 1784 engraving. The picture acquired by the Louvre in 1974 was therefore painted between these two dates. It was commissioned by the Marquis de Véri
A hidden meaning?
At first sight, The Bolt is just another of the many amorous scenes Fragonard painted. A woman is half-heartedly fending off her lover’s advances. But looking closer, one notices intriguing details. Why is the man bolting the door if the room is already in a disarray indicating what is to come? In this light, certain objects unveil their erotic symbolism: the knocked-over chair (legs in the air), the vase and roses (allusions to the female genitals), the bolt (male genitals), and especially the bed, taking up most of the left of the composition. Its anthropomorphic forms make it the scene’s principal actor, and its manifest disorder embodies the protagonists’ sexual urges.