The Louvre of France is the world’s largest museum and is also home to the famous Mona Lisa. It is a classical grand building that stretches for about 1 km between the Seine and the rue de Rivoli. But do you know that it was also at one time the world’s largest palace?
Louvre had gone through its up and down changes since the eighteenth century before it finally settled down as the world’s largest museum. Today, Louvre houses some 400,000 items and the collections are divided into eight which showcasing the Oriental antiquities, Egyptian antiquities, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, Greek, Islamic art, sculpture, paintings, objets d’art and graphic arts. Among the areas in Louvre, the Denon wing is the most visited area of the museum because it houses a wonderful collection of Italian masterpieces and Mona Lisa (also known as La Joconde or La Gioconda), the arguably most famous and iconic painting in the world. Mona Lisa painting is a sixteenth-century half-length portrait painted in oil on a poplar panel in Florence, Italy by Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci during the Renaissance. The painting depicts a standing woman whose facial expression and smile, and the monumentality of the composition, plus the subtle modeling of forms and atmospheric illusionism were believed novel qualities that make it unique.
The Louvre became as a museum was when the leaders of the Revolution felt that the public should be able to enjoy the royal art collection after the execution of Marie Antoinette (the then Queen of France and of Navarre). However, there was also a time where The Louvre became home to many families of squatters, but the situation was ended by Napoleon after he chose to marry there, and by brought in a mass of art and sculpture to restore the palace to its glory.
The controversial facelift and its futuristic steel and glass pyramid in the middle of the courtyard as the main entrance was installed in the 1980s during President Francois Mitterand time. However, the pyramid had caused a sudden outburst at that time, although Parisians are generally proud of it now.
Smart Travel Tips
It is open Wednesday – Monday and there is an entrance fee. You should get there by Metro to the Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre.