The Louvre Opens as a Museum!
On this day, August 10th, 1793 the famous Louvre museum officially opened! Prior to being transformed into the elegant Renaissance structure that it is, it was a medieval fortress! King Philippe-Auguste commissioned the structure around 1200. There is an exhibit (room 134) within the Louvre where you can explore pieces of the original medieval foundation as well as items discovered within the grounds. It is also the oldest room in the museum!
The medieval fortress was torn down in place of a palace in 1546 by King Francis I. Kings after him continued to build upon the structure making the place even more extravagant. The Louvre became a haven for artists once King Louix XIV made Versailles the official residence.
It was The National Assembly that officially opened the Louvre, with 537 paintings displayed in the famed Grande Galerie!
Did you know that this massive structure covers 652,300 square feet! You’ll need some seriously comfy shoes to walk the halls of this palace. Before you start your museum adventure, visit the first floor pavilion and explore the Salle de La Chapelle. Here you can learn how the museum organized the exhibits.This is also a top spot to view one of the most controversial structural additions, the pyramid!
Can you name some famous artwork displayed at the Louvre?
We’ll name a few, and perhaps you’ll recognize them!
Mona Lisa by Leonardo DiVinci (The #1 top visited piece of art work in the museum!)
Aphrodite of Milos - by Alexandros of Antioc (130-100BCE) This is the 2nd most visited work of art.
The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of Empress Josephine on December 2, 1804 - Jacque-Louis David (my personal favorite!)
The Seated Scribe - Ancient Egyptian limestone sculpture representing a scribe at work. It was discovered in Saqqara, dating as far back as 2450-2325 BCE 4th Dynasty.
Liberty Leading the People - Eugene Delacroix
You have 35,000 pieces of artwork to explore! Perhaps you'll find something that stands out to you!