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Unleash Your Inner Art Enthusiast at the Louvre in 2023: Tickets, Tips, and Treasures

Getting to know the Louvre

French: Musée du Louvre

Ticket reservations: Louvre Museum Timed-Entrance Ticket

Official website: www.louvre.fr

Duration of the visit: 3 hours – 1 day

Photographer: matt_86

Louvre Ticket Booking

– Booking tickets is essential to save time in queues

Book 1Louvre Museum Timed-Entrance Ticket

Book 2: Using the Paris Museum Pass  

  • To visit the Louvre with the Paris Museum Pass, you must make a reservation, which is free and can be done via the Louvre website.
  • The process is very simple: choose the date, time and number of visitors, then register with your email address, fill in your personal details and receive a confirmation email.
  • Print the email or save it to your mobile phone and present it with your Paris Museum Pass when you visit.
  • You don’t need to fill in your Paris Museum Pass details at the time of booking, so you can book before you buy the Paris Museum Pass.

Louvre ticket prices (2023)

  • Adults €17
  • Free for under 18 (and EU 18-25)
  • Tickets can only be used once (no re-entry after leaving the museum)

Louvre opening hours (2023)

Monday / Wednesday / Thursday / Saturday / Sunday: 9am – 6pm (doors close one hour before closing)
Friday: 9am – 9.45pm (no entry one hour before closing)
Tuesday: Closed

– First Saturday of the month 6pm – 9.45pm, free admission

– Closed 1 January, 1 May and 25 December

How to get to the Louvre / Nearby attractions

Metro stations: Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7) 、Pyramides (line 14)

Nearby attractions: Jardin des Tuileries, Musée d’Art Orangerie, Place de la Concorde, Musée d’Orsay

Recommended hotels near the Louvre

  • The Louvre is located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris and is very secure.
  • Châtelet – Les Halles is located a short distance to the east of the Louvre, with direct access to Charles de Gaulle Airport via the RER B.
  • To the north-west of the Louvre is the Garnier Opera, near which there is a shuttle bus to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
  • So it is very convenient to stay close to the Louvre, especially if you are visiting on Wednesday and Friday evenings, and it is very easy to get back to your hotel.

—– recommends the following hotels with good reviews —–
Novotel Paris Les Halles (4 stars, rating 8.6 out of 10, 3900+ reviews, located near Châtelet station, direct access from Charles de Gaulle airport by RER B, 10 minute walk to the Louvre)
Hotel Choiseul Opera (3 stars, rating 8.4 out of 10, 3400+ reviews, close to the Opera, airport bus nearby, 15 minutes walk to the Louvre)
Citadines Les Halles Paris (4 stars, rating 8.0 out of 10, 2800+ reviews, 10 minute walk from the Louvre)

Visit FAQs

Q: Does the Louvre have an audio guide in English?
A: Yes, for a rental fee of €5

 

Q: Is there a bag deposit at the Louvre?
A: Yes, free of charge, maximum size 55cm*35cm*20cm.

 

Q: Can I borrow a pushchair or wheelchair at the Louvre?
A: Yes, free of charge; you can also borrow a folding stool.

 

Q: What is the best time of day to visit the Louvre?
A: In the morning, when it first opens, and in the evening on Wednesdays and Fridays, when it is less crowded and you can avoid tour groups.

 

Q: What are the “Three Treasures of the Louvre”?
A: The Mona Lisa, the Victory of Samothrace and the Venus of Milo.

Photographers: Left Federico Scarionati; center Kayla Koss; right NakNakNak;

Introduction to the Louvre

The Louvre is currently the most visited art museum in the world, with around 35,000 exhibits on display throughout the year in eight sections: Ancient Egyptian Artefacts, Ancient Greek and Roman Artefacts, Near Eastern Artefacts, Islamic Art, Paintings, Sculptures, European Decorative Arts, and Drawings and Prints. The Louvre currently houses mainly art and archaeological artefacts dating back to 1860, with modern art requiring a visit to the Musée d’Orsay (such as the famous masterpieces by Van Gogh and Monet).

The Louvre was originally built in 1190 as a prison and castle; Charles V moved there in the 14th century and became the first king to live in the Louvre; François I became the second king to live in the Louvre in 1546 and remodelled it, turning it into a palace where successive kings lived and expanded it. On 10 August 1783, during the French Revolution, the Louvre was opened as a museum and in 1989, on the occasion of the bicentenary of the French Revolution, the Louvre was extended by the Chinese-American architect Pézin Minh, who designed the glass pyramid that serves as the main entrance to the Louvre and has become its emblem.

The Louvre is divided into three pavilions, the Denon salon, the Sully Salon and the Richelieu Salon.

 

Featured Documentary: Treasures of the Louvre
Recommended book: Le Louvre en 1h30 chrono

Photographer: EdiNugraha

Entrance to the Louvre

The Louvre has four entrances, as follows:

  1. Pyramid Main Entrance: located at the front of the pyramid.
  2. Via Passage Richelieu: closest to the metro station (Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre), with direct access under the pyramids.
  3. Entrance to the Inverted Pyramid (via the Carrousel du Louver): you must first reach the lower part of the Inverted Pyramid, there are two ways to enter, one is from 99 rue Rivoli (3A) and the other is from the underground passages on either side of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (3B); once inside the lower part of the Inverted Pyramid, just follow the instructions.
  4. Porte des Lions Entrance: on the Seine side, with bronze lions at the entrance.

[1] Main Pyramid Entrance

[1] After entering, go straight down the stairs to the lobby and collect the map

[2] The entrance to the Richelieu Passage, with the metro station visible in the picture below

[2] The Richelieu Passage is also one of the best angles from which to photograph the pyramids

[3A] Inverted Pyramid Rivoli Street 99 Entrance

[3A] Once inside, you must first walk through the shopping centre

[3A] Arrive at the bottom of the inverted pyramid

[3B] The entrance to the Inverted Pyramid can also be accessed through the underground passageways on either side of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

[4] Lions Gate entrance

[4] Lion’s Gate entrance, located inside the corridor

Recommended itinerary for the Louvre

The Louvre has an official recommended itinerary – Masterpieces of the Louvre Collection – which allows you to see the “Three Treasures of the Louvre” in 1.5 hours at the fastest possible pace (which is undoubtedly very pedestrian, but does not prevent it from being a good reference). This itinerary has been refined and can be used in conjunction with the official presentation of the Louvre’s masterpieces.

(The light red oval is the area of the pavilion covered by this route)

  1.  Enter through the entrance of the Sully salon, where you can first visit the ruins of the Louvre ditch dating from 1190.
  2. Sully salon, 0 floors: the Sphinx (room 338), Venus de Milo (room 345)
  3. 1st floor of the Denon Salon: the Goddess of Victory can be seen on the way up (room 703)
  4. Denon Salon, 1st floors: The exhibition halls beginning with 7, mainly devoted to Italian and French paintings, in addition to the Mona Lisa (Room 711), there are also The Oath of the Horace Brothers, Napoleon’s Coronation, The Great Courtesan, Garner’s Wedding, The Raft of the Medusa (more paintings in the exhibition halls beginning with 7 can be seen below).
  5. Denon Salon, 0 floors: Michelangelo’s sculpture The Enslaved Slave (room 403)

6. The above route completely avoids the Richelieu Pavilion (Richelieu Pavilion highlights: personally, I think it is still worth going to the Marly Atrium to see the sculptures, and the Code of Hammurabi is also a very important collection).

7. The 2nd floor of the Sully Room and the 2nd floor of the Richelieu Room are also dedicated to paintings, suitable for students with a certain interest in art history, where you can see paintings such as Vermeer’s “Maiden Weaving Lace” and the famous masterpiece of the Fontainebleau School, “Gabrielle and One of Her Sisters” (see below).

Louvre floor plan

This floor plan is available free of charge at the Louvre.

The Louvre's three treasures

Mona Lisa

French: La Joconde
Location: Denon Salon, 1st floor, room 711
Introduction: “Mona Lisa” should be the most famous painting in the Louvre, created by Leonardo da Vinci in 1502; Da Vinci was invited by the French King to work in France in his later years, he took “Mona Lisa” with him, after Da Vinci’s death, the King bought it from his assistant. In 1911, the painting was stolen by a painter in the Louvre, this painter thought “Mona Lisa” should be the Italian property, so after hiding for two years he tried to sell the painting to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The end result, of course, was the arrest of the painter, the return of the Mona Lisa to the Louvre, and a huge increase in the painting’s popularity due to the coverage it received in various newspapers. Because of the unknown identity of the woman in the painting, the smiling expression on her face, the perfect pyramidal composition of the whole painting and the theft, the small painting, 77 cm long and 53 cm wide, was full of mystery and incomparable fascination, and the largest number of admirers always gathered in front of the painting.

You can see that the Mona Lisa is relatively small and there are many people looking at it.

Photographer: Foundry

The Venus de Milo

French: Vénus de Milo
Location: Sully Hall 0F, Room 345
Introduction: The Venus of Milo, also known as the Venus with Broken Arms, is an ancient Greek sculpture created around 130-100 B.C. It was discovered on the Greek island of Milos, hence the name Venus of Milo. The sculpture is famous for its lost arms and is recognised as an example of female human beauty. The body of Venus fits perfectly into the golden section, with the ratio of head to upper and lower body being exactly 1:2:5.

Photographers: NakNakNak;

Photographers: Jean Carlo Emer;

Winged Victory of Samothrace

French: Victoire de Samothrace
Location: Denon salon, 1st floor, room 703
Introduction: Created around the 2nd century BC, the Victory of Samothrace is one of the few surviving original statues of ancient Greece, rather than a Roman copy. Standing 2.44 metres tall on a marble base symbolising the bow of a battleship, the statue of Victory was originally found on the Ottoman island of Samothrace.

Photographer: Kayla Koss

The statue of Victory is located above the main staircase of the Denon Hall and is very imposing.

Photographer: LoboStudioHamburg

Photographer: Left Rafael AS Martins; Right Finn;

Other must-sees in the Louvre collection (non-paintings)

Code of Hammurabi

French: Code de Hammurabi
Location: Salon Richelieu, Floor 0, Room 227
Category: Near East Culture
Introduction: The Code of Hammurabi is a law enacted by the ancient Babylonian king Hammurabi around 1754 BC, carved in cuneiform on a black basalt column, from which the famous phrase ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ is derived.

The relief at the top of the cylinder shows Hammurabi receiving the sceptre from the sun god.

Winged human-headed bull

French: Winged human-headed bull
Location: Salon Richelieu, Floor 0, Room 229
Category: Near East Culture
Introduction: The Winged human-headed bull is a half-human, half-animal creature of Assyrian culture called the lamassu or shedu, which resembled a winged bull and was usually placed as a guard at the entrance to a city gate or palace.

Photographer: Lei Mu

The Seated Scribe

French: Le Scribe accroupi
Location: Sully salon, 1st floors, Room 635
Category: Ancient Egyptian artefacts
Introduction: The Seated Scribe, an ancient Egyptian sculpture dating from the Fourth and Fifth Dynasties (2620-2325 BC), is a significant piece of ancient Egyptian antiquity in the Louvre. The scribe’s eyes are made of crystal stone.

Great Sphinx of Tanis

French: Grand sphinx de Tanis
Location: Sully salon, 0 Floors, Room 338
Category: Ancient Egyptian artefacts
Introduction: The Sphinx of Tanis is a granite statue of the Sphinx, probably dating from the 26th century BC, found in the ancient Egyptian city of Tanis.

Crown of Louis XV

French: Couronne de Louis XV
Location: Denon salon, 1 Floors, Room 705
Category: European decorative arts
Introduction: This crown was worn by Louis XV at his coronation.

Napoleon III Apartments

French: Appartements Napoléon III
Location: Richelieu salon, 1 Floors, Room 544
Category: European decorative arts
Introduction: Both the Richelieu and Denon halls of the Louvre were built during the rule of Napoleon III, and this magnificent room was then the main salon.

Photographer: Sigmund

Photographer: Amy-Leigh Barnard

Cour Marly

French: Cour Marly
Location: Richelieu salon, 1 Floors, Room 102
Category: Sculpture
Introduction: The Cour Marly takes its name from the castle of Marly, which belonged to Louis XIV. The gardens of the castle contain many fine sculptures. When the Château de Marly was destroyed in the 19th century, the sculptures in the gardens were moved to the Louvre, the most famous of which is the Marly Stallion, commissioned by Louis XV.

Photographer: Matej Pribanic

Photographers: left Tommy; right David Emrich

Marly Horses

French: Chevaux de Marly
Location: Richelieu salon, 1 Floors, Room 102
Category: Sculpture
Introduction: The Marly Horses are two 1743–1745 Carrara marble sculpted groups by Guillaume Coustou, showing two rearing horses with their groom. They were commissioned by Louis XV of France for the trough at the entrance to the grounds of his château de Marly. 

Photographer: Jean-Baptiste D.

Rebellious Slave

French: L’Esclave rebelle
Location: Denon salon, 0 Floors, Room 403
Category: Sculpture
Introduction: The “Rebellious Slave” is portrayed trying to free himself from the fetters which hold his hands behind his back, contorting his torso and twisting his head. The impression given, which would have contributed to the spatial appearance of the monument, was that he was moving towards the viewer, with his raised shoulder and knee.

Dying Slave

French: L’Esclave mourant
Location: Denon salon, 0 Floors, Room 403
Category: Sculpture
Introduction: The Dying Slave is a sculpture by the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo. In 1976 the art historian Richard Fly wrote that it “suggests that moment when life capitulates before the relentless force of dead matter”.

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss

French: Psyché ranimée par le baiser de l’Amour
Location: Denon salon, 0 Floors, Room 403
Category: Sculpture
Introduction: Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss is a sculpture by Italian artist Antonio Canova first commissioned in 1787 by Colonel John Campbell. It represents the god Cupid in the height of love and tenderness, immediately after awakening the lifeless Psyche with a kiss.

Photographer: NakNakNak

Photographer: Daniele D’Andreti

Other must-see items in the Louvre collection (paintings)

>> Tip: The galleries beginning with 7 are all on the 1st floor of the Denon Hall, the same floor as the Mona Lisa, and are mainly devoted to French and Italian paintings.

July 28: Liberty Leading the People

French: La Liberté guidant le peuple
Location: Denon salon, 1 Floors, Room 700
Category: French painting
Introduction: Liberty Leading the People, a work by the French painter Eugène Delacroix to commemorate the French July Revolution of 1830, shows the goddess of liberty, the symbol of freedom, in the centre of the scene, leading a diverse crowd forward over barricades and the bodies of the fallen, holding in one hand the tricolour, the flag of the French Revolution, which became the national flag of France again after these events, and in the other hand wielding a bayoneted musket.

Photographer: Jean Carlo Emer

Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine

French: La Liberté guidant le peuple
Location: Denon salon, 1 Floors, Room 702
Category: French painting
Introduction: The Coronation of Napoleon is an oil painting by the French painter Jacques-Louis David, painted in 1807, depicting the coronation of Napoleon I. At 9.79 metres long and 6.21 metres high, it is the second largest painting in the Louvre (the first is The Wedding at Cana)

The Wedding Feast at Cana

French: Les Noces de Cana (Véronèse)
Location: Denon salon, 1 Floors, Room 711
Category: Italian painting
Introduction: Painted by Paul Veronese at the height of the Renaissance (1490-1527) and depicting biblical stories, the painting is 9.94 metres long and 6.77 metres high, making it the largest painting in the Louvre in terms of surface area.

If the Mona Lisa were a tourist, the one she would see most often in the Louvre would be the Marriage of Cana, because they are sitting opposite each other.

Photographer: Francesco Zivoli

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne

French: Sainte Anne, la Vierge et l’Enfant Jésus jouant avec un agneau
Location: Denon salon, 1 Floors, Room 710, 712, 716
Category: Italian painting
Introduction: The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne is an unfinished oil painting by the High Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, dated around 1501-1519. It depicts Saint Anne, her daughter the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. Christ is shown struggling with a sacrificial lamb, symbolising his Passion, while the Virgin tries to restrain him.

The Virgin of the Rocks

French: La Vierge aux rochers
Location: Denon salon, 1 Floors, Room 710, 712, 716
Category: Italian painting
Introduction: The Virgin of the Rocks (Italian: Vergine delle rocce), sometimes called the Madonna of the Rocks, is the name given to two paintings of the same subject by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, whose compositions are identical except for a few significant details.

The Raft of the Medusa

French: Le Radeau de La Méduse
Location: Denon salon, 1 Floors, Room 700
Category: French painting
Introduction: Painted between 1818 and 1819, the painting depicts the survival of the French naval cruiser Medusa as it sinks. 147 people survived the disaster, all packed onto a small raft and rescued 13 days later, leaving only 15 survivors, a tragic situation. The painting is 7.16 metres long and 4.91 metres high, and its double pyramid composition is also a major attraction.

The Oath of the Horatii

French: Le Serment des Horaces
Location: Denon salon, 1 Floors, Room 702
Category: French painting
Introduction: A 1784 work by the French painter Jacques-Louis David, who also made his name, depicts three brothers making a pledge of allegiance to their father during the war between Rome and Alba Longa.

Death of the Virgin

French: La Mort de la Vierge
Location: Denon salon, 1 Floors, Room 710, 712, 716
Category: Italian painting
Introduction: Painted by the Italian artist Caravaggio between 1604 and 1606, the painting was commissioned by a judge for a church, but Caravaggio is said to have based the image of the Virgin on a drowned prostitute, causing the painting to be rejected by the church.

The Entombment of Christ

French: La Grande Odalisque
Location: Denon salon, 1 Floors, Room 711
Category: Italian painting
Introduction: An early work by Titian, painted in 1520 and bought by Louis XIV in 1662.

Une Odalisqu

French: La Mort de la Vierge
Location: Denon salon, 1 Floors, Room 702
Category: French painting
Introduction: An 1814 oil painting by the French painter Jean-Auguste Dominique Angell, commissioned by Napoleon’s sister, depicts a nude courtesan in the Turkish courtyard. The courtesan’s spine is elongated and her arms do not conform to a realistic human configuration, but this distortion gives the woman a uniquely mysterious, feminine quality.

Photographer: Vince Duque

>> Tip: the galleries beginning with 8, all on the 2nd floor of the Richelieu Salon, are mainly devoted to Northern European and French painting.

The Lacemaker

French: La Dentellière (Vermeer)
Location: Richelieu salon, 2 Floors, Room 837
Category: Dutch painting
Introduction: Completed by the Dutch painter Vermeer between 1669 and around 1670, only about thirty of Vermeer’s paintings have survived, each a classic, and this one, Maiden in Lace, is very small, just 24.5 cm × 21 cm.

Gabrielle d'Estrées and One of Her Sisters

French: Gabrielle d’Estrées et une de ses sœurs
Location: Richelieu salon, 2 Floors, Room 824
Category: French painting
Introduction: A famous representative of the Fontainebleau school, probably painted in 1594 by an unknown artist. Gabrielle was the mistress of Henri IV, and various analyses suggest that the painting is a metaphor for Gabrielle’s pregnancy, such as the breasts symbolising motherhood, fertility, a maid sewing baby clothes in the background of the painting. From a modern point of view, the scene with the squeezed breasts is probably the most loveliest painting in the Louvre, if you take it out of context.

Bathsheba at Her Bath

French: Bethsabée au bain tenant la lettre de David
Category: Dutch painting
IntroductionBathsheba at Her Bath (or Bathsheba with King David’s Letter) is an oil painting by the Dutch artist Rembrandt (1606-1669), completed in 1654.
It is a sensual and sensitive depiction of a moment in the Old Testament story told in 2 Samuel 11, when King David sees Bathsheba bathing and, entranced, impregnates her. In order to marry Bathsheba and conceal his sin, David sends her husband into battle and orders his generals to abandon him, leaving him to certain death.

The Ship of Fools

French: La Nef des fous (Bosch)
Category: Dutch painting
Introduction: The Dutch painter Jérôme Bosch , painted between 1490-1500, shows ten fools sitting on a boat with wine, pancakes, roast goose and berries, each looking greedy and happy – a satirical painting, probably a metaphor for the depravity of the Middle Ages.

Portrait of Francois I, king of France (1494-1547)

French: Portrait de François Ier, roi de France (1494-1547)
Localtion: Rechelieu salon, 2 floors, Room 822
Category: French painting
Introduction: François I (French: François I, 12 September 1494 – 31 March 1547), commonly known before his accession as François d’Angoulême, also known as François au Grand Nez, King of the Knights (le Roi-Chevalier), regarded as an enlightened monarch, amorous man and patron of literature, was one of the most famous and popular kings in French history (reigned 1515-1547). During his reign, France’s flourishing culture reached its zenith.

>> Tip: the galleries beginning with 9, all on the 2nd floor of the Sully salon, are mainly devoted to French painting.

The Turkish Bath

French: Le Bain turc
Localtion: Sully salon, 2 floors, Room 940
Category: French painting
Introduction: Oil painting by the French painter Jean-Auguste Dominique Angell, completed in 1862, depicting a scene in the baths of a Turkish royal palace.

The Bather, known as the Valpincon Bather

French: La Baigneuse Valpinçon
Localtion: Sully salon, 2 floors, Room 940
Category: French painting
Introduction: A painting by Jean-Auguste Dominique Angell, dated 1862, shows the same pose of the bathing woman as the one in the foreground playing the piano in the preceding Turkish Bath.

The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds

French: Le Tricheur à l’as de carreau
Localtion: Sully salon, 2 floors, Room 912
Category: French painting
Introduction:
An oil painting by the French painter Georges Delatour, completed in 1635, shows the young men facing the three great temptations (games, wine and eroticism). The three men on the left of the scene seem to be conspiring to deceive the innocent-looking young man on the far right, and the woman in the middle rolls her eyes so beautifully (and probably tied for first place in cuteness with the squeezing of her breasts) that the whole scene is framed in this tense moment.
George Delatour also created an identical painting, The Cheater with the Ace of Clubs, the only difference being that the card hidden behind the man on the far left has changed from the Ace of Diamonds to the Ace of Clubs, and The Cheater with the Ace of Clubs is in the Kimberly Museum of Art, Fort Worth, USA.

~ End ~
Thanks for reading! Have fun in advance ~
[]~( ̄▽ ̄)~*

Sources

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